Self-Knowledge introduces philosophical ideas about knowledge and the self. The book takes the form of a personal meditation: it is one person’s attempt to reflect philosophically upon vital aspects of his existence. It shows how profound philosophy can swiftly emerge from intense private reflection upon the details of one’s life and, thus, will help the reader take the first steps toward philosophical self-understanding. Along the way, readers will encounter moments of puzzlement, then clarity, followed by more perplexity and further insights, and then—finally—some philosophical peace of mind.
“Hetherington’s little book is an amazing combination of sophistication and innocence. The format is Cartesian and the basic intuitions are about the search for self-understanding, but by means of a clever focus the conclusions are fallibilist and body-oriented. Readers should react vociferously to this appealing and direct tour of many philosophical problems, more closely argued than the relaxed style suggests. It has the distinction of doing justice to the disturbing quality of philosophical questions without blather or pretension.” — Adam Morton, Canada Research Chair in Epistemology and Decision Theory, University of Alberta
“Stephen Hetherington’s Self-Knowledge is a unique and fascinating introduction to philosophy. It manages to combine a lucid, unpretentious style with a genuinely insightful treatment of some of the deepest and most baffling problems of philosophy. What sets it apart from so many introductions is the way it engages with readers in a fresh and direct way to use philosophical reasoning to think about their own lives. An exceptional book.” — Tim Crane, Professor of Philosophy, University College London