Ignorance

Edited by Christopher Michael Cloos (University of California at Santa Barbara)
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  1. Ignorance and Incompetence.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - 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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  2. The Leaning Tower of PISA: Fundamental Problems in Ignorance-Based Theories of State Autonomy.Daniel Carpenter - forthcoming - Critical Review.
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  3. The Priority of the Epistemic.Parker Crutchfield & Scott Scheall - forthcoming - Episteme.
    Epistemic burdens – the nature and extent of our ignorance (that and how) with respect to various courses of action – serve to determine our incentive structures. Courses of action that seem to bear impossibly heavy epistemic burdens are typically not counted as options in an actor’s menu, while courses of action that seem to bear comparatively heavy epistemic burdens are systematically discounted in an actor’s menu relative to options that appear less epistemically burdensome. That ignorance serves to determine what (...)
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  4. Inscrutable Processes: Algorithms, Agency, and Divisions of Deliberative Labour.Marinus Ferreira - forthcoming - Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    As the use of algorithmic decision‐making becomes more commonplace, so too does the worry that these algorithms are often inscrutable and our use of them is a threat to our agency. Since we do not understand why an inscrutable process recommends one option over another, we lose our ability to judge whether the guidance is appropriate and are vulnerable to being led astray. In response, I claim that guidance being inscrutable does not automatically make its guidance inappropriate. This phenomenon is (...)
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  5. Confronting White Ignorance: White Psychology and Rational Self‐Regulation.Trip Glazer & Nabina Liebow - forthcoming - Journal of Social Philosophy.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  6. Concomitant Ignorance Excuses From Moral Responsibility.Robert J. Hartman - forthcoming - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.
    Some philosophers contend that concomitant ignorance preserves moral responsibility for wrongdoing. An agent is concomitantly ignorant with respect to wrongdoing if and only if her ignorance is non-culpable, but she would freely have performed the same action if she were not ignorant. I, however, argue that concomitant ignorance excuses. I show that leading accounts of moral responsibility imply that concomitant ignorance excuses, and I debunk the view that concomitant ignorance preserves moral responsibility.
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  7. A Logic for Factive Ignorance.Ekaterina Kubyshkina & Mattia Petrolo - forthcoming - Synthese:1-12.
    In the current debate there are two epistemological approaches to the definition of ignorance: the Standard View and the New View. The former defines ignorance simply as not knowing, while the latter defines it as the absence of true belief. One of the main differences between these two positions lies in rejecting (Standard View) or in accepting (New View) the factivity of ignorance, i.e., if an agent is ignorant of φ, then φ is true. In the present article, we first (...)
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  8. Autolycus: The Ignorance Factory.J. E. Lendon - forthcoming - Arion.
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  9. Disvalue of Ignorance.Anne Meylan - forthcoming - Grazer Philosophische Studien.
    It is commonly accepted – not only in the philosophical literature but also in daily life – that ignorance is a failure of some sort. As a result, a desideratum of any ontological account of ignorance is that it must be able to explain why there is something wrong with being ignorant of a true proposition. This article shows two things. First, two influential accounts of ignorance – the Knowledge Account and the True Belief Account – do not satisfy this (...)
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  10. Bias.Daniel Moseley - forthcoming - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Malden, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    Following Kahneman and Tversky, I examine the term ‘bias’ as it is used to refer to systematic errors. Given the central role of error in this understanding of bias, it is helpful to consider what it is to err and to distinguish different kinds of error. I identify two main kinds of error, examine ethical issues that pertain to the relation of these types of error, and explain their moral significance. Next, I provide a four-level explanatory framework for understanding biases: (...)
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  11. Suspending is Believing.Thomas Raleigh - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    A good account of the agnostic attitude of Suspending Judgement should explain how it can be rendered more or less rational/justified according to the state of one's evidence – and one's relation to that evidence. I argue that the attitude of suspending judgement whether p constitutively involves having a belief; roughly, a belief that one cannot yet tell whether or not p. I show that a theory of suspending that treats it as a sui generis attitude, wholly distinct from belief, (...)
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  12. Postcolonial and Decolonial Feminisms.Elena Ruíz - forthcoming - In The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Philosophy.
    In recent years postcolonial and decolonial feminisms have become increasingly salient in philosophy, yet they are often deployed as conceptual stand-ins for generalized feminist critiques of eurocentrism (without reference to the material contexts anti-colonial feminisms emanate from), or as a platform to re-center internal debates between dominant European theories/ists under the guise of being conceptually ‘decolonized’. By contrast, this article focuses on the specific contexts, issues and lifeworld concerns that ground anti-colonial feminisms and provides a brief survey of the literature. (...)
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  13. The Epistemic Condition.Jan Willem Wieland - forthcoming - In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility - The Epistemic Condition. Oxford University Press.
    This introduction provides an overview of the current state of the debate on the epistemic condition of moral responsibility. In sect. 1, we discuss the main concepts ‘ignorance’ and ‘responsibility’. In sect. 2, we ask why agents should inform themselves. In sect. 3, we describe what we take to be the core agreement among main participants in the debate. In sect. 4, we explain how this agreement invites a regress argument with a revisionist implication. In sect. 5, we provide an (...)
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  14. Surprising Suspensions: The Epistemic Value of Being Ignorant.Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2021 - Dissertation, Rutgers University - New Brunswick
    Knowledge is good, ignorance is bad. So it seems, anyway. But in this dissertation, I argue that some ignorance is epistemically valuable. Sometimes, we should suspend judgment even though by believing we would achieve knowledge. In this apology for ignorance (ignorance, that is, of a certain kind), I defend the following four theses: 1) Sometimes, we should continue inquiry in ignorance, even though we are in a position to know the answer, in order to achieve more than mere knowledge (e.g. (...)
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  15. Epistemic Burdens, Moral Intimacy, and Surrogate Decision Making.Parker Crutchfield & Scott Scheall - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (2):59-61.
    Berger (forthcoming) states that moral intimacy is important in applying the best interests standard. But what he calls moral intimacy requires that someone has overcome epistemic burdens needed to represent the patient. We argue elsewhere that good surrogate decision-making is first and foremost a matter of overcoming epistemic burdens, or those obstacles that stand in the way of a surrogate decision-maker knowing what a patient wants and how to satisfy those preferences. Berger’s notion of moral intimacy depends on epistemic intimacy: (...)
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  16. A Profound Ignorance: Modern Pneumatology and Its Anti‐Modern Redemption by EphraimRadner (Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019), Ix + 453 Pp. [REVIEW]Amy J. Erickson - 2020 - Modern Theology 36 (4):919-922.
  17. Awareness of Ignorance.İlhan İnan - 2020 - SATS 20 (2):141-173.
    Despite the recent increase in interest in philosophy about ignorance, little attention has been paid to the question of what makes it possible for a being to become aware of their own ignorance. In this paper, I try to provide such an account by arguing that, for a being to become aware of their own ignorance, they must have the mental capacity to represent something as being unknown to them. For normal adult humans who have mastered a language, mental representation (...)
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  18. Normative Ignorance: A Critical Connection Between the Insanity and Mistake of Law Defenses.Ken Levy - 2020 - Florida State University Law Review 47:411-443.
    This Article falls into three general parts. The first part starts with an important question: is the insanity defense constitutionally required? The United States Supreme Court will finally try to answer this question next term in the case of Kahler v. Kansas. -/- I say “finally” because the Court refused to answer this question in 2012 when it denied certiorari to an appeal brought by John Joseph Delling, a severely mentally ill defendant who was sentenced to life in prison three (...)
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  19. Friedman on Suspended Judgment.Michal Masny - 2020 - Synthese 197 (11):5009-5026.
    In a recent series of papers, Jane Friedman argues that suspended judgment is a sui generis first-order attitude, with a question as its content. In this paper, I offer a critique of Friedman’s project. I begin by responding to her arguments against reductive higher-order propositional accounts of suspended judgment, and thus undercut the negative case for her own view. Further, I raise worries about the details of her positive account, and in particular about her claim that one suspends judgment about (...)
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  20. Sceptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):319-333.
    Given plausible assumptions about the nature of evidence and undercutting defeat, many believe that the force of the evidential problem of evil depends on sceptical theism’s being false: if evil is...
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  21. Egoism and humanism.Andrej Poleev - 2020 - Enzymes 18.
    В противостоянии эгоизма и гуманизма лишь „возделывание души“ может предотвратить всеобщее падение в пропасть безумия и мракобесия.
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  22. “Many People Are Saying…”: Applying the Lessons of Naïve Skepticism to the Fight Against Fake News and Other “Total Bullshit”.Jake Wright - 2020 - Postdigital Science and Education 2 (1):113-131.
    ‘Fake news’ has become an increasingly common refrain in public discourse, though the term itself has several uses, at least one of which constitutes Frankfurtian bullshit. After examining what sorts of fake news appeals do and do not count as bullshit, I discuss strategies for overcoming our openness to such bullshit. I do so by drawing a parallel between openness to bullshit and naïve skepticism—one’s willingness to reject the concept of truth on unsupported or ill-considered grounds—and suggest that this parallel (...)
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  23. Anti-Theism, Pro-Theism, and Gratuitous Evil.Kirk Lougheed - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (2):355-369.
    Ebrahim Azadegan recently argues that personal anti-theism, the view that it’s rational for a particular individual to prefer that God not exist, is a form of gratuitous evil. He justifies this evil by arguing that the anti-theist is uniquely positioned to bargain, implore, and plea to God. I argue that Azadegan faces a paradox. Once the anti-theist recognizes that God plus anti-theism makes the world better, she should convert to pro-theism. But then there can be no reflective anti-theists who could (...)
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  24. Credences and Suspended Judgments as Transitional Attitudes.Julia Staffel - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):281-294.
    In this paper, I highlight an interesting difference between belief on the one hand, and suspended judgment and credence on the other hand. This difference is the following: credences and suspended judgments are suitable to serve as transitional as well as terminal attitudes in our reasoning, whereas beliefs are only appropriate as terminal attitudes. The notion of a transitional attitude is not an established one in the literature, but I argue that introducing it helps us better understand the different roles (...)
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  25. Culpable Ignorance in a Collective Setting.Säde Hormio - 2018 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 94:7-34.
    This paper explores types of organisational ignorance and ways in which organisational practices can affect the knowledge we have about the causes and effects of our actions. I will argue that because knowledge and information are not evenly distributed within an organisation, sometimes organisational design alone can create individual ignorance. I will also show that sometimes the act that creates conditions for culpable ignorance takes place at the collective level. This suggests that quality of will of an agent is not (...)
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  26. Does Non-Moral Ignorance Exculpate? Situational Awareness and Attributions of Blame and Forgiveness.Alicia Kissinger-Knox, Patrick Aragon & Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (2):161-179.
    In this paper, we set out to test empirically an idea that many philosophers find intuitive, namely that non-moral ignorance can exculpate. Many philosophers find it intuitive that moral agents are responsible only if they know the particular facts surrounding their action. Our results show that whether moral agents are aware of the facts surrounding their action does have an effect on people’s attributions of blame, regardless of the consequences or side effects of the agent’s actions. In general, it was (...)
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  27. Science et Territoires de l’ignorance.Mathias Girel - 2017 - 78000 Versailles, France: Quae.
    L’ignorance peut être autre chose que la pure absence de savoir ou que le simple fait d’être privé de connaissances possédées par d’autres : elle peut être domptée, elle peut aussi être produite. Quels sont les variétés et les modes de l’ignorance, et pourquoi est-il essentiel d’en tenir compte dans les débats environnementaux et sanitaires ? Lorsqu’elle est « produite », comme l’estiment certains, comment l’est-elle ? L’ouvrage répond à ces questions et, au-delà de l’opposition tranchée entre l’ignorance conçue comme (...)
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  28. Criticism and Blame in Action and Assertion.Christoph Kelp & Mona Simion - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (2):76-93.
    In this paper, we develop a general normative framework for criticisability, blamelessness and blameworthiness in action. We then turn to the debate on norms of assertion. We show that an application of this framework enables champions of the so-called knowledge rule of assertion to offer a theoretically motivated response to a number of putative counterexamples in terms of blamelessness. Finally, we argue that, on closer inspection, the putative counterexamples serve to confirm the knowledge rule and disconfirm rival views.
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  29. Vice, Blameworthiness and Cultural Ignorance.Elinor Mason & Alan T. Wilson - 2017 - In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility: The Epistemic Condition. Oxford University Press. pp. 82-100.
    Many have assumed that widespread cultural ignorance exculpates those who are involved in otherwise morally problematic practices, such as the ancient slaveholders, 1950s sexists or contemporary meat eaters. In this paper we argue that ignorance can be culpable even in situations of widespread cultural ignorance. However, it is not usually culpable due to a previous self-conscious act of wrongdoing. Nor can we always use the standard attributionist account of such cases on which the acts done in ignorance can nonetheless display (...)
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  30. Responsibility - The Epistemic Condition.Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers have long agreed that moral responsibility might not only have a freedom condition, but also an epistemic condition. Moral responsibility and knowledge interact, but the question is exactly how. Ignorance might constitute an excuse, but the question is exactly when. Surprisingly enough, the epistemic condition has only recently attracted the attention of scholars, and it is high time for a full volume on the topic. The chapters in this volume address the following central questions. Does the epistemic condition require (...)
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  31. A Thoroughly Modern Wager.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - Logos and Episteme 8 (2):207-231.
    This paper presents a corrected version of Pascal's wager that makes it consonant with modern decision theory. The corrected wager shows that not committing to God's existence is the rational choice.
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  32. Responsibility for Strategic Ignorance.Jan Wieland - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4477-4497.
    Strategic ignorance is a widespread phenomenon. In a laboratory setting, many participants avoid learning information about the consequences of their behaviour in order to act egoistically. In real life, many consumers avoid information about their purchases or the working conditions in which they were produced in order to retain their lifestyle. The question is whether agents are blameworthy for such strategically ignorant behaviour. In this paper, I explore quality of will resources, according to which agents are blameworthy, roughly, depending on (...)
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  33. Willful Ignorance.Jan Wieland - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (1):105-119.
    Michelle Moody-Adams suggests that “the main obstacle to moral progress in social practices is the tendency to widespread affected ignorance of what can and should already be known.” This explanation is promising, though to understand it we need to know what willful (affected, motivated, strategic) ignorance actually is. This paper presents a novel analysis of this concept, which builds upon Moody-Adams (1994) and is contrasted with a recent account by Lynch (2016).
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  34. What's Special About Moral Ignorance?Jan Willem Wieland - 2017 - Ratio 30 (2).
    According to an influential view by Elizabeth Harman, moral ignorance, as opposed to factual ignorance, never excuses one from blame. In defense of this view, Harman appeals to the following considerations: that moral ignorance always implies a lack of good will, and that moral truth is always accessible. In this paper, I clearly distinguish these considerations, and present challenges to both. If my arguments are successful, sometimes moral ignorance excuses.
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  35. Relativism Defended.Howard Darmstadter - 2016 - Cogent Arts and Humanities 3:1-11.
    I argue for a type of relativism that allows different people to have conflicting accurate representations of the world. This is contrary to the view of most Anglo-American philosophers, who would, with Paul Boghossian in Fear of Knowledge, deny that “there are many radically different, yet ‘equally valid’ ways of knowing the world.” My argument is not a metaphysical argument about the ultimate nature of the outside world, but a psychological argument about the mental processes of representation. The argument starts (...)
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  36. Inan on Objectual and Propositional Ignorance.Erhan Demircioglu - 2016 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 16 (3):305-311.
    In this note, I would like to focus on the two central distinctions Inan draws between varieties of ignorance. One is the distinction between “objectual” and “propositional” ignorance, and the other is the distinction between “truth-ignorance” and “fact-ignorance,” which is a distinction between two types of propositional ignorance. According to Inan, appreciating these distinctions allow us to see what is wrong with the “received view,” according to which ignorance (or awareness of it) is “always about truth,” and enables us to (...)
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  37. Ignorance of Law: A Philosophical Inquiry.Douglas Husak - 2016 - Oxford University Press USA.
    This book argues that ignorance of law should usually be a complete excuse from criminal liability. It defends this conclusion by invoking two presumptions: first, the content of criminal law should conform to morality; second, mistakes of fact and mistakes of law should be treated symmetrically.
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  38. Beyond Rawls' Fiction: The Veil of Ignorance Is Real.Harold Anthony Lloyd - 2016 - Huffington Post.
    Brief thoughts on why Rawls' "fictional" veil of ignorance is in fact real and why social morals and self-interest thus converge.
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  39. Willful Ignorance and Self-Deception.Kevin Lynch - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):505-523.
    Willful ignorance is an important concept in criminal law and jurisprudence, though it has not received much discussion in philosophy. When it is mentioned, however, it is regularly assumed to be a kind of self-deception. In this article I will argue that self-deception and willful ignorance are distinct psychological kinds. First, some examples of willful ignorance are presented and discussed, and an analysis of the phenomenon is developed. Then it is shown that current theories of self-deception give no support to (...)
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  40. Aquinas and the Sins of Ignorance.Matthew R. McWhorter - 2016 - Nova et Vetera 14 (1):271-293.
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  41. On Refusing to Believe: Insensitivity and Self-Ignorance.José Medina - 2016 - In José María Ariso & Astrid Wagner (eds.), Rationality Reconsidered: Ortega y Gasset and Wittgenstein on Knowledge, Belief, and Practice. De Gruyter. pp. 187-200.
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  42. Ignorance Production and Corporate Science.Marilena Danelon - 2015 - Dissertation, Queen’s University
    This thesis is a philosophical exploration of “agnotology”, the study of ignorance or non-knowledge, and focuses on the production of ignorance for private interests. In particular, I argue that corporate science often deliberately produces ignorance in an effort to promote corporate interests. My thesis is structured into five chapters. In Chapter 1, I introduce agnotology and outline Robert N. Proctor’s three categories thereof: ignorance as native state, ignorance as selective choice, and ignorance as active construct. In Chapter 2, I present (...)
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  43. Inexpressible Ignorance.Shamik Dasgupta - 2015 - Philosophical Review 124 (4):441-480.
    Sometimes, ignorance is inexpressible. Lewis recognized this when he argued, in “Ramseyan Humility,” that we cannot know which property occupies which causal role. This peculiar state of ignorance arises in a number of other domains too, including ignorance about our position in space and the identities of individuals. In these cases, one does not know something, and yet one cannot give voice to one's ignorance in a certain way. But what does the ignorance in these cases consist in? This essay (...)
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  44. Forget and Forgive: A Practical Approach to Forgotten Evidence.Sinan Dogramaci - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2.
    We can make new progress on stalled debates in epistemology if we adopt a new practical approach, an approach concerned with the function served by epistemic evaluations. This paper illustrates how. I apply the practical approach to an important, unsolved problem: the problem of forgotten evidence. Section 1 describes the problem and why it is so challenging. Section 2 outlines and defends a general view about the function of epistemic evaluations. Section 3 then applies that view to solve the problem (...)
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  45. Well-Informed Ignorance.D. Innerarity - 2015 - Common Knowledge 21 (2):184-189.
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  46. Democracy, Voter Ignorance, and the Limits of Foot Voting.Matthew Landauer - 2015 - Critical Review 27 (3-4):338-349.
    ABSTRACTIn Democracy and Political Ignorance, Ilya Somin argues that the supposed informational advantages of “foot voting”—exercising exit options and making market-based choices—over voting at the ballot box tell in favor of decentralizing and limiting government. But the evidence Somin offers for the superiority of “foot voting,” based on an analysis of the politics of the Jim Crow-era South, is unpersuasive and internally inconsistent. Second, even if Somin is correct that foot voters have greater incentives to acquire information than ballot-box voters (...)
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  47. Does Rational Ignorance Imply Smaller Government, or Smarter Democratic Innovation?Melissa Lane - 2015 - Critical Review 27 (3-4):350-361.
    ABSTRACTIlya Somin argues that in light of the public's rational political ignorance we should make government smaller. But his account of the phenomenon of rational ignorance does not justify his policy prescription of smaller government; on the contrary, it implies that we should revamp the current framework of democratic institutions. This is because, since Somin fails to set out a principled basis on which to value democracy even in the face of rational ignorance, he cannot explain why we should want (...)
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  48. On the Ignorance, Knowledge, and Nature of Propositions.Pierre Le Morvan - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3647-3662.
    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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  49. An Eco-Cognitive Model of Ignorance Immunization.Lorenzo Magnani & Selene Arfini - 2015 - In Woosuk Park, Ping Li & Lorenzo Magnani (eds.), Philosophy and Cognitive Science Ii. Springer Verlag.
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  50. Tensions in Agnotology: Normativity in the Studies of Commercially Driven Ignorance.Fernandez Pinto Manuela - 2015 - Social Studies of Science 45 (2):294-315.
    As scientific research moves increasingly to the private sector, the social organization of science undergoes important transformations. Focusing on the production of ignorance, agnotology has been a fruitful approach to understanding the social and epistemic consequences of the recent commercialization of scientific research. Despite their important contributions, scholars working on agnotology seem to hold implicit normative commitments that are in tension with their descriptive accounts of ignorance-constructive practices. The main aim of this article is to uncover these commitments and to (...)
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