In large part, the subject of this thesis is
ignorance. How does what we don't know affect what
we think and do? To clarify this issue, I would
like to present a simple logical model of human
The universe of the model is experience. This universe is divided into two parts -- that which is mapped and that which is unmapped. By "mapped" I mean that the experiencer has an "effective" response to that realm of experience. An "effective" response is one that solves the problem encountered in experience. By "unmapped" I mean that he does not have such a response.
Plato in a similar argument (cf. Meno 1963:
382ff.), I will make a distinction between
behavior based on knowledge and behavior not based
on knowledge. However, unlike Plato, I will say
that effective and ineffective responses can
result from either knowledge or its absence.
One can "know" what one is doing and still
unwittingly create a mess (witness DDT and the
Aswan High Dam). Consequently, knowledge exists in
both the mapped and the unmapped territory.
knowledge in the mapped area of experience lies
effective action without "reasons" (e.g., customs,
superstitions, habits, etc.). Outside knowledge on
the unmapped side lies experience for which no
effective response is available and about which no
It is this unmapped area and particularly the unknown segment of the unmapped area that is the concern of this thesis. What happens when experience demands effective response and effective response does not exist? I will try to show that one obvious response to such a situation is to attempt to solve the problem. That is, in some fashion one must set to map the unmapped experience. Then I will try to show that one of the less obvious consequences that may sometimes be connected with such experiences and problem-solving efforts is schizophrenia. The conditions that distinguish the "schizophrenic" reaction from the "normal" reaction will also be considered.
A systems approach will be used as the theoretical and methodological "bias" of this investigation. To start, the meaning (or lack of it) of the terms "culture" and "schizophrenia" will be considered. This discussion will be followed by a section in which I will consider ignorance and the nature of the human mind. After this I will examine ignorance and the individual. In particular the discussion will focus on the process or mechanism for solving problems and its possible connection with schizophrenia. The Thesis will conclude by considering further research implications raised by the argument.
effective and leading to "right action".