love of ignorance

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by sirgawain, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. sirgawain Senior Member

    madrid, spain
    english/usa - living in madrid
    If philosophy is the love of wisdom - according to the ancient Greek roots - is there an equivalent word in English or ancient Greek for the love of ignorance? Thanks for your help.
  2. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member


    μισοσοφία ("misosophy") would be an instantly obvious, and legitimate, coinage, certainly in classical, and I believe in modern, Greek. And in English too (cf. "misogyny", "misanthrope"). I would have no hesitation in using that word in English, but probably in an ironic context.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  3. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Happy New Year!
    Καλή χρονιά!
    +1 on misosophy.
    How about «Φιλαγνωσία»?
    «Φιλαγνωσία» Philagnosia = the love of ignorance
    adj. philagnostic
  4. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Καλὴ Χρονιἀ indeed!

    With all respect to apmoy70 (#3), who writes:

    I thought of that too. But the trouble is, at least for English speakers, that from the [γι]γν- root agnostic has a connotation altogether unsuitable for the OP's purposes, as "agnostic" in modern English refers to someone who thoughtfully espouses the idea that we cannot know whether God exists or not.
  5. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Ah, I see, haven't thought of that aspect. But then, how about the calque philignorance? it means the same without any reference to agnostic
    adj. philignorant
  6. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Μy sincere greetings once more

    Now apmoy (#5) offers:

    OK, I'm a Graeco-Latin pedant. I don't like these "calques" at all anyway. ("Television" is a baddie already, but we've lost that battle, not least because "telescope" already exists in a different sense.) But apart from the inherent hybrid ugliness of the word "philignorance", there would be a better, neater, Latinate term, nescientia. But what the OP is looking for is willful, determined ignorance, a posture of positive hostility to scholarship, artistic endeavour or thought.

    For this, I beg to submit, μισοσφἰα cannot be far wrong.

    I am of course open to any more suggestions.

  7. Perseas Senior Member

    Χρόνια πολλά σε όλους! Ευτυχισμένο και με υγεία το 2013!
    A happy new year to all!

    Actually, I have difficulty perceiving the image of a person who loves ignorance. We could maybe have one or two examples on that. Besides, γνώση (which is an opposite of άγνοια) and σοφία may overlay in some aspects but they are not synonym. Σοφία is deeper and exists in a higher level, whereas γνώση may refer even to the basic knowledge of the everyday life. Of course γνώση is a precondition for σοφία. So, are we looking for someone who hates γνώση or σοφία? Ι could accept the term "μισόσοφος" but only in an ironical use of speech, as has also been pointed out by Scholiast. For I cannot imagine how a person may love the knowledge and at the same time hate wisdom. Therefore I think we should direct our effort to a compound that contains perhaps words like "γνώση" or "άγνοια". How about "φιλάγνοια"?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  8. cougr Senior Member

    I think that misology (μισολογία) comes pretty close.
  9. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Greetings all

    Perseas writes:

    Amen to that. Be we Greek, Jewish, Christian or anything else, it is ignorance that compounds the idiocies of centuries.
  10. Acestor

    Acestor Senior Member

    Καλή χρονιά. Let me contribute with what I’ve found in the OED:

    misogrammatist [Gr. γράµµατα ‘letters’, pl. of γράµµα letter], a hater of letters or learning.
    a1661 Fuller Worthies, Suffolk (1662) iii. 68 Wat Tyler, who being a Misogrammatist (if a good Greek word may be given to so Barbarous a Rebel) hated every man that could write or read

    misosophist [cf. Gr. µῑσόσοϕος], a hater of wisdom; so misosophy, hatred of wisdom.
    1937 Philos. XII. 332 The disposition to be convinced of ill-founded or unfounded doctrines, or unconvinced of well-founded ones, is a ‘misosophical’ disposition.
    1890 Eng. Illustr. Mag. Nov. 130, I am a mysosophist! All wisdom is vanity, and I hate it!
    1820–30 Coleridge in Lit. Rem. (1838) III. 33 Schools of psilology… and misosophy are here out of the question. 1937 Philos. XII. 319 A fraternity of persons of kindred credulities could only constitute a school of ‘misosophy’.

    So, kudos to the Scholiast!
  11. Scholiast

    Scholiast Senior Member

    Thanks, Acestor (#10), for the information (and the kind remarks): I had no access to the full OED, and it is good to know that my instincts were, for once, not misplaced. I have to confess that I had not thought of μισογραμματἰστης.

    Kudos to Acestor too, therefore!

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