Essay 87: Knowledge and Self-Knowledge

The educational remedy or fulfillment or reform being proposed here does not want to “suppress the person” acquiring some knowledge at a university. Every student is also a person.

Every person has the problem outlined by Nietzsche (died 1900):

“What have we really experienced?”—or rather, “who are we, really?”

The sad truth is that we remain necessarily strangers to ourselves, we don’t understand our own substance, we must mistake ourselves; the axiom, “Each man is farthest from himself, will hold for us to all eternity. Of ourselves we are not ‘knowers’…”

(The Birth of Tragedy and The Genealogy of Morals, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1956, Francis Golffing, translator, page 149, “Preface” to The Genealogy of Morals, 1887)

The problem of self-knowledge and its relationship to academic knowledge—whether specialized or more general—should be embraced and not dodged or suppressed since every student is also a person and the person-student continuum cannot be avoided or repressed.