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James Frederick Ferrier

A New USIH Sub-subspecialty: Agnotology (Or Is It Agnoiology)?

To this point, I have usually grouped the historical study of ignorance under the genus of Richard Hofstadter’s term, ‘anti-intellectualism’. Why? Because the term has been around for a long time—since 1909 according to the OED, or even 1821 if you accept a related noun. As such, it seemed easier think about purposed and accidental ignorance as species of the same genus—namely, the refusal to engage the real terms of a situation, whether concrete or abstract. One could resist or avoid intellectuals or ideas, but the result was the same: anti-thoughtfulness. This seemed close enough to anti-intellectualism to keep the Read more