Things we do not know

Humans have an unwarranted high opinion of themselves. One opinion of which we are very proud is that we have both a good knowledge and a good understanding of the universe.

In the West, we had this firm belief in the time of the Greeks, in the Middle Ages, and of course today — all with somewhat different sets of understandings. There is small reason to believe that four hundred years from now we will have one more true understanding of the universe.

One thing that remains the same is our unshakable belief in our understanding. Our self-confidence in spite of the evidence to the contrary, must serve deep purposes in our nature. It takes many slights of mind to keep this opinion viable.

To say we do not understand is also to say we are ignorant. We can group our ignorances into:

  • Things right in front of use we do not know
  • Factual ignorance
  • Theoretical ignorance
  • Conceptual ignorance
  • Ignorance about our understandings

Don't confuse comprehension with understanding.

Do NOT overunderstand!

I am the wisest of the Greeks because I know I know nothing. - Socrates

"... I cannot hope to approach the truth unless I forsake the paths they [the Ancients] followed." - Rene Descartes, "The Passions of the Soul"

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