SATS 20 (2):141-173 (2020)

Authors
Ilhan Inan
Koc University
Abstract
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 of an unknown is enabled by forming linguistic expressions whose content is grasped, but whose referent is unknown. I provide a neo-Fregean, a neo-Russellian, and then a unified account of this. On that basis, I then argue further that the content of ignorance can always be captured by a question. I then distinguish between propositional ignorance and non-propositional ignorance and argue that propositional ignorance attributions can be of three types, that-ignorance, whether-ignorance, and fact-ignorance. I conclude by arguing that the acquisition of truths, even when it yields knowledge that is certain, does not always eliminate one’s ignorance and that there is a degree of ignorance in almost everything we claim to know.
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DOI 10.1515/sats-2020-2004
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References found in this work BETA

Origins of Objectivity.Tyler Burge - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 2005 - Mind 114 (456):873 - 887.
Über Sinn und Bedeutung.Gottlob Frege - 1892 - Zeitschrift für Philosophie Und Philosophische Kritik 100 (1):25-50.
Towards a Causal Theory of Linguistic Representation.Dennis W. Stampe - 1977 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 2 (1):42-63.

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