The etymology of philosophy is "love of wisdom" (simplified)... So what would the word be that defines the converse of "love of wisdom"?

Since it is not definitively established what the converse of Philosophy is...

"To loathe/hate wisdom" or "to be apathetic of wisdom"... I think are good starting points...

I am thinking that the proper term is likely to include -sophia for continuity/context...

It would be nice to get suggestions that you have actually tried to pronounce out loud...

Sorry for the lack of tags, but I just signed up, and you must have enough rep points to use common tags like "love, wisdom, hate, loathe, apathy, or knowledge"... BUMMER...

  • 1
    Phobosophia? misophobia? Adidasophia?
    – Mitch
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 17:16
  • Sophophobia and phobosophy both get hits on google as real words, but neither is exactly a converse of the concept of philosophy, just the word.
    – jejorda2
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 17:23
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    The word is Marcorubian, of course.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 17:45
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    'Philosophy' may be derived from 'love of wisdom', but it doesn't mean 'love of wisdom' any more. You can ask about words that mean 'hatred of wisdom' but they won't be the converse of philosophy. Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 19:02
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    In modern english, "anti-intellectualism" is the word that communicates this meaning.
    – Jack M
    Commented Nov 14, 2015 at 12:33

5 Answers 5


Misosophy (μισοσοφία), hatred of wisdom, from μῖσος, hatred, and σοφία, wisdom. The word μισόσοφος, hater of wisdom, was used by Plato in the Republic (456a). Cf. misogyny, hatred of women.

  • This is a great start! I agree with, and dig, the word forming element miso-... I just wish it rolled off the tongue a bit easier... haha...
    – socratics
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 17:31
  • I think I am sold on Misosophy after your thorough argument! It seems to fit the intended expression reasonably, and the use of miso- in Plato just seals the deal for me... of course, perhaps more answers will roll in... Thank you for the indepth analysis... Cheers...
    – socratics
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 17:43
  • wish I could +1 too... well deserved...
    – socratics
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 17:52

I think that the converse of philosophy is not to loathe/hate/be apathetic of philosophy. If we assume that the etymology of the word philosophy is "love of wisdom," then its converse would be "hatefulness towards wisdom" or "loathing wisdom." In other words, it's the wisdom that is "not loved," rather than philosophy that is "not loved."

With that in mind, at first I would have suggested ked- as an ancient Greek word for hate based on its etymological relation to the English word "hate" (with a meaning of care, trouble, sorrow), as seen in the following sources:

-hate (v.) Old English hatian "regard with extreme ill-will, have a passionate aversion to, treat as an enemy," from Proto-Germanic *haton (cognates: Old Saxon haton, Old Norse hata, German hassen, Gothic hatan "to hate"), from PIE root *kad- "sorrow, hatred" (cognates: Avestan sadra- "grief, sorrow, calamity," Greek kedos "care, trouble, sorrow," Welsh cas "pain, anger"). (Source)

The etymology of the english term hate is initially traced back to the greek term kedos. The –os is a greek linguistic device that is added to many of the root words in that language. The root of kedos is thus ked. (Source)

Thus, I would expect a word like:

  • kedosophy

It's pronounceable, but I've never heard it used. Ever. And, as pointed out in the comments, despite the etymological relationship, kedos is not a true translation of hate.

But there is hope yet. The opposite of phil- is generally recognized as phob- (even though in my mind, phob- is more commonly used to indicate fear). (Source) So that would give us:

  • phobosophy

This appears to be a recent construction, but appears to be the intended meaning. (Source)

The fear of abstract knowledge or philosophical thinking; anti-philosophy.

Another direction is to use the prefix miso-, which is listed as an opposite of philo- using this non-authoritative source. But it does appear to have the desired meaning, based on its meaning of hatred as listed here.

Forming compound words having the sense of "hatred of", "dislike of", "contempt for". (Source)

This yields the word:

  • misosophy

Which means:

A hatred of wisdom or knowledge. (Source)

Interestingly, checking out the ngram (here), misosophy is used extremely rarely, but phobosophy not even listed at all.

As an aside, I have read that the classical opposite of philosophy is sophistry, defined as:

  1. Plausible but fallacious argumentation.
  2. A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument. (Source)

But this does NOT appear to be the word that the is being asked for.

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    I agree completely with your initial analysis of my comment, and should have been more explicit... To hate/loathe/apathy towards wisdom was my initial intention... Although linguistically it is interesting that there could also be a formation to define hate/loathe/apathy towards the love of wisdom, which is a completely different path... The former being sentiments/reaction to the object that is loved (wisdom), and the latter being sentiments/reactions (hate/loathe/apathy) to the converse sentiments/reactions of the object (love)... Of course, maybe I am just reaching here...
    – socratics
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 17:38
  • I don't think -phobia- is a good fit for the same reasons you do... it is not necessarily fear... I considered sophistry, but it is an ambiguous defining term due to the complexity of the school of thought... Perhaps, once again I am reaching, and sophistry is in fact the proper term, but it just doesn't seem to fit seamlessly to the intended expression...
    – socratics
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 17:41
  • Thank you for the indepth analysis... And the tags! Cheers...
    – socratics
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 17:43
  • The Greek word κῆδος (kēdos) does not mean “hate”, it means “caring, concern with, mourning”. This is a terrible answer.
    – fdb
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 23:31
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    @fdb "Kedos" appears to have several meanings; this link indicates that it means (or meant) "care, trouble, sorrow" and is etymologically related to "hate." In any event, thank you for your feedback. While your tone is inappropriate, I will update my answer to make it better.
    – Nonnal
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 23:40

From Wikipedia...

philistinism - describes the social attitude of anti-intellectualism that undervalues and despises art, beauty, spirituality, and intellect

I'd say that art, beauty, spirituality, and intellect covers most if not all "wisdom", and that a wise philistine is oxymoronic.

  • I can see your line of thought here @FumbleFingers... it is good, and on the right track, but I am not sure that it fits the model of defining wisdom comprehensively, and the original intent is to find/create the word that does... Thanks for the go though... Cheers
    – socratics
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 20:07
  • @socratics: I suppose it depends how you define "wisdom". I've nailed my colours to the mast. What do you think it means? Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 22:35
  • I totally agree... defining wisdom is in fact the conundrum... Thus far I am sticking to Misosophy, since the root -miso is used in Plato's text (see above)... I am not sure there is a right or wrong answer, but instead each of these may some day become jargon simply because someone used it, and did so properly... Maybe the use of philistinism is simply waiting to be revived, and the way it is used blankets the hate/loathe of wisdom... Time shall tell...
    – socratics
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 23:36

Philomory - The love of foolishness.

  • Thanks @Chris but I don't think that fits the model of being converse to the original expression... the converse of loving one thing, is not the loving of another...
    – socratics
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 20:04

Rather than a loathing of knowledge, couldn't the opposite be a "loving of ignorance"? I'm trying to find an example, but I can't think of any overt examples (except for silly ones, like "fan of New York Jets").

  • Thanks @Adam but I don't think that fits the model of being converse to the original expression... the converse of loving one thing, is not the loving of another...
    – socratics
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 20:03

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