Sunday, March 7, 2021

Familiarity Breeds Contempt and Ignorance

“What is familiarly known is not properly known, just for the reason that it is familiar.” ~ Hegel. 

To Hegel’s statement, the old proverb “familiarity breeds contempt” can be added to reach the conclusion that the notion of familiarity leads to two pitfalls: contempt and ignorance. When people are psyched into believing that they are familiar with something, they do not try to investigate that thing. Their familiarity becomes the cause of their deficient understanding, and what they do not understand, they hold in contempt. 

Easy access to university education, and to the newspapers, Internet, and cable TV, all of which offer a simplistic view of culture and history, fills people with the notion that they are familiar with their nation’s past and present, and its future prospects. As their notion of familiarity is devoid of understanding, they become contemptuous of everything and start feeling alienated.

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