University of Missouri Research Board

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University of Missouri


Clancy Martin

Beautiful Lies

An interview with Clancy Martin, Associate Professor, Philosophy, UM Kansas City

“Know thyself” is one of Western philosophy’s most recognized maxims. It shows up on signs, bulletin boards, and t-shirts; it makes cameos in Hamlet, The Matrix, and certain U2 songs. People go on retreats, vacations, sabbaticals, and to college to “find themselves.” Clancy Martin, chair of the philosophy department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, does not think this is wise: “Life,” he claims, “would be unlivable if we knew ourselves too well.”