This is where I conceded in the Challenge the Philosophy contest

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

The response I received was:

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.

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