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Belief and TruthA Skeptic Reading of Plato$
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Katja Maria Vogt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199916818

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199916818.001.0001

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What Is Ignorance? Plato on Presumed Knowledge, Wishful Thinking, and Not Understanding Your Own Thoughts

What Is Ignorance? Plato on Presumed Knowledge, Wishful Thinking, and Not Understanding Your Own Thoughts

Chapter:
(p.25) 1 What Is Ignorance? Plato on Presumed Knowledge, Wishful Thinking, and Not Understanding Your Own Thoughts
Source:
Belief and Truth
Author(s):

Katja Maria Vogt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199916818.003.0002

The chapter takes its starting point from an under-explored passage in the Philebus. According to this passage, ignorance involves thinking of oneself as richer, more beautiful, and wiser than one really is. It is argued that Socratically blameworthy ignorance is Transferred Ignorance: a cognizer thinks of herself as good in some way—an expert on something, generally smart, a person of importance, etc.—and is thereby mislead into unfounded knowledge-claims about important questions. The chapter discusses the Apology, the ignorance of Ion in Plato's Ion, and the extract from the Philebus mentioned above. It offers distinctions between different kinds of ignorance and explores intuitions relevant to the Socratic proposal that doxa is a kind of ignorance.

Keywords:   Ignorance, Apology, oracle, human wisdom, Ion, expertise, Philebus, self-knowledge

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