“Know yourself , ” we usually repeat this sentence, but we often lose sight of the true meaning . Concerning the confusion existing about this sentence two questions should be raised : the first concerns the origin of this expression , the second its real meaning and purpose. Some readers may believe that these two issues are completely separate and have no relation between them .
After reflexion , and after careful consideration; it is clear that they are closely related .
If you ask those who have studied Greek philosophy , who is the man who first had pronounced this wise sentence , most of them will not hesitate to tell that the author of this maxim is Socrates, yet some argue that it can belong to Plato and others to Pythagoras. After these conflicting opinions, we have the right to conclude that this sentence was written by none of these philosophers , and it is not with them that we must seek it s origin, simply because two of these philosophers , Pythagoras and Socrates didn’t leave anything written . As for Plato , whatever its philosophical jurisdiction is , we are not able to distinguish what was said by him or by his teacher Socrates.
Much of the doctrine of the latter is only known by us through Plato, and we know , moreover, that it is in the teaching of