Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance by Robert N. Proctor

By Robert N. Proctor

What do not we all know, and why do not we all know it? What retains lack of expertise alive, or permits it for use as a political tool? Agnotology—the research of ignorance—provides a brand new theoretical viewpoint to expand conventional questions on ''how we know'' to invite: Why do not we all know what we do not comprehend? The essays assembled in Agnotology convey that lack of understanding is frequently greater than simply a lack of information; it may well even be the end result of cultural and political struggles. lack of know-how has a heritage and a political geography, yet there also are issues humans don't need you to grasp (''Doubt is our product'' is the tobacco slogan). person chapters deal with examples from the nation-states of worldwide weather swap, army secrecy, woman orgasm, environmental denialism, local American paleontology, theoretical archaeology, racial lack of information, and extra. The objective of this quantity is to raised know the way and why a variety of sorts of understanding don't become, or have disappeared, or became invisible.

Show description

Read or Download Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance PDF

Best epistemology books

Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (Routledge Classics)

Conjectures and Refutations is one among Karl Popper's such a lot wide-ranging and well known works, striking not just for its acute perception into the best way clinical wisdom grows, but additionally for making use of these insights to politics and to historical past. It presents one of many clearest and such a lot available statements of the elemental concept that guided his paintings: not just our wisdom, yet our goals and our criteria, develop via an endless technique of trial and blunder.

Descartes on Seeing. Epistemology and Visual Perception

During this first book-length exam of the Cartesian idea of visible notion, Celia Wolf-Devine explores the numerous philosophical implications of Descartes’ thought, concluding that he eventually did not supply a totally mechanistic idea of visible notion. Wolf-Devine strains the advance of Descartes’ thought of visible belief opposed to the backdrop of the transition from Aristotelianism to the recent mechanistic science—the significant clinical paradigm shift occurring within the 17th century.

Constructive Empiricism: Epistemology and the Philosophy of Science

Positive empiricism isn't just a view concerning the goal of technological know-how; it's also a view in regards to the epistemological framework within which one may still debate the purpose of technology. this is often the point of interest of this ebook – no longer with medical fact, yet with how one may still argue approximately clinical fact.

Assessment Sensitivity: Relative Truth and its Applications

John MacFarlane debates how we would make experience of the concept that fact is relative, and the way we'd use this concept to offer gratifying bills of elements of our idea and speak that experience resisted conventional tools of study. even supposing there's a mammoth philosophical literature on relativism approximately fact, going again to Plato's Theaetetus, this literature (both seasoned and con) has tended to target refutations of the doctrine, or refutations of those refutations, on the rate of claiming sincerely what the doctrine is.

Additional resources for Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance

Example text

In other w o r d s , suppose we ask a b o u t the transmission of k n o w l e d g e not by asking the usual social studies of k n o w l e d g e question, " H o w does replication o c c u r ? " but instead by probing the staggeringly large effort de­ voted to impeding the transmission of knowledge. Already before America's entry into World War II, nuclear scientists began a self-imposed ban on pub­ lishing matters relating to nuclear fission. T h e effect w a s immediate: N a z i scientists spent the w a r struggling to moderate neutrons (slow them d o w n to the point where they were effective in causing fission) using heavy water (deuterium) rather than the vastly more useful graphite.

100 B C ) To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge. Nicolaus Copernicus ( 1 4 7 3 - 1 5 4 3 ) Ignorance of certain subjects is a great part of wisdom. Hugo De Groot (1583-1645) Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong. T h o m a s Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia ( 1 7 8 5 ) All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.

12 T h e real heart of a classification guide is the identification and enunciation of the specific items or elements of informa­ tion w a r r a n t i n g security protection. Regardless of the size or c o m p l e x i t y of the subject matter of the guide, or the level at w h i c h the classification guide is issued, certain identifiable features of the information create or contribute to actual or expected national security a d v a n t a g e . 13 Getting at those "special features or critical items of i n f o r m a t i o n " and tying them to the net national advantage is the primary task of the classi­ fier.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.58 of 5 – based on 50 votes