more from Jean-Paul Sartre

Single Idea 7123

[catalogued under 16. Persons / C. Self-Awareness / 2. Knowing the Self]

Full Idea

'To know oneself well' is inevitably to look at oneself from the point of view of someone else, in other words from a point of view that is necessarily false.

Gist of Idea

Knowing yourself requires an exterior viewpoint, which is necessarily false


Jean-Paul Sartre (Transcendence of the Ego [1937], II (D))

Book Reference

Sartre,Jean-Paul: 'The Transcendence of the Ego' [Routledge 2004], p.38

A Reaction

(This is because the Ego cannot be known from the outside). I agree with Russell that the self is most evident when we are engaged with the world, which implies that you can only acquire self-knowledge by studying those engagements.

Related Idea

Idea 19249 'Know yourself' is not introspection; it is grasping how others see you [Peirce]