The Varieties of Ignorance

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This chapter discusses varieties of ignorance divided according to kind (what the subject is ignorant of), degree, and order (e.g. ignorance of ignorance equals second-order ignorance). It provides analyses of notions such as factual ignorance, erotetic ignorance (ignorance of answers to questions), and practical ignorance (involving absence of know-how). Ensuingly, it discusses the interrelations between those kinds, arguing against so-called intellectualists that at least some instances of practical ignorance seem dissimilar in important respects to instances of the former kinds. Also it argues that we do not have strong reasons for regarding practical ignorance as a graded phenomenon, even if practical knowledge is. Finally it is brought out that even if socratic ignorance (first-order ignorance without second-order ignorance) is an important concept, ignorance absolved only above the second order is of marginal significance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Epistemic Dimensions of Ignorance
EditorsRik Peels, Martijn Blaauw
Number of pages24
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication date2016
ISBN (Print)9780511820076
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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