Ignorant Cognition

A Philosophical Investigation of the Cognitive Features of Not-Knowing

  • Selene Arfini

Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 46)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Selene Arfini
    Pages 1-17
  3. The Fugitive Nature of Ignorance

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Selene Arfini
      Pages 21-32
    3. Selene Arfini
      Pages 33-51
  4. The Tenacity of Ignorance in Human Ampliative Reasoning

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 65-65
    2. Selene Arfini
      Pages 67-74
    3. Selene Arfini
      Pages 75-90
  5. The Social Diffusion of Ignorance

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 139-139
    2. Selene Arfini
      Pages 185-188
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 189-193

About this book


This book offers a comprehensive philosophical investigation of ignorance. Using a set of cognitive tools and models, it discusses features that can describe a state of ignorance if linked to a particular type of cognition affecting the agent’s social behavior, belief system, and inferential capacity. The author defines ignorance as a cognitive condition that can be either passively (and unconsciously) borne by an agent or actively nurtured by him or her, and a condition that entails epistemic limitations (which can be any lack of knowledge, belief, information or data) that affect the agent’s behavior, belief system, and inferential capacity.

The author subsequently describes the ephemeral nature of ignorance, its tenacity in the development of human inferential and cognitive performance, and the possibility of sharing ignorance among human agents within the social dimension. By combining previous frameworks such as the naturalization of logic, the eco-cognitive perspective in philosophy and concepts from Peircean epistemology, and adding original ideas derived from the author’s own research and reflections, the book develops a new cognitive framework to help understand the nature of ignorance and its influence on the human condition.


Cognitive Traits of Ignorance Cognitive Autoimmunity Epistemic Bubbles Ecocognitive Model Ignorance-based Reasoning Ignorance-based Mental Models Ignorance-sharing Cognitive Niches Abductive Reasoning Distribution of Ignorance Ignorance in Social Media Epistemology of Ignorance Ignorance Virtue Cognitive Virtues of Fallacies Ignorance in Information-sharing Ignorance Immunization

Authors and affiliations

  • Selene Arfini
    • 1
  1. 1.Computational Philosophy Laboratory, Department of Humanities, Philosophy SectionUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

Bibliographic information