Self-Knowledge, Authenticity and Obedience

Bollettino Filosofico 29:48-72 (2014)
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Abstract

Robert Dunn, David Finkelstein and Richard Moran have recently contributed to broadening the debate on self-knowledge within the analytic tradition. They raise questions concerning the sort of awareness that may have a healing effect in psychoanalytic therapy, and enhance the relevance to self-knowledge of a deliberative, and practically committed, attitude toward oneself. They reject, however, that self-observation could play a significant role in a strictly first-person attitude toward oneself, since they conceive of it as essentially detached and, in this respect, similar to the kind of attitude that a third party might adopt. I will appeal to Simone Weil's distinction between two sorts obedience and to the contrast between two characters in *The Karamazov Brothers* to elucidate a kind of self-awareness that involves a kind of observation that is constitutively committed. This line of reasoning will also serve to elucidate a fundamental sort of self-knowledge that derives from the subject's capacity to acknowledge her own position within the ethical world and is closely associated to the goal of psychoanalytic therapy.

Author's Profile

Josep E. Corbi
Universitat de Valencia

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