The Unknown Known

by practicalspactical

Psychoanalytic philosopher Slavoj Zizek extrapolates from these three categories a fourth, the unknown known, that which we don’t know or intentionally refuse to acknowledge that we know:[4]

If Rumsfeld thinks that the main dangers in the confrontation with Iraq were the “unknown unknowns,” that is, the threats from Saddam whose nature we cannot even suspect, then the Abu Ghraib scandal shows that the main dangers lie in the “unknown knowns” – the disavowed beliefs, suppositions and obscene practices we pretend not to known about, even though they form the background of our public values.