How Stupid Are We? A Study of Ignorance in America | Newberry

How Stupid Are We? A Study of Ignorance in America

Led by Tim Lacy. Six sessions, 6 - 7:45 pm.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Tuesdays, September 19 - October 24

6 - 7:45 pm

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (by September 1): $190

Regular Price (after September 1): $209

Register Online

Seminar Description

In 2016, Oxford Dictionaries designated “post-truth” as the word of the year. The term refers to a political phenomenon—“a general characteristic of our age”—regarding attitudes toward truth, conspiracies, anti-intellectualism, and ignorance. On the last, this seminar explores an edited collection on “agnotology,” the philosophical and scientific study of ignorance. The historical essays therein cover “post-truth” trends in censorship, climate change, philosophy, the female orgasm, abortifacients, archaeology, racism, risk management, and smoking. Six sessions.

Tim Lacy holds a PhD in US history. His published work covers anti-intellectualism, great books, education, cultural politics, the history of thought, and the philosophy of history.

Materials List


  • Proctor, Robert, and Londa Schiebinger, eds. Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008. ISBN-13: 978-0804759014

    • Note: This volume can be purchased in hardback or paperback.

First Reading:

  • Please read the preface and Chapter 1 of Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.