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Ignorance

Edited by Christopher Michael Cloos (University of California at Santa Barbara)
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  1. Jonathan Adler, Arguing From Ignorance.
    Arguments from ignorance should be schematized: It has not been proven false that p. So it is possible that p. So, it is reasonable to believe p. Also, in opposition to standard views they should be distinguished from burden of proof and absence of evidence arguments. Much of the persuasiveness of such arguments can be located in the slippery uses of "possible." Besides equivocations on "possible" the argument is a fallacy for two reasons. First, the possibility implied by the first (...)
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  2. L. H. Allen (1920). The Ignorance of Antilochus. The Classical Review 34 (1-2):6-10.
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  3. P. M. Allen (2001). Knowledge, Learning and Ignorance. Emergence 4 (2):149-80.
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  4. Peter M. Allen (2000). Knowledge, Ignorance, and Learning. Emergence 2 (4):78-103.
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  5. Albert G. A. Balz (1930). Where Ignorance is Bliss. The Monist 40 (1):146-155.
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  6. John A. Barker (1974). Knowledge, Ignorance and Presupposition. Analysis 35 (2):33 - 45.
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  7. May R. Berenbaum (2009). Eradicating Ignorance. BioScience 59 (11):923-923.
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  8. R. Bishop & J. Phillips (2006). Ignorance. Theory, Culture and Society 23 (2-3):180-182.
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  9. Jens Christian Bjerring, Jens Ulrik Hansen & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (2014). On the Rationality of Pluralistic Ignorance. Synthese 191 (11):2445-2470.
    Pluralistic ignorance is a socio-psychological phenomenon that involves a systematic discrepancy between people’s private beliefs and public behavior in certain social contexts. Recently, pluralistic ignorance has gained increased attention in formal and social epistemology. But to get clear on what precisely a formal and social epistemological account of pluralistic ignorance should look like, we need answers to at least the following two questions: What exactly is the phenomenon of pluralistic ignorance? And can the phenomenon arise among perfectly rational agents? In (...)
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  10. W. J. Blyton (1935). The Ignorance and Adventure of Man. Hibbert Journal 34:570.
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  11. Berit Brogaard (forthcoming). Ignorance and Incompetence. In Rik Peels and Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Igorance. Cambridge University Press.
    On an initially plausible view of ignorance, ignorance is equivalent to the lack or absence of knowledge-that. I argue that this view is incorrect, as lack of sufficient justification for one's true belief or lack of belief doesn't necessarily amount to ignorance. My argument rests on linguistic considerations of common uses of 'ignorant' and its cognates. The phrase 'is ignorant of', I argue, functions differently grammatically and semantically from the phrase 'does not know', when the latter is used propositionally. 'Is (...)
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  12. Sylvain Bromberger (1988). Rational Ignorance. Synthese 74 (1):47 - 64.
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  13. Todd Calder (2004). Evil, Ignorance, and the 9/11 Terrorists. Social Philosophy Today 20:53-66.
    In this paper I consider the excuse of ignorance as a justification for acting in a way that would otherwise be evil. My aim is to determine when ignorance precludes us from evildoing and when it does not. I use the 9/11 terrorist attack on America as a case study. In particular, I consider whether the 9/11 terrorists were precluded from evildoing because they thought they were doing right and thus were ignorant about the true nature of their actions. The (...)
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  14. Daniel Carpenter (forthcoming). The Leaning Tower of PISA: Fundamental Problems in Ignorance-Based Theories of State Autonomy. Critical Review.
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  15. Peter J. Casarella (2007). Brief Notices-Cusanus: The Legacy of Learned Ignorance. Speculum 82 (1):252.
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  16. David Charles (2007). Aristotle's Weak Akrates: What Does Her Ignorance Consist In. In Christopher Bobonich & Pierre Destrée (eds.), Akrasia in Greek Philosophy: From Socrates to Plotinus. Brill. 193--214.
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  17. Cristina Chimisso (2001). L'opinion Publique Et La Science: À Chacun Son Ignorance. [REVIEW] British Journal for the History of Science 34 (1):97-124.
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  18. Susan Coldicutt (1992). Ignorance and Knowledge Regarding Humans' Purposeful Interventions in Environments. Knowledge and Policy 5 (2):3-28.
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  19. Fred Dallmayr (2009). Nicolas of Cusa : On Belief, Knowledge, and Wise Ignorance. In M. T. Stepani͡ant͡s (ed.), Knowledge and Belief in the Dialogue of Cultures. Council for Research in Values and Philosophy.
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  20. Richard Dawkins (2001). Ignorance Is No Crime. Free Inquiry 21.
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  21. Rogier De Langhe (forthcoming). To Specialize or to Innovate? An Internalist Account of Pluralistic Ignorance in Economics. Synthese 191.
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  22. Samuel DeCanio, Jeffrey Friedman, David R. Mayhew, Michael H. Murakami & Nick Weller (2008). Roundtable 3: Political Ignorance, Empirical Realities. Critical Review 20 (4):463-480.
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  23. Leo J. Elders (2001). De Koninck. Thomas. La Nouvelle Ignorance Et le Probleme de la Culture. Review of Metaphysics 54 (4):913-914.
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  24. Robert S. Erikson (2007). Does Public Ignorance Matter? Critical Review 19 (1):23-34.
    ABSTRACT Recent scholarship has attempted to restore the reputation of the American electorate, even though its level of political interest and information has not measurably increased. Scott Althaus?s Collective Preferences in Democratic Politics challenges this revisionist optimism, arguing that opinion polls misrepresent the interests of a large segment of society, and that they therefore get too much attention as a guide to policy makers, because those being polled are so ill informed. But Althaus overestimates the degree to which respondent ignorance (...)
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  25. Charles A. Erin (2001). Is There a Right to Remain in Ignorance of HIV Status? In Rebecca Bennett & Charles A. Erin (eds.), Hiv and Aids, Testing, Screening, and Confidentiality. Clarendon Press.
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  26. Anthony J. Evans & Jeffrey Friedman (2011). “Search” Vs. “Browse”: A Theory of Error Grounded in Radical (Not Rational) Ignorance. Critical Review 23 (1-2):73-104.
    Economists tend to view ignorance as ?rational,? neglecting the possibility that ignorance is unintentional. This oversight is reflected in economists? model of ?information search,? which can be fruitfully contrasted with ?information browsing.? Information searches are designed to discover unknown knowns, whose value is calculable ex ante, such that this value justifies the cost of the search. In this model of human information acquisition, there is no primal or ?radical? ignorance that might prevent people from knowing which information to look for, (...)
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  27. L. L. Farrar (2003). In Praise of Ignorance. Critical Review 15 (3-4):339-346.
    Abstract Ignorance is essential to life as we know it. Foreknowledge of the future would preclude choice, responsibility, individuality?even history. True knowledge of the past would obviate historiography. Without human ignorance of God's larger plan, His omnipotence and benevolence would not make sense, given the evils of the world. Full knowledge is the enemy of both intimate and impersonal relationships; for that matter, even less important personal decisions are made in ignorance. Military strategy and natural science both depend on ignorance, (...)
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  28. Mark Fenster (2007). On Idiocratic Theory: Rejoinder to Wisniewski. Critical Review 19 (1):147-155.
    ABSTRACT One of Murray Edelman?s most important insights was that understanding public ignorance about politics and policy requires an analysis of how symbolic communication and popular culture shape public knowledge and opinion. Approaches that simply dismiss the public as ignorant or idiotic make a similar error as those that simply embrace the modern public as capable of engaging in the work of a competent demos, insofar as both simplify complex social and cultural processes of meaning?making and comprehension. The problem for (...)
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  29. Mark Fenster (2005). Murray Edelman, Polemicist of Public Ignorance. Critical Review 17 (3-4):367-391.
    Abstract Murray Edelman's work raised significant theoretical and methodological questions regarding the symbolic nature of politics, and specifically the role played by non?rational beliefs (those that lack real?world grounding) in the shaping of political preferences. According to Edelman, beneath an apparently functional and accountable democratic state lies a symbolic system that renders an ignorant public quiescent. The state, the media, civil society, interpersonal relations, even popular art are part of a mass spectacle kept afloat by empty symbolic beliefs. However (...)
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  30. Adam Fforde (2011). Policy Recommendations as Spurious Predictions: Toward a Theory of Economists' Ignorance. Critical Review 23 (1-2):105-115.
    Lao Tzu and Marx together provide the basis of an epistemology based on ignorance?not on knowledge. The failure of an epistemology based on knowledge is shown by the internal inconsistencies afflicting mainstream economics: Economic theory predicts certain empirical phenomena but these fail to reveal themselves. In fact, the strongest research finding in development economics is that there are almost no robust empirical relationships between an implemented policy and its desired outcomes in the real world. A theory of ignorance can highlight (...)
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  31. Stuart Firestein (2012). Ignorance: How It Drives Science. Oxford University Press.
    Machine generated contents note: -- Chapter 1. A Short View of Ignorance -- Chapter 2. Finding Out -- Chapter 3. Limits, Uncertainty, Impossibility, and Other Minor Problems -- Chapter 4. Unpredicting -- Chapter 5. The Quality of Ignorance -- Chapter 6. Ignorance in Action: Case Histories -- Chapter 7. Ignorance beyond the Lab.
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  32. Luciano Floridi (2013). Spreading Ignorance Equally. The Philosophers' Magazine 63:24-25.
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  33. Jeffrey Friedman (2009). A Crisis of Politics, Not Economics: Complexity, Ignorance, and Policy Failure. Critical Review 21 (2-3):127-183.
    ABSTRACT The financial crisis was caused by the complex, constantly growing web of regulations designed to constrain and redirect modern capitalism. This complexity made investors, bankers, and perhaps regulators themselves ignorant of regulations promulgated across decades and in different ?fields? of regulation. These regulations interacted with each other to foster the issuance and securitization of subprime mortgages; their rating as AA or AAA; and previously their concentration on the balance sheets (and off the balance sheets) of many commercial and investment (...)
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  34. Jeffrey Friedman (2007). Ignorance as a Starting Point: From Modest Epistemology to Realistic Political Theory. Critical Review 19 (1):1-22.
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  35. Axel Gelfert (2011). Who is an Epistemic Peer? Logos and Episteme 2 (4):507-514.
    Contemporary epistemology of peer disagreement has largely focused on our immediate normative response to prima facie instances of disagreement. Whereas some philosophers demand that we should withhold judgment (or moderate our credences) in such cases, others argue that, unless new evidence becomes available, disagreement at best gives us reason to demote our interlocutor from his peer status. But what makes someone an epistemic peer in the first place? This question has not received the attention it deserves. I begin by surveying (...)
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  36. Alvin I. Goldman & Erik J. Olsson (2009). ``Reliabilism and the Value of Knowledge&Quot. In A. Haddock, A. Millar & D. H. Pritchard (eds.), Epistemic Value. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 19--41.
    It is a widely accepted doctrine in epistemology that knowledge has greater value than mere true belief. But although epistemologists regularly pay homage to this doctrine, evidence for it is shaky. Is it based on evidence that ordinary people on the street make evaluative comparisons of knowledge and true belief, and consistently rate the former ahead of the latter? Do they reveal such a preference by some sort of persistent choice behavior? Neither of these scenarios is observed. Rather, epistemologists come (...)
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  37. Thomas Gray (2008). Is Ignorance Bliss? Journal of Philosophy 105 (1):5-36.
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  38. Patrick Grim (1983). Two Roads to Ignorance. Review of Metaphysics 36 (4):953-954.
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  39. Bina Gupta (2012). Consciousness, Knowledge, and Ignorance: Prakasatman's Ellucidation of Five Parts. Columbia University Press.
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  40. Russell Hardin (2006). Ignorant Democracy. Critical Review 18 (1-3):179-195.
    The paradox of mass voting is not, generally speaking, matched by a paradoxical mass attempt to be politically well informed. As Converse underscored, most people are grossly politically ignorant—just as they would be if, as rational‐ignorance theory holds, they realized that their votes don't matter. Yet many millions of them contradict the theory by voting. This contradiction, and the illogical reasons people offer for voting, suggest that the logic of collective action does not come naturally to people . To equate (...)
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  41. Vincent F. Hendricks (2010). Knowledge Transmissibility and Pluralistic Ignorance: A First Stab. Metaphilosophy 41 (3):279-291.
    Abstract: Pluralistic ignorance is a nasty informational phenomenon widely studied in social psychology and theoretical economics. It revolves around conditions under which it is "legitimate" for everyone to remain ignorant. In formal epistemology there is enough machinery to model and resolve situations in which pluralistic ignorance may arise. Here is a simple first stab at recovering from pluralistic ignorance by means of knowledge transmissibility.
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  42. Ronald W. Hepburn, Nicolas Cusanus, Germain Heron & D. J. B. Hawkins (1955). Of Learned Ignorance. Philosophical Quarterly 5 (20):283.
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  43. Greg Hill (2006). Knowledge, Ignorance, and the Limits of the Price System: Reply to Friedman. Critical Review 18 (4):399-410.
    In ?Popper, Weber, and Hayek: The Epistemology and Politics of Ignorance,? Jeffrey Friedman argues that markets are superior to democratic institutions because the price system doesn't require people to make the kind of difficult counterfactual judgments that are necessary in order to evaluate public?policy alternatives. I contend that real?world markets require us to make all kinds of difficult counterfactual judgments, that the nature of these judgments limits the effectiveness of the price system in coordinating our activities, and that the market (...)
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  44. Greg Hill (2004). From Hayek to Keynes: G.L.S. Shackle and Ignorance of the Future. Critical Review 16 (1):53-79.
    Abstract G.L.S. Shackle stood at the historic crossroads where the economics of Hayek and Keynes met. Shackle fused these opposing lines of thought in a macroeconomic theory that draws Keynesian conclusions from Austrian premises. In Shackle's scheme of thought, the power to imagine alternative courses of action releases decision makers from the web of predictable causation. But the spontaneous and unpredictable choices that originate in the subjective and disparate orientations of individual agents deny us the possibility of (...)
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  45. Dennis Hirota (2011). Reply to Amos Yong's" Ignorance, Knowledge, and Omniscience". Buddhist-Christian Studies 31 (1):211-212.
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  46. Gerald Joseph Hughes (1970). Blaming for Actions Done in Ignorance. Dissertation, University of Michigan
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  47. Theorizing Ignorance (2007). Part I Theorizing Ignorance. In Shannon Sullivan Nancy Tuana (ed.), Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance. 11.
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  48. Amy Kind (2009). Is Ignorance Bliss? In Sandra Shapshay (ed.), Bioethics at the Movies. Johns Hopkins University Press. 121.
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  49. Pierre Le Morvan (forthcoming). On the Ignorance, Knowledge, and Nature of Propositions. Synthese:1-16.
    Deploying distinctions between ignorance of \ and ignorance that \ , and between knowledge of \ and knowledge that \ , I address a question that has hitherto received little attention, namely: what is it to have knowledge of propositions? I then provide a taxonomy of ontological conceptions of the nature of propositions, and explore several of their interesting epistemological implications.
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  50. Pierre Le Morvan (2013). Why the Standard View of Ignorance Prevails. Philosophia 41 (1):239-256.
    Rik Peels has forcefully argued that, contrary to what is widely held, ignorance is not equivalent to the lack or absence of knowledge. In doing so, he has argued against the Standard View of Ignorance according to which they are equivalent, and argued for what he calls “the New View” according to which ignorance is equivalent (merely) to the lack or absence of true belief. In this paper, I defend the Standard View against Peels’s latest case for the New View.
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