Hi! I just read the five-part series New York Times published about anosognosia (the condition of not knowing what we don't know), written by Errol Morris. Since finishing the series, my existential angst is off the charts! I am haunted by the unknown unknowns, by questions I don't even know to ask. This is driving me nuts!
So my question for the philosophers is: How do philosophers live with the great unknowable unknowns? Doesn't it drive you crazy that you don't even know that you don't know something? Does doing philosophy help anosognosia, or just make it worse?
Throw me a lifeline here, guys!
You’ve posed an interesting set of questions. Philosophers generally go to the primary sources when dealing with any question. In this case, the research begins with the word "anosognosia" and the NY Times series. We quickly discover that "anosognosia" is a compound word coming from the transliterated Greek "nosos" meaning disease and "gnosis" meaning knowledge. The conventional connotation (dictionary definition) is medical rather than either psychological or philosophical. A patient suffering from anosognosia suffers from a physical impairment that she or he does not acknowledge. The NY Times series begins with an entertaining story of a bank robber who believed that he would become invisible to surveillance cameras by rubbing his face with lemon juice! His arrest was a forgone conclusion. So what explains such irrational behavior? Enter psychology into the picture, specifically the so-called Dunning-Kruger Effect, meaning "our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence."...