Knowledge Of The Self – Epistemology Synthesis
When we first started the Epistemology unit I didn’t really have a specific idea in mind, most of the questions and discussion brought up in class felt mostly pointless to me. I forget what it was that initially gave me the idea to pursue self-knowledge, but it was a lot more intriguing and felt a lot more of a tangible idea to me than some of the other questions that my peers were pursuing were.
After reading an article about self-knowledge off of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, I came up with 3 guiding questions that were
1. Does self knowledge come from within yourself or from others?
Does what you know about yourself come from what you percieve about yourself or from outside sources
2.Are your own perceived ideas about yourself biased from yourself?
Can the knowledge that you have about yourself be false? Can you be delusional and/or not aware of the characteristics of your true self?
3.What extent do others have on your opinion on yourself?
We’re told things about ourselves numerous times on a daily basis, but just how much of characteristics/expressions our true about ourselves, but to what degree do they affect our own opinion of ourselves?
Talking with a few classmates it seemed like neither of us could really come to a complete conclusion if it was one form of external or internal forces that were more dominate than one another in creating self-knowledge. One peer’s own pursuit of philosophy resonated with mine however, this was Dom’s question of how much influence a parent has on their child in shaping their personality and character.
This was interesting to me because it related to my own question in the way a parent acts as an external force in the growing child’s life. Most people would agree that a parent absolutely shapes their children, especially so in their younger years. Since that can be clearly seen as a form of an external force giving creation to self-knowledge, it can be argued that self-knowledge does come from outside sources.
Phil’s Day Off
For my Phil’s day off I decided to have an experiment to see what information I could gather about self-knowledge coming from the inside or the outside.
The experiment that I held wasn’t particularly conclusive, whether due to my small sample size or not I pretty much came out with the same questions that I had hoped to answer initially. But I personally think from the answers that were given that knowledge of the self can be impacted by external forces as well as internal.
I think that self-knowledge is attainable from inside, what you imagine yourself and your actions to be about, and outside, what actions and the person others see and express to you about yourself. There is no way of knowing which one dominates the other, but I believe that both are crucial in the development of a person and their identity.