Ignorance: Everything You Need to Know about Not Knowing

Ignorance: Everything You Need to Know about Not Knowing

by Robert Graef


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Ignorance: Everything You Need to Know about Not Knowing by Robert Graef

Sums up the many fields of study where ignorance can undermine our understanding, while showing how an awareness of ignorance can lead to exploration and the discovery of new knowledge.

The flip side of knowledge is ignorance. This book explores the vast scope of ignorance, even in an age when we think we know more than ever before. By marking off this ocean of ignorance into manageable categories, the author provides a kind of navigational chart to the unknown, and a series of red flags to all those who claim certitude.

The book first lays out the many branches of ignorance—in education, the media, politics, religion, science, and other major institutions. It then assesses the costs and consequences of that ignorance. World conflicts, endemic poverty, environmental damage, waste, racism, and the manipulative forces of industry and politics that use propaganda to manipulate the public may all be seen as rooted in ignorance.

But there are positive aspects of ignorance as well. Scientists and artists, by recognizing what they don't know, are spurred on to new creative approaches and discoveries, which would never be found by those too comfortable with the tried and true.

The author cites Socrates, whom the Delphic Oracle declared to be the wisest of all people simply because he realized how much he didn't know. This book gives you ways to follow in the path that Socrates forged, to counter the closed minds whose false sense of certainty cannot help but distort reality, and to be better prepared to take on even the most serious challenges of today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633883215
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication date: 12/12/2017
Pages: 351
Sales rank: 547,152
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Robert Graef is a retired journalist, school teacher, and businessman, who continues to be active in civic projects in Washington State. He is the author of four previous books and more than six hundred articles published in newspapers and periodicals.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7

Introduction 9

Chapter 1 What Is Ignorance? 17

Chapter 2 The Size of Personal Universes 31

Chapter 3 Who Controls Knowledge? 51

Chapter 4 The Scope of Ignorance 65

Chapter 5 The Many Branches of Ignorance 81

Chapter 6 Ignorors and Ignorees 91

Chapter 7 Anti-Intellectualism 105

Chapter 8 Ignorance in Education 125

Chapter 9 Ignorance in the Media 153

Chapter 10 Ignorance in Politics 173

Chapter 11 Institutional Ignorance 195

Chapter 12 Faith, Science, and Ignorance 215

Chapter 13 Propaganda 235

Chapter 14 Costs and Consequences of Ignorance 257

Chapter 15 Working from and with Ignorance 275

Conclusions 285

Appendix: Explanation of Terms 293

Notes 305

References 333

Index 341

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