Boorstin writes, â??The great obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the ocean was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledgeâ? (p. 86). What does Boorstin mean by this? Does the illusion of knowledge still exist in the modern day, and if so, how can it be overcome?
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Boorstin on the Illusion of Knowledge
Daniel J. Boorstin, an American historian is well known in his exploration of the growth and epic journey taken by scientists, explorers and geographic pioneers via his book 'The Discovers' (1983) which is a part of the trilogy known as the knowledge series. A thinker himself, he railed against ethnocentrism, multiculturalism and even political correctness. The themes of his book 'The Discovers' can be diluted to the following - tracing of how knowledge was built as the old became the blocks from which new paradigms and discoveries are built, the role of religion and belief systems as well as cultural traditions in the motivation to seek and discover knowledge, and lastly, the importance of experience for knowledge is incremental - for him experience teaches and opens new avenues and frontiers (i.e. where the Greeks became the foundation for linear physics which became the foundation for our present quantum physics discipline). Now, his most often quoted line from this book which he declares that, "The great obstacle to discovering the ...
The solution is a short discussion on the thoughts and opinions of US Historian Daniel Boorstin on the topic of the illusion of knowledge via his 1983 work 'The Discoverers'. References are also listed for the purpose of further expansion on the topic.