Competition 1: Overcome the proposition, we cannot [more reasonably] truly know who we are, in part or in whole, and be who we are at the same time.

Competition 1:
Overcome the proposition, we cannot [more reasonably] truly know
who we are, in part or in whole, and be who we are at the same time

[]  Stephen Garvey * [I post his bio below]

218. Entry:


Knowledge of self comes from both without and within.

In structured environments, (work, home, school, society, family, friends, within conversations) people often know who they are, and are ‘being’ who they are at the same time.

Does awareness of self (self-knowledge) abruptly stop the process of “be”ing? While I am thinking about “Who Am I?”, do I stop the “Who”ing process?

Much of knowledge of self consists in knowing one’s roles. A role is part of the “who”, and part of the “be”.

If I am a parent, I both know my role as parent and -am- my role as parent. If I am a computer programmer, I know my role as computer programmer, and I -am- my role as computer programmer.

So, this proposition holds true in structured environments, within limits.

Does it hold true in greater circles? Can I know that I am a citizen, and also -be- a citizen? Definitely.

I think the key to the combination of knowledge and being at the same time, is AWARENESS.

When you are PRESENT, not trapped in the past or fiddling around with the future, and engaged in whatever you are engaged in at the present, and knowing what you are doing and who you are, and how others see you, then that is a case where we -can- know who we are, and be who we are at the same time.”

Kenneth Udut May 17 2001


We agree that we can know and be who we are “within limits” as in being and knowing a conscious role from our perspective. What allows for this state of simultaneous being and knowing is that the role is a conscious phenomenon, so that the union of being and knowing in terms of role is contingent on comparison. For example, according to John the role of a writer is to write books (i.e. conscious definition), and John is writing books and aware of it (i.e. conscious observation); so John knows his role, and he is being his role. However, it does not follow that any of our roles actually correlate to who we are as in fundamental level of being. Therefore, though we can know and be who we are in a limited sense (i.e. conscious roles), it does not follow from this limited sense that we can actually know and be who we are.

In order to overcome this problem of being and knowing, you need to show how our consciousness actually correlates to who we are as in fundamental level of being.


221. Entry:

Dispute in reply to the response to Entry 218.

“Why is there an assumption that roles do not correlate to who we are in a fundamental level of being?

What evidence shows that roles can NOT equal one’s fundamental level of being?

The assumption that seems to be made by you here is that there is
1) the fundamental level, and then, there are
2) masks, and
3) the masks are the roles.
4) roles do not correlate to fundamental level of being.

But why that assumption? If one takes all of the roles one plays, both with other people and with self, which is quite doable through introspection and maturity, does not one know themselves (by following the threads that appear in common through all roles) on a fundamental level, while also being?”

Kenneth Udut May 19 2001



What are roles? They are conscious phenomenon. Where do they come from? Through our sensory and thought process, we create conscious phenomenon, including roles.

Since we cannot create who we are through who we are, conscious phenomenon are not equal to our fundamental level of being or who we are.

If you want to challenge this line of reasoning, then you face the problem of more reasonably showing how conscious phenomenon can either come directly from the external world or be an innate part of our consciousness.

Also, since roles themselves are apparently not our fundamental level of being, but simply phenomenon we exist from, then any threads we ascertain through roles are also not our fundamental level of being. In other words, our fundamental level of being is separate from roles and the perceived threads pertaining to them, while at the same time using them to manifest itself. So as we stated in our Response to Entry 218, there is a limited connection between roles and their perceived threads, and our fundamental level of being, which pertains to the limited connection between what we know and what really is.


223. Entry:

Dispute: in reply to the response to Entry 221

“I think the key to the competition lies in the fact that the “know who you are” means knowing who you are on the -unconscious- level.

Once something about self is made conscious, then it instantly falls outside of the criteria of your competition.

In other words, if you take the “be” out of your question, and state, “You cannot know who you are on a deep, unconscious, fundamental level” and ask others to refute that — then I would have to agree that “Yes, because once you become conscious of something (whether the core of your being, or an ingrained bad habit), it is no longer at an unconscious level”.

In any case, given the constraints that the knowledge must remain unconscious, then yes, you are right.

If I am misunderstanding your question, I welcome correction. But if I -am- understanding it properly, then you have my concession.”

Kenneth Udut May 23 2001



Even though “know who we are” refers to the unconscious level, it is possible from a phenomenological standpoint that we could know who we are without knowing that we do, so that the self as conscious entity (i.e. form of knowledge) may be unconscious to the perceiver. (i.e. who we are is at the conscious level, though through our perception it is at the unconscious level.)

Also, the definition of “know who we are”, like the rest of the proposition’s terms, is open to refutation. So overcoming the proposition may entail refuting the proposition as a whole or one of its terms. Therefore, if you can more reasonably show that we can know who we are (i.e. fundamental level of being), and know or not know that we do, than not knowing who we are, you would overcome the proposition.


Short biography of Stephen Garvey

After attending The University of British Columbia and The University of Cambridge, Garvey has produced a number of philosophical works.

Summary of Stephen Garvey’s Philosophical Work


The thrust of Garvey’s work focuses on the nature of the human ‘Being’ and its relation to what human beings know at the conscious level. Also, Garvey is focused on the epistemology and ontology of knowledge which deals with the relationships between the external world and human sensory, and the human brain and consciousness. Further, he has developed a method to determine the comparative reasonableness of human thoughts. (The Critique of Reasonableness, A Method to End Partiality) Currently, Garvey is focused on advancing the Theory of Democracy through the application of the Theory of More Reasonableness.

Garvey’s major works are as follows:

I Am Existence (1996, Inexpressible Publications)

The Anti-self (1997, unpublished)

Beyond Weakness (1998, Inexpressible Publications)

The Inexpressible and the Unknown (1999, unpublished)

Why I Am Right, A Theory of Human Consciousness (1999, unpublished)

The Superman Philosophy (2000, Inexpressible Publications)

The Critique of Reasonableness, A Method to End Partiality (2003, Fiction House)



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