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Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance Paperback – May 12, 2008

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Anyone who thinks ignorance is nobodys business has a lot to learn from these provocative essays. The distinguished authors offer compelling evidence that what we do not know is every bit as much a product of human choice and ingenuity as what we choose to know. Agnotology rescues ignorance from the no-mans-land of unexamined social phenomena. It makes us ask what is at stake when we dont know things that are plainly before our eyes. This is a book for every thinking citizen."
—Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University


"In the past years there have been few new fields of research as timely as agnotology. Many a time one is puzzled by the widespread ignorance of some of the greatest challenges mankind faces today, be it global warming, the way to the Iraq war, or the global tobacco epidemic. Agnotology might very well be the tool to delve into the great black holes of modern knowledge and also find a way out." —Andrian Kreye, arts and ideas editor, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany

About the Author

Robert N. Proctor is Professor of the History of Science at Stanford University and the author of The Nazi War on Cancer (1999) and Cancer Wars: How Politics Shapes What We Know and Don't Know (1995). Londa Schiebinger is the John L. Hinds Professor of History of Science and the Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University. Her recent books include Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World (2004) and Gendered Innovations in Science and Engineering (forthcoming from Stanford).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press (May 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804759014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804759014
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
While epistemology is related to the creation and justification of knowledge, agnotology is the study of the mechanisms which lead to the lack of particular knowledge in different cultures. This book answers the question why we don't know, and still more important, why we don't know that we don't know. The book includes brilliant articles covering a relatively large period in history. This is an enormous contribution to a little studied, but exciting, field.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a 5 star book. It would have a five star rating if not for a couple of people suffering from their own brand of ignorance. The Bartolo 2 star critique is one of complaint about form or language. As one of the college professors of english that I had said "If you can talk to someone and they understand what you say you are using good language". This person's critique is "form over content" which is admitted to. The other 2 star critique by Carolast2013 is blatantly political. The quote from this critique "A small, politically-connected clique deliberately uses defective studies to falsely blame tobacco for diseases that are really caused by infection" is one of the reasons we need this book about IGNORANCE. Ayn Rand, the hero of the right wing, railed on the federal government saying that they had a conspiracy against the tobacco companies. She eventually died of lung cancer from her two pack a day habit. She ended up of Social Security & Medicare, two programs that she also railed on all her life. If you are interested
in the GOP war on science I suggest you read this book.
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This is not easy reading. The authors are from academic institutions and the vocabulary reflects this. I consider reading this very timely (GOP primaries) reading and will reserve final judgment when I finished the book.
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Format: Paperback
You always knew that vested interests made sure you got the story they wanted you to hear.Unfortunately,even more examples than you were aware of are out there.Here they are.This book is a good place to start if you want to be even more upset than you already are.
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who can resist a book about ignorance, sort of zen trip into scientific not knowing. the whole idea that what you don't know is more important that what you do is though-provoking.
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