Book ID: CBB416224457

The Madness of Knowledge: On Wisdom, Ignorance and Fantasies of Knowing (2019)


Connor, Steven (Author)

Reaktion Books

Publication Date: 2019
Physical Details: 384
Language: English

Many human beings have considered the powers and the limits of human knowledge, but few have wondered about the power that the idea of knowledge has over us. Steven Connor’s The Madness of Knowledge is the first book to investigate this emotional inner life of knowledge—the lusts, fantasies, dreams, and fears that the idea of knowing provokes. There are in-depth discussions of the imperious will to know, of Freud’s epistemophilia (or love of knowledge), and the curiously insistent links between madness, magical thinking, and the desire for knowledge. Connor also probes secrets and revelations, quarreling and the history of quizzes and “general knowledge,” charlatanry and pretension, both the violent disdain and the sanctification of the stupid, as well as the emotional investment in the spaces and places of knowledge, from the study to the library. In an age of artificial intelligence, alternative facts, and mistrust of truth, The Madness of Knowledge offers an opulent, enlarging, and sometimes unnerving psychopathology of intellectual life.

Reviewed By

Review Petteri Pietikainen (2020) Review of "The Madness of Knowledge: On Wisdom, Ignorance and Fantasies of Knowing". Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences (pp. 144-145). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Book Owen Whooley; (2019)
On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing (/isis/citation/CBB842410847/) unapi

Book Lee McIntyre; (2015)
Respecting Truth: Willful Ignorance in the Internet Age (/isis/citation/CBB216166370/) unapi

Multimedia Object Krystina Millar; Whooley, Owen; (2020)
Owen Whooley, “On the Heels of Ignorance: Psychiatry and the Politics of Not Knowing” (U Chicago Press, 2019) (/isis/citation/CBB372335187/) unapi

Book Paul Tyson; David Hart; (2022)
A Christian Theology of Science: Reimagining a Theological Vision of Natural Knowledge (/isis/citation/CBB335086240/) unapi

Article Gieryn, Tom F.; (2002)
Three Truth-Spots (/isis/citation/CBB000202778/) unapi

Book Lehrich, Christopher I.; (2007)
The Occult Mind: Magic in Theory and Practice (/isis/citation/CBB000774186/) unapi

Book K. Meredith Ziebart; (2013)
Nicolaus Cusanus on Faith and the Intellect: A Case Study in 15th-Century Fides-Ratio Controversy (/isis/citation/CBB651329209/) unapi

Book Sarah Ehlers; Stefan Esselborn; (2022)
Evidence in Action between Science and Society: Constructing, Validating, and Contesting Knowledge (/isis/citation/CBB104485678/) unapi

Article Manuela Fernández Pinto; (2015)
Tensions in Agnotology: Normativity in the Studies of Commercially-driven Ignorance (/isis/citation/CBB252874633/) unapi

Book Cornel Zwierlein; (2018)
Imperial Unknowns: The French and British in the Mediterranean, 1650–1750 (/isis/citation/CBB136546664/) unapi

Book A. J. Angulo; (2016)
Miseducation: A History of Ignorance-Making in America and Abroad (/isis/citation/CBB875684613/) unapi

Book Janet Kourany; Martin Carrier; (2020)
Science and the Production of Ignorance: When the Quest for Knowledge Is Thwarted (/isis/citation/CBB000606278/) unapi

Chapter Norbert Andersch; (2015)
Symbolic Form and Mental Illness: Ernst Cassirer’s Contribution to a New Concept of Psychopathology (/isis/citation/CBB901478644/) unapi

Article Viviana Faschi; (2018)
Nietzsche's Illness Diagnosis Issues: A Review of His Clinical Records and Some Recent Hypotheses (/isis/citation/CBB271866077/) unapi

Article Andersch, Norbert; (2014)
Ernst Cassirer's Philosophy of Symbolic Forms and Its Impact on the Theory of Psychopathology (/isis/citation/CBB001214420/) unapi

Book Johns, Adrian; (1998)
The nature of the book: Print and knowledge in the making (/isis/citation/CBB000077051/) unapi

Article Magdalena Kersting; Jesper Haglund; Rolf Steier; (2021)
A Growing Body of Knowledge (/isis/citation/CBB252580833/) unapi

Article Ayça Fackler; (2021)
When Science Denial Meets Epistemic Understanding (/isis/citation/CBB538668203/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Andersch, Norbert
Whooley, Owen
Johns, Adrian
Gieryn, Thomas F.
Kourany, Janet A.
Carrier, Martin
Science and Education
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
History of Psychiatry
Social Studies of Science
Medicina Historica
New Books Network Podcast
University of Chicago Press
MIT Press
Cornell University Press
Taylor & Francis
Cambridge University Press
Ignorance (Theory of knowledge)
Knowledge and learning
Philosophy of science
Intellectual history
Theories of knowledge
Cassirer, Ernst
Flamsteed, John
Newton, Isaac
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm
Lacan, Jacques
Cusanus, Nicolaus
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
18th century
16th century
17th century
Great Britain
Mediterranean region
United States

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment