Volume 16, Issue 3, 2016
Symposium on Themes from Work of Ilhan Inan
Inan on Objectual and Propositional Ignorance
In this note, I would like to focus on the two central distinctions Inan draws between varieties of ignorance. One is the distinction between “objectual” and “propositional” ignorance, and the other is the distinction between “truth-ignorance” and “fact-ignorance,” which is a distinction between two types of propositional ignorance. According to Inan, appreciating these distinctions allow us to see what is wrong with the “received view,” according to which ignorance (or awareness of it) is “always about truth,” and enables us to “overcome our [philosophers’] propositional-bias.” I will argue for two theses. First, fact-ignorance appears to be a form of objectual ignorance; and, if this is so, there are no two distinctions but only one distinction that Inan in effect offers, which is between objectual and propositional ignorance. Second, what Inan calls “the received view” can raise some reasonable worries about objectual ignorance that are not taken into account by him.