I'm looking for a word that means all human knowledge.

Preferably, the word would be a noun and could refer to knowledge abstractly, inclusive of that which is written and not.

It means all that which is known, not that which is not yet known, or can never be known. (The unknown unknowns.)

To clarify, I mean only all known knowledge.

This excludes encyclopedia as a word.

In context:

“All knowledge” is like a balloon in space. The more it fills with gas, the more it touches on the void: the unknown. Such is the paradox of “all knowledge”.

  • Do you mean all things which have ever been known (specifically, by humans?) or which are currently known? Or indeed, all things which in principle could be known, even if in practice they never are? Apr 18, 2018 at 15:47
  • @FumbleFingers I mean all knowledge which we know we know, and know we don’t. Apr 18, 2018 at 15:52
  • 1
    Knowledge itself is a blanket describing chiefly the possession of information. With the adjective all you already have the best word to express many ideas. Could you provide some context where you'd like to use such a term? Apr 18, 2018 at 15:53
  • Could we be talking about 'consciousness'? Apr 18, 2018 at 16:06
  • 4
    Isn't that just knowledge, as @Andy suggests? The stuff that's not yet known isn't 'knowledge' (yet); the stuff that is known (regardless of whether it's written, oral or otherwise) is knowledge.
    – Lawrence
    Apr 18, 2018 at 17:07

4 Answers 4


Pangnosticism may come as close as a single word can.

The doctrine that knowledge is possible concerning everything about which there can be any doubt or real question. Wordnik

The word is derived from the Greek γνῶσις (I know) with the prefix Παν meaning all

  • It does roll off the tongue, but it correctly fits my definition Apr 18, 2018 at 22:08
  • *doesn’t, didn’t edit in time Apr 18, 2018 at 23:30
  • No it doesn't, but pan-nos-ti-sism could be harder.
    – J. Taylor
    Apr 18, 2018 at 23:33

Omniscience - The second definition at http://www.dictionary.com/browse/omniscience states:

  1. infinite knowledge.
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    This isn’t a good match because it includes the knowledge which can never be known, the unknown unknown. Apr 18, 2018 at 16:01
  • In your comment on the original question you stated: I mean all knowledge which we know we know, and know we don’t. – NonCreature0714
    – Dshiz
    Apr 18, 2018 at 16:03
  • there is knowledge which we know we know and know we don’t know. And then there is knowledge we aren’t even aware we don’t know, and knowledge we don’t even know is wrong. Omniscience certainly covers all of that; but I’m specifically only looking for knowns. Apr 18, 2018 at 16:08
  • This seems to be tending toward the philosophical, not grammatical. One could argue that if you know that you don't know of some knowledge that you don't know, then you certainly know of that unknown knowledge. So unknown unknowns are then known unknowns, and still fit into your classification.
    – Dshiz
    Apr 18, 2018 at 16:14
  • I’m not interested in the philosophy, I’m just looking for a single word which, unfortunately, describes a philosophical idea. Apr 18, 2018 at 16:16

You might be looking for hive-mind (which isn't really one word, rather two joined by a hyphen.)

A hive-mind has the characteristic of a cluster of information nodes where the information is shared among all nodes and results in a collective intelligence (another two-word candidate).

This can be said of any such group that can collectivize all information for all to access.

Else, there's the internet. (Just kidding.)

  • Intriguing suggestion! However, “mind” implies a state of thinking, and thinking is not knowledge — knowledge is still there whether a mind thinks about it or not. Apr 18, 2018 at 18:45
  • @NonCreature0714 The problem with the term in it of itself is that the presence of the word "mind" in here has nothing to do with thinking -- The corresponding term might be something like "Groupthink". The "hive-mind" is a collective of information that results in knowledge. For example, the term applies directly to the Internet (as the Internet hive-mind, since we deposit our knowledge there).
    – psosuna
    Apr 18, 2018 at 18:50
  • There are a few nuances behind the meaning of “hive-mind” which don’t fit all knowledge or all human knowledge; but, again, quite intriguing. Hive-mind comes close in meaning, but not the quite. Hive-mind sounds very irregular and alien in the context I gave as a replacement for “all knowledge”. Just as importantly, hive-mind is almost always used to describe something not human, like insects or machines; or poor quality social behavior in groups of humans, like group think. Apr 18, 2018 at 19:07

A word for the body of ideas that determine intellectually certain knowledge at any particular time is episteme.

  • 1
    You should include a dictionary definition for your suggested word. Jun 2, 2023 at 12:52

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