Max Muller used it particularly in connexion with the Vedanta philosophy for the correlative of ignorance or nescience (Gifford lectures, 1892, c. ix.).
Dugald Stewart, however, deliberately .emphasizes the merely qualitative nature of our knowledge as the foundation of philosophical argument, and thus paves the way for the thoroughgoing philosophy of nescience elaborated by Hamilton.
Cousin made no reply to Hamilton's criticism beyond alleging that Hamilton's doctrine necessarily restricted human knowledge and certainty to psychology and logic, and destroyed metaphysics by introducing nescience and uncertainty into its highest sphere - theodicy.
Fresh knowledge, new forces and faculties, have to be acquired by positive and strenuous efforts, while, on the other hand, delusions and superstitions are to be abandoned by an attitude of conscious neglect; or to use the phraseology of the Hindus, Avidyd, nescience - the mental state of the unenlightened - through which the individual energies are scattered and dissipated in futile effort, is gradually replaced by Vidyd, the higher wisdom which dispels the darkness of the mind, awakens our latent faculties and concentrates our efforts in the direction of that harmonious union, which ultimately results in Nirvana.