Know Thyself - The Value and Limits of Self-Knowledge: The Examined Life

Start Date: 01/24/2021

Course Type: Common Course

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About Course

According to legend, inscribed on walls of the temple on the sacred site of Delphi in Ancient Greece were two premier injunctions: NOTHING IN EXCESS, and KNOW THYSELF. This course will be an examination of the latter injunction in an effort to discover what self-knowledge is, why it might be valuable, and what, if any, limitations it might face. What is missing from a person lacking in self-knowledge that makes her less wise, virtuous, or competent in certain areas than others who have this capacity, and what if anything might she do to fill that gap? Historical sources as well as recent research in philosophy, experimental social psychology, and neuroscience will inform our investigation, in the course of which we will become students of our own dreams, and cultivate some meditative practices. Learning Outcomes: Learners will gain familiarity with prominent themes from Western, classical Chinese, and Buddhist approaches to our knowledge of ourselves. In the course of doing so, they will gain an appreciation of the relation of self-knowledge to wisdom, of the value of intellectual humility, as well as of methods of learning about oneself that do not depend on introspection. Learners will also become familiar with contemporary research in experimental social psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience into the emotions, the unconscious, the role of affect in decision making, and self-deception. They will also gain an appreciation of a challenge to the assumption of a coherent, unified self that derives from the Buddhist tradition. --- This course was created by a partnership between The University of Edinburgh and Humility & Conviction and Public Life Project, an engaged research project based at the University of Connecticut and funded by a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.

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Course Introduction

Know Thyself - The Value and Limits of Self-Knowledge: The Examined Life In this course, you will be asked to reflect on your personal values and development as a thinker. You will be asked to use your wisdom and reflection to create a value-based decision, as well as to recognise your own value-making capacities and the capacities of others. You will then apply these principles and skills to a selected topic of personal importance to you. You will then apply these principles and skills to a selected topic of personal importance to you. You will need to bring to the examination all of your acquired knowledge, including those values which you express through actions, thoughts and feelings. This is the foundation of the examined life. In this context, the value-based approach is a valuable tool for enhancing self-knowledge and for discerning and assessing your own values and development. In this context, the value-based approach is also a valuable tool for enhancing others-knowledge and for discerning and assessing your own values and development. This course is part of the iMBA offered by the University of Illinois, a flexible, fully-accredited online MBA at an incredibly competitive price. For more information, please see the Resource page in this course and 1: Acquiring and integrating acquired knowledge Module 2: Decentering and integrating moral judgments Module 3: Conducting critical reflection and decision-making Module 4: Discarding and evaluating acquired knowledge <|start

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Know thyself In 1832 Samuel T. Coleridge wrote a poem entitled "Self Knowledge" in which the text centers on the Delphic maxim 'Know Thyself' beginning, 'Gnôthi seauton!--and is this the prime And heaven-sprung adage of the olden time!--' and ending with 'Ignore thyself, and strive to know thy God!' Coleridge's text references JUVENAL, xi. 27.
Know thyself The "Suda", a 10th-century encyclopedia of Greek knowledge, says: "the proverb is applied to those whose boasts exceed what they are", and that "know thyself" is a warning to pay no attention to the opinion of the multitude.
Know thyself In Plato's "Charmides", Critias refers to the maxim consistently with the view expressed in the "Suda", with Critias saying, "for they imagined that 'Know Thyself!' was a piece of advice which the god gave and not his salutation of the worshippers at their first coming in." In modern words Critias gives his opinion that 'Know Thyself!' was an admonition to those entering the sacred temple to remember or know their place and Critias says, " 'know thyself!' and 'be temperate!' are the same. Notice that when the words of Critias are written, 'thyself' and 'temperate' are punctuated with exclamation marks in the English translations, as if they were commands. In the balance of the "Charmides", Plato has Socrates lead a longer inquiry as to how we may gain knowledge of ourselves.
Know thyself Aeschylus uses "know thyself" in its original Greek mythology form in "Prometheus Bound". In this play, Prometheus rails against being bound to a cliffside by Zeus, and is cautioned by Ocean that Prometheus should "know thyself". In this context, Ocean telling Prometheus that he should know better than to speak ill of the one who decides his fate, and should know his place.
Know thyself "Know Thyself" is the motto of Hamilton College, of Lyceum International School (Nugegoda, Sri Lanka) and of Ipek University (Ankara, Turkey).
Know thyself The maxim, or aphorism, "know thyself" has had a variety of meanings attributed to it in literature.
Know thyself Diogenes Laërtius attributes it to Thales ("Lives" I.40), but also notes that Antisthenes in his "Successions of Philosophers" attributes it to Phemonoe, a mythical Greek poet, though admitting that it was appropriated by Chilon. In a discussion of moderation and self-awareness, the Roman poet Juvenal quotes the phrase in Greek and states that the precept descended "e caelo" (from heaven) ("" 11.27). The 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia the "Suda" recognized Chilon and Thales as the sources of the maxim "Know Thyself."
Know thyself In 1831, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a poem entitled "Γνώθι Σεαυτόν", or Gnothi Seauton ('Know Thyself'), on the theme of 'God in thee.' The poem was an anthem to Emerson's belief that to 'know thyself' meant knowing the God which Emerson felt existed within each person.
Know thyself In Plato's "Philebus" dialogue, Socrates refers back to the same usage of 'know thyself' from "Phaedrus" to build an example of the ridiculous for Protarchus. Socrates says, as he did in Phaedrus, that people make themselves appear ridiculous when they are trying to know obscure things before they know themselves. Plato also alluded to the fact that understanding 'thyself,' would have a greater yielded factor of understanding the nature of a human being. Syllogistically, understanding oneself would enable thyself to have an understanding of others as a result.
Know thyself Like Plato, Xenophon reports Socrates's use of the saying 'Know Thyself' as an organizing theme for a long dialogue with Euthydemus in Xenophon's "Memorabilia".
Know thyself In 1904 Sarah Ida Shaw and Elanor Dorcas Pond founded the Delta Delta Delta fraternity. Part of their motto is Self-Knowledge, Self-Reverence, and Self-Discipline.
Know thyself Plato employs the maxim 'Know Thyself' extensively by having the character of Socrates use it to motivate his dialogues. Plato makes it clear that Socrates is referring to a long-established wisdom. Benjamin Jowett's index to his translation of the "Dialogues of Plato" lists six dialogues which discuss or explore the saying of Delphi: 'know thyself.' These dialogues (and the Stephanus numbers indexing the pages where these discussions begin) are "Charmides" (164D), "Protagoras" (343B), "Phaedrus" (229E), "Philebus" (48C), "Laws" (II.923A), "Alcibiades I" (124A, 129A, 132C).
Know thyself The Ancient Greek aphorism "know thyself" or "gnothi seauton" (Greek: , transliterated: '; also ' with the ε contracted), is one of the Delphic maxims and was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi according to the Greek writer Pausanias (10.24.1). The aphorism came from Luxor in Ancient Egypt.
Knowledge value The idea that knowledge has value is ancient. In the 1st century AD, Juvenal (55-130) stated “All wish to know but none wish to pay the price". In 1775, Samuel Johnson wrote: “All knowledge is of itself of some value.”
The Secrets of the Self Iqbal proves by various means that the whole universe obeys the will of the "Self." He condemns self-destruction. For him, the aim of life is self-realization and self-knowledge. He charts the stages through which the "Self" has to pass before finally arriving at its point of perfection, enabling the knower of the "Self" to become the vicegerent of God.
Know thyself The aphorism might have come from Luxor in Ancient Egypt. Pre-Socratics like Thales of Miletus and Pythagoras of Samos are thought by some to have had ancient Egyptian influences, according to Greek folklore and later writers including Aristotle. In any case the saying assumes a distinctive meaning and importance in Greek religion and thought. The Greeks attributed much of their wisdom to Egyptian sources. There are two parts of the ancient Luxor Temple, the External Temple, where the beginners were allowed to enter and the Internal Temple where a person was only allowed to enter after proven worthy and ready to acquire more knowledge and insights. One of the proverbs of the External Temple is "The body is the house of God." That is why it is said: "Man, know thyself". In the Internal Temple, one of the many proverbs is "Man, know thyself, and you are going to know the gods". The ancient Greek aphorism which came from the ancient Egyptian proverb has been attributed to at least the following ancient Greek sages:
Know thyself In 1734 Alexander Pope wrote a poem entitled "An Essay on Man, Epistle II", which begins "Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, The proper study of mankind is Man."
The Partially Examined Life The Partially Examined Life is a podcast and downloadable audio series about philosophy. It is self described at the beginning of many episodes as "A philosophy podcast by some guys who were at one point set on doing philosophy for a living, but then thought better of it." The most frequent participants are Mark Linsenmayer (Madison, WI), Seth Paskin (Austin, TX), Wes Alwan (Boston, MA), and Dylan Casey (Middleton, WI). The show also sometimes brings on experts to discuss particular topics.
Know thyself In Plato's "Phaedrus", Socrates uses the maxim 'know thyself' as his explanation to Phaedrus to explain why he has no time for the attempts to rationally explain mythology or other far flung topics. Socrates says, "But I have no leisure for them at all; and the reason, my friend, is this: I am not yet able, as the Delphic inscription has it, to know myself; so it seems to me ridiculous, when I do not yet know that, to investigate irrelevant things."
The Partially Examined Life The Partially Examined Life has been referenced and discussed in several outlets, including the publications of philosophers discussed on the show. One prominent example is a review of Episode 50 in the Onion's AV club.