Taught by Perry Zurn

The explosion of information in the 21st century has centralized the role of curiosity and research in our everyday lives. Never have the production mills of detail been more active. But how should we research and is curiosity a good place to start? Here, we investigate the basic contours of research ethics, focusing on research subjects, cultural differences, funding, and technology. We then place these issues within the larger context of philosophies of curiosity, from ancient times to the present. Finally, we explore how modern narratives of discovery and fetish, embedded in histories of exploitation and objectification, caution us against the wholesale endorsement of curiosity. What methods of inquiry really honor the world around us? Students are equipped to conduct their own, self-critical research project and then reflect on the ethical procedures and import of their work.

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