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Harman, Elizabeth, , . Does moral ignorance exculpate?
2011, Ratio 24 (4):443-468.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Corbin Covington

Abstract: Non-moral ignorance can exculpate: if Anne spoons cyanide into Bill’s coffee, but thinks she is spooning sugar, then Anne may be blameless for poisoning Bill. Gideon Rosen argues that moral ignorance can also exculpate: if one does not believe that one’s action is wrong, and one has not mismanaged one’s beliefs, then one is blameless for acting wrongly. On his view, many apparently blameworthy actions are blameless. I discuss several objections to Rosen. I then propose an alternative view on which many agents who act wrongly are blameworthy despite believing they are acting morally permissibly, and despite not having mismanaged their moral beliefs.1

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Hoagland, Sarah Lucia, , . Denying Relationality: Epistemology and Ethics and Ignorance
2007,
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Contributed by:

Summary: In this chapter, the author argues that epistemological and ethical practices of ignorance are strategic and involve a strategic denial of relationality, namely, of the way in which subjects are formed through relation with each other.

Comment: Good as a further reading for a course on epistemology of ignorance.
[This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Luis Oliveira, , . Skeptical Theism and the Paradox of Evil
2019, Australasian Journal of Philosophy
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Luis Oliveira

Abstract: Given plausible assumptions about the nature of evidence and undercutting defeat, many believe that the force of the evidential problem of evil depends on sceptical theism being false: if evil is evidence against God, then seeing no justifying reason for some particular instance of evil must be evidence for it truly being pointless. I think this dialectic is mistaken. In this paper, after drawing a lesson about fallibility and induction from the preface paradox, I argue that the force of the evidential problem of evil is compatible with sceptical theism being true. More exactly, I argue that the collection of apparently pointless evil in the world provides strong evidence for there being truly pointless evil, despite the fact that seeing no justifying reason for some particular instance of evil is no evidence whatsoever for it truly being pointless. I call this result the paradox of evil.

Comment: This is a good piece for a class discussing the problem of evil. The progression of instruction on this topic typically proceeds through the logical problem of evil, then the free will defense as a response, then the inductive problem of evil, then skeptical theism as a response. This paper continues the discussion past that typical end point.

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Martin Alcoff, Linda, , . Epistemologies of Ignorance: Three types
2007, in Shannon Sullivan and Nancy Tuana, Race and Epistemologies of Ignorance, Albany, NY: SUNY Press.
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Added by: Giada Fratantonio, Nick Novelli, Contributed by:

Summary: In this chapter, the author considers three main arguments for the epistemology of ignorance, where this thinks of ignorance not as being a feature of a neglectful epistemic practice, yet as being a substantive epistemic practice itself. The author considers the relationship between these three different arguments that, although differing in the way they present the nature of ignorance, she takes to be jointly compatible. In conclusion, she argues that ignorance is not only a problem related to the justificatory practice, yet also to the ontology of truth.

Comment: Alcoff’s essay provides a taxonomy of different types of ignorance, and argues that our current epistemology is not adequate to deal with it. This essay would be good as background reading for an epistemology course focusing on the topic of the epistemology of ignorance, since it provides a good overview and explanation of the problems that need to be resolved. Due to its focus on the social and political causes of ignorance, it could also be used as further reading for social epistemology.

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Sullivan, Shannon, Nancy Tuana (eds), . Race and the Epistemologies of Ignorance
2007, State University of New York Press
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Yoko Arisaka

Publisher’s Note: Offering a wide variety of philosophical approaches to the neglected philosophical problem of ignorance, this groundbreaking collection builds on Charles Mills’s claim that racism involves an inverted epistemology, an epistemology of ignorance. Contributors explore how different forms of ignorance linked to race are produced and sustained and what role they play in promoting racism and white privilege. They argue that the ignorance that underpins racism is not a simple gap in knowledge, the accidental result of an epistemological oversight. In the case of racial oppression, ignorance often is actively produced for purposes of domination and exploitation. But as these essays demonstrate, ignorance is not simply a tool of oppression wielded by the powerful. It can also be a strategy for survival, an important tool for people of color to wield against white privilege and white supremacy. The book concludes that understanding ignorance and the politics of such ignorance should be a key element of epistemological and social/political analyses, for it has the potential to reveal the role of power in the construction of what is known and provide a lens for the political values at work in knowledge practices.

“This anthology brings together some very prominent philosophers to address one of the most embarrassing and blatantly ignored elephants in philosophy: ignorance. While philosophers claim to be children of Socrates, who alone was virtuous and courageous enough to recognize the fecundity of ignorance, few have really addressed it with the verve and originality displayed in the contributions to this volume. I consider it a must-have for libraries, faculty, and graduate students.” — Eduardo Mendieta, editor of The Frankfurt School on Religion: Key Writings by the Major Thinkers

Contributors include Linda Martín Alcoff, Alison Bailey, Robert Bernasconi, Lorraine Code, Harvey Cormier, Stephanie Malia Fullerton, Sarah Lucia Hoagland, Frank Margonis, Charles W. Mills, Lucius T. Outlaw (Jr.), Elizabeth V. Spelman, Shannon Sullivan, Paul C. Taylor, and Nancy Tuana.

Comment: Different chapters can be used as a reading material on situated epistemology, philosophy of race, production of knowledge

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