How self-knowledge is possible

I pick up where I left off in the last post. Recall, first of all, that the picture of the mind as a some ‘place’ or ‘substance’ that contains important things (ideas, faculties, images, conceptions) deep within me is a mistaken picture of minding. Recall, second of all, that the question which springs from the picture of the mind as ‘having’ deep inner contents is this one: ‘How can I know my mind when, being inner contents deep within me, it is neither observable nor perceptible?’ Worse yet, ‘How can I know myself when these deep inner contents are, as Freud sought to show, well beyond the grasp of the conscious mind?’ It is wrongheaded, I have held, to insist that knowing myself involves undertaking forms of ‘deep introspection.’ Indeed, the entire edifice seems to be a systematic way of our never knowing ourselves. Looking in the wrong place, we continue asking the wrong questions with the result that we are endlessly perplexed.

Continue reading “How self-knowledge is possible”