Ideas that add up #48

A psychologist might see herself through the lens of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a philosopher might focus exclusively on the contents of his conscious rational deliberations. The result can be a fixed and limited image of self that leaves out other elements, such as core values, cultural assumptions or unreflective impulses.

Perhaps what we most need, to know ourselves, is honesty and humility, which expertise tends to erode rather than strengthen. If that’s the case, then when it comes to self-knowledge, amateurs who are fully aware of their limitations might be better equipped to succeed than over-confident professionals.

Julian Baggini in FT Weekend Magazine, August 18th 2012

We should have privileged access to knowledge about ourselves, “inside information”, but self-delusion is rampant.

Being honest and humble enough to recognize one’s limitations would be a step in the right direction. And also a riposte to our prevailing culture of complacency and hubris.

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