Agniology, Agnoiology, or Agnoeology?

Yes, there is a certain irony in not knowing which is the correct spelling of the word 🙂

Most online dictionaries go with ‘Agnoiology‘, but there are many academic publications that go with ‘Agniology‘ and somewhat fewer that use ‘Agnoeology‘.

I went with ‘agniology‘ for the following reasons:

  • it is easier for people to understand the pronunciation
  • google says it occurs more often on t’interweb
  • it is the spelling used by the TV program QI.

None of these are particularly important reasons.

Nor am I swayed by the fact that the eminent Scottish philosopher James Frederick Ferrier (1808—1864) invented the word as “agnoiology” to mean “theory of ignorance” as a contrast to another, better known, word he invented, “epistemology“, which, as I am sure you already know, means the “philosophy of human knowledge”.

You may wish to argue for one of the above spellings by using the comments area, but don’t expect to change my mind  – the domain name is, and that isn’t going to change.. and more importantly, QI has Stephen Fry on it, and that wins the battle for me 🙂

…. ermm… I seem to have strayed in the Argumentum Ad Verecundiam fallacy – I am sure God (and Stephen Fry) will forgive me.

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