Ignorance and inquiry

Duncan Pritchard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


It is argued that the two main accounts of ignorance in the contemporary literature—in the terms of the lack of knowledge and the lack of true belief—are lacking in key respects. A new way of thinking about ignorance is offered that can accommodate the motivations for both of the standard views, but which in the process also avoids the problems that afflict these proposals. In short, this new account of ignorance incorporates the idea that ignorance essentially involves not just the absence of a certain epistemic good, but also an intellectual failing of inquiry. It is further contended that making sense of this normative dimension to ignorance requires one to situate one’s account of ignorance within a wider epistemic axiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Philosophical Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


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