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I am having difficulty differentiating Amatheia and Agnoia and Hmhmatheia. I have two questions

1) Hmhmatheia looks like it means Sciolism, which means half-knowing or little-knowing or half-knowledge or half-learning. It is a superficial show of learning. It is a superficial show of knowledge. It is the practice, or instance, of expressing opinions on something which one knows only superficially or has little real understanding of. Someone who knows a little or some or half about something but thinks he knows everything. He has a little knowledge about a topic or issue or field or sector but he thinks he knows everything and is fully learned on that subject. If i can summarize Hmhmatheia in one word it would be "Sciolism". Is this correct?

2) Amatheia and Agnoia seem to be very similar but they are a little different. I have encountered these two words many times being used in the same sentence. Originally i thought they meant the same thing (ignorance) but I was reading a book and they had these two words in the same sentence. The sentence went like this " H Agnoia kai h Amatheia einai....." Agnoia and Amatheia is...." So the two words are used in one sentence. Can you help me also clarify the difference between these two words. Can you summarize Amatheia in one english word if possible. And agnoia in one english word if possible. Ignorance or lack of learning or lack of knowledge or lack of awareness? How do we differentiate these two word Agnoia and Amatheia.

1 Answer

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About "ημιμάθεια", you described it right.  I am not an expert in the English language, so I cannot attest that the word translates to “sciolism”.  However these dictionaries do:


Between "αμάθεια" and "άγνοια" there is a slight difference:
"Αμάθεια" is lack of education, the act of being illiterate.  The root is “μαθ” from the ancient Greek verb “μανθάνω” (learn).
"Άγνοια" is unawareness, lack of knowledge and it not necessarily related to lack of education. The root if “γνω” from the ancient verb “γιγνώσκω”.

Έχει άγνοια κινδίνου – He is not aware of the danger.
Η ημιμάθεια είναι χειρότερη της αμάθειας – Partial knowledge is worse that complete lack of knowledge.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vasiliki Baskou, Instructor/Director, https://learn-greek-online.com.

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Thank you for answering my question.
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