Looking for source of Quote...you don't know what you don't know?

Looked in the quote sites but no luck...from a movie? TV?

7 Answers

  • Doc Z
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think that you mean the famous statement by Socrates at various points in Plato's dialogues: "I know that I do not know."

    The saying as you give it does not square even with common sense. After all, I know that I do not know how to play the piano. So, this is one of many things of which I can say that I do know what I do not know.

    Source(s): Personal knowledge. I am a retired Latin and English teacher. In addition, I am the author of "The First Latin Course: An Introductory Latin Grammar for Middle School, High School, and College" (www.doczonline.com).
  • 6 years ago

    It's possible that the saying originated with me.

    I was working at Pacific Bell in the mid eighties. My project involved estimating costs for a new lab. My boss's boss's boss asked me if I had considered every type of expense. I was prepared for that question and answered that I included all costs I could imagine but "You don't know what you don't know."

    I have a clear memory of concocting the response ahead of time, liking how catchy it sounded, and thinking it was original. Obviously I can't rule out the possibility that I saw it somewhere and forgot, or that someone else in the world had said it first by coincidence. All I know is that I had the clear sensation of inventing it.

    And I remember that the executive responded well to my use of the phrase and immediately adopted it for his own use, which made it go somewhat viral within the company. I remember thinking "Damn, I seem to have the ability to say things that get widely quoted."

    Soon after that meeting, I launched the Dilbert comic strip. I've been quoted a few more times since then.

    That's not enough data to know if I am the original source of the saying. But I assume most business jargon starts with one company and spreads. So there's a healthy possibility I'm the author.

    Scott Adams

    Source(s): Scott Adams
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  • 6 years ago

    It's a general saying and to my knowledge doesn't have one particular author. As far as meaning, everyone is taking it too literally with regards to semantics. The "know" is more knowing of something, or being aware of its existence, as opposed to knowing how to do something. It is akin to "ignorance is bliss".

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  • LRM
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    It's not a quote as much as a saying. I'm not surprised you didn't find it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well what it means, is "you have no idea just how much you don't know" "you don't understand, just how much you really don't understand"

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  • 6 years ago

    The source I'm aware of is Warner Erhard. It is a cornerstone distinction in EST and subsequent training. I'm looking for any other sources that uses it exactly the same. That is not an interpretation of Socrates. It might very well be an interpretation.

    Source(s): Warner Erhard recordings.
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  • 6 years ago

    Not that exact quote; but I believe related to this discussion is a quote from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in 2002:

    "There are known knowns; there are things we know we know.

    We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.

    But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know.'

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