Synthese:1-16 (forthcoming)

The Dunning–Kruger effect focuses our attention on the notion of invisibility of ignorance, i.e., the ignorance of ignorance. Such a phenomenon is not only important for everyday life, but also, above all, for some philosophical disciplines, such as epistemology of sciences. When someone tries to understand formally the phenomenon of ignorance of ignorance, they usually end up with a nested epistemic operator highly resistant to proper regimentation. In this paper, we argue that to understand adequately the ignorance of ignorance phenomenon we have to understand satisfactorily the concept of disbelief and, as we call it, the concept of “radical ignorance”. We propose also prerequisites that a notion of radical ignorance useful for the philosophy of science ought to fulfill, and we sketch a possible formalization of this notion. Finally, we propose some comments on the problem of propagation of ignorance proposed by Fine.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-020-02681-5
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