A defense of ignorance

its value for knowers and roles in feminist and social epistemologies

Cynthia Townley

Research output: Book/ReportBook


A Defense of Ignorance develops new ideas in feminist epistemology by exploring diverse and sometimes positive roles for ignorance. Cynthia Townley argues that epistemic values cannot simply be reduced to the value of increasing knowledge and that ignorance is not merely inescapable for epistemic agents, but, rather, is valuable. Townley shows that ignorance-friendly epistemology offers a better descriptive and normative account of human epistemic practices. This interpretation challenges the traditional assumption that increasing knowledge is the definitive epistemic goal. The book makes a major contribution to revisionary epistemology and to the expanding fields of social epistemology and feminist epistemology. All social scientists stand to benefit from Townley's analysis, most of all those interested in knowledge and in feminist scholarship.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLanham, Md.
PublisherLexington Books
Number of pages127
ISBN (Print)9780739151051
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Feminist theory
  • Ignorance (Theory of knowledge)
  • Social epistemology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A defense of ignorance: its value for knowers and roles in feminist and social epistemologies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this