Negative expertise in the conditions of manufactured ignorance : Epistemic strategies, virtues, and skills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper is motivated by the need to respond to the spread of influential misinfor- mation and manufactured ignorance, which places pressure on the work of experts in various sectors. To meet this need, the paper discusses the conditions required for expert testimony to evolve a reconceptualisation of negative capability as a new form of epistemic humility. In this regard, professional knowledge formation is not considered to be separate from the institutional and social processes and values that uphold its production. Drawing attention to the structural and relational aspects of ignorance, as opposed to the individualistic and internal aspects, we rely on the soci- ology of knowledge, the social epistemologies and the feminist epistemologies that have played a fundamental role in the development of the investigation of ignorance. First, we analyse the criteria for epistemic humility based on prior theoretical discus- sions concerning negative knowledge as a form of reflective practice. Then, we seek to determine what kinds of strategies, virtues and skills experts need to have so as to ‘manage ignorance’ in socially complex situations. Finally, we suggest the reformu- lation of negative expertise as a phronetic skill for navigating through situations of ignorance and uncertainty in an epistemically and socially responsible manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3873–3891
Number of pages19
Issue number198
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Agnotology
  • Epistemic strategies
  • Epistemic virtues and vices
  • Manufactured ignorance
  • Negative expertise
  • agnotologia
  • episteemiset hyveet ja paheet
  • episteemiset strategiat
  • negatiivinen asiantuntijuus
  • tuotettu tietämättömyys

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


Dive into the research topics of 'Negative expertise in the conditions of manufactured ignorance : Epistemic strategies, virtues, and skills'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this