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From Latin nescientia, from the present participle of nescire.



nescience (countable and uncountable, plural nesciences)

  1. The absence of knowledge; ignorance, especially of orthodox beliefs.
    • 1911, Ralph Barton Perry, "Notes on the Philosophy of Henri Bergson," The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, vol. 8, no. 26, p. 720,
      To lapse from knowledge into nescience is always possible—there is no law of God or man forbidding it.
    • 1990, Camille Paglia, Sexual Personae:
      Algernon, in a condition of masculine nescience, lets himself become engaged to a woman of whom he knows nothing.
  2. (philosophy) The doctrine that nothing is actually knowable.
    • 1895, J. G. Schurman, "Agnosticism," The Philosophical Review, vol. 4, no. 3, p. 244,
      The theory of nescience is but the obverse of the fact of science.

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit

  • nescience” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2018.