Epistemology

Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance - download pdf or read online

By Robert N. Proctor

ISBN-10: 080475652X

ISBN-13: 9780804756525

ISBN-10: 9780804757

ISBN-13: 9789780804756

What do not we all know, and why do not we all know it? What retains lack of knowledge alive, or permits it for use as a political device? Agnotology—the examine of ignorance—provides a brand new theoretical point of view to expand conventional questions about ''how we know'' to invite: Why do not we all know what we do not comprehend? The essays assembled in Agnotology exhibit that lack of awareness is frequently greater than simply a scarcity of information; it will possibly even be the end result of cultural and political struggles. lack of knowledge has a background and a political geography, yet there also are issues humans don't desire you to understand (''Doubt is our product'' is the tobacco slogan). person chapters deal with examples from the nation-states of worldwide weather swap, army secrecy, girl orgasm, environmental denialism, local American paleontology, theoretical archaeology, racial lack of awareness, and extra. The target of this quantity is to raised know how and why quite a few sorts of understanding don't become, or have disappeared, or became invisible.

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O u r c o m m o n s e n s e picture m a y well be far t o o sanguine, even inverted. T h e closed w o r l d is not a small s t r o n g b o x in the corner of our collective house of codified and stored k n o w l e d g e . It is we in the open w o r l d — w e w h o study the w o r l d lodged in our libraries, from a a r d v a r k s to zymurgy, we w h o are living in a modest information b o o t h facing o u t w a r d , our unseeing backs to a vast and classified empire w e barely k n o w . O n e c a n trace the history of secrecy back to the ancient Babylonians through medieval l o n g b o w s and fin-de-siècle invisible ink, f r o m tightly guarded f o r m u l a e for Venetian g l a s s m a k i n g to the hidden p o u c h e s of diplomatic couriers.

Here some questions for further reflection: W h a t other kinds of w o r k does ignorance do? H o w else is it created, via w h a t other kinds of inat­ tention, disinterest, calculation, resistance, tradition, or distraction? A n d when does knowledge create ignorance? Wes Jackson has called the modern university " a n engine of distraction"; h o w does pursuit of certain kinds of k n o w l e d g e produce such "distractions"? Is ivory t o w e r reclusion re­ quired for certain kinds of k n o w l e d g e production?

19. Sissela Random House, B o k , Secrets: 20. M a r i o Biagoli, 1 2 (2002): 21. On the E t h i c s o f C o n c e a l m e n t a n d R e v e l a t i o n ( N e w York: 1990). "From Book C e n s o r s h i p t o A c a d e m i c Peer R e v i e w , " Emergences 11-45. W i l l i a m R . , Secrets o f N a t u r e : A s t r o l o g y a n d A l c h e m y i n E a r l y M o d e r n E u r o p e ( C a m b r i d g e , M A : M I T Press, 2 0 0 1 ) . 22. W . R . V a n M e t e r i n his " P u t t i n g F a l s e F a c e s o n F o r m u l a s " ( F o o d I n d u s t r i e s , O c t o b e r 1 9 4 1 , 4 1 - 4 2 ) advised food chemists to disguise valuable formulas "so that w o r k m e n do not g e t w i s e t o i t a n d c o m p e t i t o r s c a n n o t s t e a l it.

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


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