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Alternative forms[edit]


Coined by Irish linguist Iain Boal in 1992[1], deriving from the Neoclassical Greek word ἄγνωσις (ágnōsis, not knowing), compare ἄγνωτος (ágnōtos), and -λογία (-logía).


agnotology (uncountable)

  1. The study of culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.
    • 2005, Robert Proctor, Londa L. Schiebinger, Agnotology: the making and unmaking of ignorance, page 6:
      Our interest here, though, is less in remediation than in what Nancy Tuana has called the "liberatory moment"—which brings us to a more subtle form of agnatology
    • 2014, Philip Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go To Waste, page 225:
      Indeed, the think tanks and corporations that employ economists frequently explicitly seek to foster ignorance as part of their business plans: that is the postmodern phenomenon of agnotology.

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  1. ^ Robert Proctor (2008), “Agnotology: A Missing Term to Describe the Cultural Production of Ignorance (and Its Study)”, in Robert N. Proctor; Londa Schiebinger, editors, Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance[1], Stanford: Stanford University Press, →ISBN, →OCLC, page 27:
    My hope for devising a new term was to suggest the opposite, namely, the historicity and artifactuality of non-knowing and the non-known—and the potential fruitfulness of studying such things. In 1992, I posed this challenge to the linguist Iain Boal, and it was he who came up with the term agnotology, in the spring of that year.