Knowing and Not Knowing

“Whenever the ratio of what is known to what needs to be known approaches zero, we tend to invent ‘knowledge’ and assume that we understand more than we actually do. We seem unable to acknowledge that we simply don’t know.”

–David L. Rosenhan, “On Being Sane in Insane Places” (1973)

2 Comments

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2 Responses to Knowing and Not Knowing

  1. That happens to me all the time. As does the opposite.

  2. Dan

    Me, too. Though I’ve gotten better at saying “I don’t know” when I don’t. A related issue, very important if you’re in the business of finding things out: Once you have a fact or two in hands, being mindful of what you *don’t* know.

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