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THINK @ Oxford - The Philosophy of Curiosity

Sun Apr 11 2021
Add to Calendar04/11/2021 16:0004/11/2021 17:30Europe/LondonTHINK @ Oxford - The Philosophy of Curiosity




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A THINK @ Oxford Virtually Presentation


The Philosophy of Curiosity

Sunday 11th April 2021

Live Zoom presentation including breakout rooms by Austin Caffrey


In this discussion (the plan is to have breakout groups) I start from the stance that it seems a curious thing that philosophers have said so little about curiosity yet an awful lot about knowledge, truth, justification & belief.  Yet curiosity seems to be the basic motivation that leads us to start enquiring into the unknown, and that suggests it is foundational for philosophical enquiry.   Through our curiosity, our species has come to know things that were unimaginable, even a century ago, let alone millennia before that.  It is one of the basic drives that has led to the development of science, philosophy, technology, even the arts.

It’s not the case that philosophers have ignored curiosity completely, its more that it doesn’t seem that they thought to give any in depth consideration of what curiosity is, what it does for us, what the conditions need to be so as to place us in the mental state of curiosity.  Maybe, philosophically that needs to change, particularly in the face of misinformation, disinformation, the apparent rise of  conspiracy theories and, of course, pseudoscience.

I will review what a few notable philosophers have to say, starting with Plato, dashing through some renaissance thinkers, then pausing on Nietzsche and Heidegger.  There will be a few key questions to consider such as whether there can be a philosophy of curiosity, and what would the scope of such a philosophy look like.

Join the presentation here

Meeting ID: 879 1998

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