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Like Lear, we can learn to see better, not just because our brain changes but because we do. As all wisdom does, seeing starts with simple questions: What could I know, should I know, that I don’t know?

From "Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore The Obvious" by Margaret Heffernan
(quoted in multiple other books)

Can anyone tell me why in the last question, the "that" is necessary, what if replace it with "and"? so the sentence becomes "what could I know, (what) should I know, and (what) I don’t know?"

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  • The grammar in that sentence isn’t exactly standard. It should rather be ‘What could I know and what should I know that I don’t know?’ Does that clear it up? – Fivesideddice Apr 14 '20 at 5:34
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    Notice that I've included the original source of your text. Please, add references. Context is important. Cheers! – RubioRic Apr 14 '20 at 6:26
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    The third phrase is not a question. If you want to turn it into a question, it would be "What don't I know?" – Kate Bunting Apr 14 '20 at 7:28
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No, your change doesn't produce equivalent phrases. You're changing the original intended meaning. The original author is proposing TWO questions not THREE.

Original

Simple questions: What could I know, should I know, that I don’t know?

My interpretation

Simple questions: What could I know that I don’t know? What should I know that I don't know?

You could introduce the conjuction between those two questions but not in the middle of one sentence.

Simple questions: What could I know that I don’t know? and What should I know that I don't know?

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