‘Know thyself’ is a fundamental philosophical quest. It is a quest for meaning of life. This philosophical tradition insisted that the unexamined life is not worth living. In turn who am I? Where did I come from, what is the purpose and meaning of my life, what are my relations to the nature, community and God were some of the perennial fundamental questions raised by human person.
Shakespeare in his work Hamlet speaks this way,
What is a piece of work is man how noble is reason! How infinite in faculty!
In form, in moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel! In apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me what is this quintessence of dust? Hamlet (1601) act 2, Sc. 2, 1. 316
Even the Indian classical traditions identified atmavidya with atmasaksthkara – knowing is becoming.
Hence human person is indeed a source of wonder and question. But down through the centuries this typical nature of wonder was not merely an outward looking which directed its attention more to the world surrounding man than to man himself rather it enabled human person in philosophical traditions to discover the truths/mysteries of himself. That he is the centre and crown of creation, the point where the whole of reality converges, in whom the whole of existence turns into a subject, becomes logos and gets transformed into self transparency and self consciousness. That is why the progress of philosophy is expressed above all in the anthropocentric orientation. Anthropocentrism is more important than any scientific theory about physical nature. Philosophical thought cannot remain outside of this universal movement.
Therefore in reality one of our primary concerns is not only to show human person as a living person, a rational being, a sensitive being, having the operative faculties of intellect and will but to show how through them that there is a immaterial or spiritual functioning in the operative system which in turn presupposes an one ego principle the soul. Hence this way of studying human person brings us to a foundation that Humans are spiritual.