from Moral and Social Philosophy

Good news! Routledge has just published a volume, edited by Rik Peels, on a neglected topic in analytic philosophy: ignorance.

The book focuses on the moral and social dimensions of ignorance. Contributors address such issues as the relation between ignorance and deception, ignorance as a moral excuse, ignorance as a legal excuse, and the relation between ignorance and risk. In the moral realm, ignorance is sometimes considered as an excuse; responsibility seems to imply certain kinds of ignorance and exclude certain other kinds of ignorance; and one might wonder what one should do if one is ignorant which sources of normativity apply to one’s situation. Ignorance has certain social dimensions as well: it seems plausible that risk is partly to be explained in terms of ignorance; one might think that we bear collective responsibility to become ignorant of certain technological possibilities; and it is widely thought to constitute a legal excuse in certain circumstances. Together, these contributions provide a sustained inquiry into the nature of ignorance and the pivotal role it plays in the moral and social domains.


    1. Introduction by Rik Peels
    2. Ignorance, Alternative Possibilities, and the Epistemic Conditions for Responsibility by Carolina Sartorio
    3. Moral Incapacity and Moral Ignorance by Elinor Mason
    4. Justification, Excuse, and the Exculpatory Power of Ignorance by Marcia Baron
    5. Ignorance as a Moral Excuse by Michael Zimmerman
    6. Tracing Cases of Culpable Ignorance by Holly M. Smith
    7. Is Making People Ignorant as Bad as Deceiving Them? by Don Fallis
    8. Radical evaluative ignorance by Martin Peterson
    9. Living with Ignorance in a World of Experts by Alexander Guerrero
    10. Risk – Knowledge, Ignorance, and Values Combined by Sven Ove Hansson
    11. Ignorance as a Legal Excuse by Larry Alexander
    12. Ignorance, Technology and Collective Responsibility by Seumas Miller


The book is available via the Amazon shop.