Southwest Philosophy Review 34 (1):49-57 (2018)

Authors
Deborah Heikes
University of Alabama, Huntsville
Abstract
“Ignorance” is receiving an increased amount of philosophical attention. The study of it even has its own name, “agnotology.” Some ignorance remains simply a case of not having enough information, but increasingly philosophers are recognizing a whole other type of ignorance, one that is socially constructed and often actively promoted. In the first section of this paper I examine perhaps the best known type of socially constructed ignorance, “white ignorance.” White ignorance reflects a lack of genuine understanding of the social realities of others and it creates injustice. In the second section of the paper, I consider what it means to “genuinely understand,” arguing that when it comes to issues of justice those with epistemic power have a moral obligation to at least attempt to understand others’ social realities.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0897-2346
DOI 10.5840/swphilreview20183415
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