Excerpt About Knowing
Learned IgnoranceThe first kind is called learned ignorance. It can also be referred to as developed ignorance or accumulated ignorance. Sometimes the term conceptual ignorance is used, which means that as our mind develops and we acquire the capacity to conceptualize, we develop a certain kind of ignorance that is specifically human. Generally speaking, animals and other beings don’t have that type of ignorance, because it is something that you have to learn in order for it to develop. Usually this ignorance develops as knowledge. That is to say, much of our knowledge about ourselves and about the world is actually learned ignorance. It is ignorant because it is simply wrong; it does not reflect how reality is. We have all kinds of beliefs and ideas about reality that are not true. We have positions and philosophies and ideologies about ourselves, about how things work, and about what makes things happen, and many of these are inaccurate. Of course, it is difficult to see this as ignorance, because it is what we know, it is what we take to be our knowledge.