Much of the time, we talk as though there is only knowledge and its absence with no in- between. But none of us has much experience with either pure ignorance (which would imply an absence of experience too at any rate) or pure knowledge. We spend most (if not all) of time in the hazy mental space between ignorance and knowledge, a space Plato calls doxa, which is usually translated as “opinion.” Doxa is an intermediate between ignorance and knowledge. From the side of greater knowledge it looks like ignorance and from the side of lesser ignorance it looks like knowledge. But to understand Plato’s notion of doxa, it is important to understand that it participates in both sides of the ignorance/knowledge distinction. To hold an opinion is to intend the truth, but to remain still in ignorance. Even “true belief” conceals ignorance; even false belief harbors truth.
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