(adj.); absence of knowledge or awareness; ignorance; from Late Latin ne (“not”) + sciential (“knowledge”)
“Prejudice is the child of ignorance.”
–William Hazlitt, from his essay “On Prejudice.”
There is any number of cliches to draw upon when describing ignorance. It is bliss; it is strength; it is not a crime; it is the enemy of knowledge; it is an excuse; it is not an excuse. Goethe wrote that there is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action. John Lennon sang that living is easy with eyes closed. This week, Dominic Green writes a lively piece for the Atlantic investigating the topic of Enlightenment: of great overturnings of human ignorance, of discovery and advancement of knowledge, and the underlying trouble with Enlightenment with a capital E. Brimming with colorful quotes and drawing from a vast literature of history and culture, Green investigates what it means to be “enlightened” in the modern world, and the necessity of creating our own enlightenment.