The development of social epistemology in recent decades is a welcome turn away from Cartesian individualism. But the centrality of oppression to societies in general is still insufficiently recognized in this literature. This chapter looks at “white ignorance” as an example of a particular kind of systemic group-based miscognition that has been hugely influential over the past few hundred years. After a ten-point clarification of the concept, it turns to an examination of white ignorance as it plays itself out in the complex interaction of Eurocentric perception and categorization, white normativity, social memory and social amnesia, the derogation of non-white testimony, racial group interests, and motivated irrationality.
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