The acquisition of self-knowledge is often described as one of the main goals of philosophical inquiry. At the same time, some sort of self-knowledge is often regarded as a necessary condition of our being a human agent or human subject. Thus self-knowledge is taken to constitute both the beginning and the end of humans' search for wisdom, and as such it is intricately bound up with the very idea of philosophy. Not surprisingly therefore, the Delphic injunction 'Know
thyself' has fascinated philosophers of different times, backgrounds, and tempers.
But how can we make sense of this imperative? What is self-knowledge and how is it achieved? What are the structural features that distinguish self-knowledge from other types of knowledge? What role do external, second- and third-personal, sources of knowledge play in the acquisition of self-knowledge? How can we account for the moral impact ascribed to self-knowledge? Is it just a form of anthropological knowledge that allows agents to act in accordance with their aims? Or, does
self-knowledge ultimately ennoble the self of the subjects having it? Finally, is self-knowledge, or its completion, a goal that may be reached at all?
The book addresses these questions in fifteen chapters covering approaches of many philosophers from Plato and Aristotle to Edmund Husserl or Elisabeth Anscombe. The short reflections inserted between the chapters show that the search for self-knowledge is an important theme in literature, poetry, painting and self-portraiture from Homer.
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc ISBN: 9780190226411 Number of pages: 352 Weight: 518 g Dimensions: 218 x 147 x 24 mm
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect.
Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
This item can be requested from the shops shown below. If this item isn't available to be reserved nearby, add the item to your basket instead and select 'Deliver to my local shop' at the checkout, to be able to collect it from there at a later date.
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at