Secrecy needs others

Secrecy involves others, i.e. the other person, because it sets someone apart from others.

Thus, in 1165, secret had the meaning of “situated away from the places frequented” in the expression lieus segreiz used by Benoît de Ste-Maure.

Paradoxically, it is also through others that we learn to unravel the secret of our own being.

Aristotle in The Great Morals (a book attributed to him): “Self-knowledge is a pleasure that is not possible without the presence of someone else who is our friend; the self-sufficient man would therefore need friendship to learn to know himself.”

This is to reveal even more than secrecy involves the notion of another.

Hegel joins this view of Aristotle in a way when he explains in the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807) that self-consciousness is only possible when there is alterity, another person.

→ Quotes on the Secret

General Knowledge: the Secret