Full Belief and The Pursuit of Certainty

  • Michael Smithson
Part of the Cognitive Science book series (COGNITIVE SCIEN)


Without attempting a thoroughgoing survey of classical philosophy, some initial insights may be gained into Western intellectuals’ traditional orientations toward ignorance by briefly examining the varieties of ignorance referred to in classical philosophical literature. Every theory of knowledge draws a distinction between knowledge and ignorance, and most between ignorance in the sense of incomplete knowledge and ignorance in the sense of erroneous belief. The earliest forms of philosophy amount to various kinds of dogmatism or skepticism, both of which necessarily refer to and utilize ignorance. I will discuss dogmatism first.


Safety Factor Absolute Certainty Erroneous Belief Full Belief Witness Testimony 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Smithson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Behavioral SciencesJames Cook University of North QueenslandTownsvilleAustralia

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