Many philosophers throughout time have used the phrase ‘know thyself. ’ It is believed to have originated around the time of Thales of Miletus. Thales of Miletus was a Greek philosopher during 624 B. C. E. and 546 B. C. E. Many have acknowledged him as the origin of Western philosophy. Thales is accredited to the age of the Seven Wise Men. He was not only a philosopher but also a metaphysician and a natural scientist, whom proved his intelligence to many during his lifetime.
In his philosophy, Thales, was not necessarily trying to teach others with his sayings but in fact trying to show others that they need to make thoughts of their own and have their own opinions. This is an attribute that not all philosophers possessed. He was guiding people to their own opinions rather than telling them what they should believe. Complimenting his thoughts on everyone having their own opinion, Thales expressed the saying ‘know thyself. This quote is basically self explanatory in that he is expressing that people should know or learn to know themselves entirely. It conveys the fact that one should learn and practice what they themselves believe and not be guided by others. One should be a leader in their own thoughts and not follow what they hear. This turns into people finding their comforts as well as their limits. By knowing who you are and what you believe, you know what you can accomplish as well as what you can withstand.
Also, it is recognizing your highest level of knowledge, literally what you ‘know,’ and not act as if you know more. Pretending to know more than you actually do is not knowing yourself, rather it is being self-deceived. Thales and his suggestion of knowing yourself appeal to me because I believe every person should have their own way of thinking. They should be able to take into account what others say, but in turn come up with their own beliefs on the matter.
A lot of this has to do with being self-deceived and second-ordered deception; we can intake what others say and listen to their opinions on whatever subject but, we must be able to process our own thoughts. We must know how not to let others’ thoughts and opinions become our own. I believe this quote is one that should be followed, because everyone should learn to be their own person. Too many of us are influenced by the thoughts of others and are ourselves self-deceived.