Samuel Johnson quote about ignorance from The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia - Ignorance, when it is voluntary, is criminal; and he may properly be charged with evil who refused to learn how he might prevent it.
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Ignorance, when it is voluntary, is criminal; and he may properly be charged with evil who refused to learn how he might prevent it.
 Samuel Johnson, The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759). copy citation

Context

“«The present state of things is the consequence of the former; and it is natural to inquire what were the sources of the good that we enjoy, or the evils that we suffer. If we act only for ourselves, to neglect the study of history is not prudent. If we are entrusted with the care of others, it is not just. Ignorance, when it is voluntary, is criminal; and he may properly be charged with evil who refused to learn how he might prevent it.
«There is no part of history so generally useful as that which relates to the progress of the human mind, the gradual improvement of reason, the successive advances of science, the vicissitudes of learning and ignorance (which are the light and darkness of thinking beings), the extinction and resuscitation of arts, and the revolutions of the intellectual world.” source

Meaning and analysis

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