Golubinskaya A.V. Motivated Ignorance as a Philosophical Category: Theoretical and Practical Potential

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2023.2.3

Anastasia V. Golubinskaya
Candidate of Sciences (Philosophy), Associate Professor, Department of Social Security and Humanitarian Technologies, Researcher, Laboratory of Social Anthropology, National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod
Prosp. Gagarina, 23, 603022 Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Federation
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Abstract. The article is devoted to the study of the consequential model of ignorance as an epistemic state of a non-expert subject. Ignorance remains one of the least developed and ambiguous categories in contemporary philosophy and theory of knowledge. Nevertheless, motivated ignorance as one of its forms can be found everywhere in everyday life, in particular, in healthcare, consumer behavior, political preferences, and most often in legal conceptions. Generalization of life situations of motivated ignorance makes it possible to detect its manifestations as a cognitive and socially determined phenomenon. The cognitive manifestation of motivated ignorance refers to the peculiarities of experiencing situations of uncertainty, the social one – to the consequences that come as a result of accepting the knowledge. The latter follows from philosophy of law and doctrine of ignorance and specifically intentional ignorance motivated by an attempt to manage risks. Combining the experience of philosophical and legal research of ignorance with agnotology, i.e. the study of the social production of ignorance, and the epistemology of ignorance, which examines the factors of distribution of knowledge in the social system, we find that in this case ignorance is not the absence of knowledge or the lack of process of cognition per se, but the conclusion of causal reasoning about the interaction with the social environment, the result of which is the onset of undesirable consequences. The research shows that the ignorance motivation can be determined by pragmatically, existentially, altruistically, doxastically justified statements that the subject adheres to, as well as the subjects desire to choose the simplest ways to solve problems. The article notes the perspective in which such studies of ignorance seem to be an effective way to deepen our understanding of the factors of acceptance of scientific knowledge by non-expert people, in particular the need to resist the strengthening of anti-scientific beliefs in society.
Key words: uncertainty, ignorance, motivated ignorance, intentional ignorance, unavoidable ignorance, agnotology, epistemology of ignorance, anti-scientific beliefs.

Citation. Golubinskaya A.V. Motivated Ignorance as a Philosophical Category: Theoretical and Practical Potential. Logos et Praxis, 2023, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 22-30. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2023.2.3


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