Ignorance (from Latin ignorant) is the lack of knowledge in particular or of culture in general. The person who ignores something does not know it or does not understand it. For example: “Don’t talk to me about chemistry: my ignorance in this matter is absolute”, “Ignorance can only be fought with education”.
Ignorance, therefore, can be considered in absolute sense (the person or social group that lacks training: “There is a lot of ignorance in this country”, “It is convenient for the powerful that there is ignorance in the people: that way it is easier to subdue it”) or with respect to a concrete content (when someone does not know something certain: “I decided to take a course to end my ignorance about computing”).
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore the fact that the term in question is also widely used in the field of Law. Thus, in said sector with the aforementioned word an attempt is made to express that someone has absolute ignorance of the prevailing law. However, this cannot be alleged in a trial as an exhilarating cause since it is established that once the legislation is published, all citizens have to know about it.
In the philosophical field there is a Latin expression that makes use of the concept that we are now analyzing. It is specifically about Learned ignorantia, which is used to make it clear that the wise man maintains a very prudent attitude when addressing what is the limitation that exists on the faculties of knowledge or on the problems of the Universe.
The theologian Nicolás de Cusa, considered the father of German philosophy, was one of the historical figures who most made use of this Latin expression. But he was not the only one, since Saint Bonaventure or Saint Augustine also did the same.
Another of the most important philosophers in history who also dealt with the term ignorance with interest and depth was the Greek Plato. For him this ignorance was to blame for all the evils that plagued society at that time. Specifically, he considered that when someone did evil it was the palpable result of his lack of knowledge, of his ignorance.
Beyond the absence of knowledge, ignorance can also be given by the imperfection in the contents of knowledge or by the lack of validity of the information that is handled: “What ignorance! The neighbor is convinced that Rio de Janeiro is the capital of Chile “.
Ignorance, at a general level, is a tool for maintain the status quo. When people don’t know something, they can’t change it. In other words: first you have to know reality so that you can modify it.
Some cultural or religious beliefs are a reflection of ignorance. The person who decides to take his sick child to a sorcerer instead of a doctor reflects that he does not know the importance of health systems. He who does nothing to change his personal situation because he believes that everything obeys the divine will also shows his ignorance.