Block course: The History and Politics of Ignorance

Social hierarchies between different groups influence our epistemic practices. How one is positioned in such hierarchies affects what one knows or remains ignorant about, whether one’s testimony is considered believable by others, and so on. This seminar takes an interdisciplinary approach, investigating the history of ignorance as well as its philosophical and political implications. It looks particularly at ignorance and epistemic injustice produced by hierarchies of race and gender, engaging with the work of Charles W. Mills, Patricia Hill Collins, and Miranda Fricker. The seminar’s aim is to offer insight into particular historical and contemporary examples of ignorance and take lessons from these for a philosophical and theoretical analysis, as well as applying philosophical tools of analysis to them. It extends the range of analysis by studying ignorance both as the lack of knowledge but also as a specific kind of knowledge, thereby opening up for an analysis of the power of ignorance, of being ignored or being ignorant.

Because the group of participants for this interdisciplinary course must include students from different faculties and disciplines, students from underrepresented faculties and disciplines will have priority.

Note that we are going to send out final confirmations regarding who got a spot in the course by 25 January at the latest. Please ignore the system-generated confirmations that are going to be sent to you on 22 January, as we might still have to make changes due to the representation requirement.





Gender Studies, Theologie, Philosophie, Recht


Universitäre Hochschulen (UH)