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Copy of Self-Knowledge In Eastern and Western Philosophies

NEH Summer Institute

NEH Summer Institute

“Know Thyself!” – inscribed on the forecourt at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, this aphorism was already received wisdom by the time Socrates came to exhort his followers that “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

“Be a lamp unto yourself” – the Buddha famously urged his disciples, thus launching a philosophical movement that would make the trope of ‘light’ and ‘luminosity’ central to the quest for self-knowledge.

The pursuit of self-knowledge has an impressive philosophical pedigree both in the East and the West. It poses problems central to philosophy of mind, epistemology, phenomenology, psychology, and ethics. It also raises difficult questions concerning the object of self-knowledge, the importance of self-knowledge to moral agency, responsibility, and decision-making, and the impact that various forms of moral and mental cultivation can have on self-knowledge. The best approach to these problems is therefore interdisciplinary and cross-cultural.

This NEH Summer Institute for college and university professors is designed to provide such a multi-disciplinary cross-cultural forum, and to enable interested participants to draw together these often parallel programs for mutual benefit.


We hope that you will find our project interesting, and we will be delighted to see your interest in our Institute translate into an application to participate. Note that the application deadline is March 1, 2018.