Where does self-understanding come from?

From Mad in Finland: Self-understanding as a term sounds very individual. How I myself see and experience myself and my actions. If self-understanding increases, it also feels like self-realization. However, is self-understanding our own choice or is it influenced by other people and society? I set out to examine the question of self-understanding with the help of Hegel’s philosophy. GWF Hegel (1770-1831) is one of the most influential thinkers in philosophy. The self-understanding of Hegel’s philosophy starts from human interaction. And according to his understanding, self-understanding develops in interaction with other people and society. In interaction with other people, we form our perception of ourselves, others and society. Thus, the social world of thought also shapes our self-understanding, and we shape the self-understanding of those with whom we come into contact.

Read the full article here and the English translation here. 


  1. The original article addresses the core issue within the mental health paradigm: the purpose and implications of diagnoses. Diagnoses serve as a means to categorize individuals’ expressions of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Although the acceptance of a diagnosis, such as ADHD or ASD, may not alter the individual’s condition, it shifts the source of validation to the medical professional’s authority. This process of labeling by healthcare professionals is not merely for identification; it facilitates data collection and informs future strategic planning, including economic considerations.

    Frequently, the external perception of an individual with ADHD or ASD remains unchanged; what evolves is their internal acknowledgment of something they likely already suspected, given their ability to observe and discern differences in themselves compared to others. This accumulation of data and the value attributed to diagnoses represent forms of control and power. It shapes the future by influencing aspects such as employment opportunities for diagnosed individuals and projecting societal issues onto those with diagnoses, as deemed appropriate by those in power.

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