Self-Knowledge

Over the entrance to the Temple at Delphi in Greece was inscribed the injunction: Gnothe se auton. This translates as: Know thyself. So, since antiquity, religious authorities have commanded humanity to seek self-knowledge. Socrates, in turn, is famous for his claim that the unexamined life is not worth living. This has led other philosophers to reply that the unlived life is not worth examining. Descartes in turn founded his reconstruction of all human knowledge on the dictum cogito, ergo sum [I think, therefore I am.] All of the above lends support to the notion that knowing oneself, or self-knowledge is vitally important, and perhaps the most important activity that one can engage in. On the other hand concentrating on self-examination to the neglect of leading a full and active life has struck others as a neglectful sort of ego-centrism, which is the point of the aphorism about the unlived life.



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