Benjamin Franklin On Ignorance

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While browsing on franklinpapers.org, I stumbled upon a letter written by Benjamin Franklin to John Lining of South Carolina, dated March 18, 1755. Franklin’s perspective about admitting one’s ignorance caught my attention:

I find a frank acknowledgment of one’s ignorance is not only the easiest way to get rid of a difficulty, but the likeliest way to obtain information, and therefore I practice it: I think it an honest policy. Those who affect to be thought to know every thing, and so undertake to explain every thing, often remain long ignorant of many things that others could and would instruct them in, if they appeared less conceited.

Whether you agree with this or not, I think that this is an interesting point to ponder.

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com

9 thoughts on “Benjamin Franklin On Ignorance

  1. As someone who likes to be correct and know all, this is a good reminder to be humble and admit when I’m not sure. How are you to learn if you maintain the appearance of omniscience?

    Liked by 1 person

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