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The Philosophy of Curiosity
     

The Philosophy of Curiosity

by Ilhan Inan
 

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In this book, Ilhan Inan questions the classical definition of curiosity as a desire to know. Working in an area where epistemology and philosophy of language overlap, Inan forges a link between our ability to become aware of our ignorance and our linguistic aptitude to construct terms referring to things unknown.

The book introduces the notion of

Overview

In this book, Ilhan Inan questions the classical definition of curiosity as a desire to know. Working in an area where epistemology and philosophy of language overlap, Inan forges a link between our ability to become aware of our ignorance and our linguistic aptitude to construct terms referring to things unknown.

The book introduces the notion of inostensible reference (or reference to the unknown). Ilhan connects this notion to related concepts in philosophy of language: knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description; the referential and the attributive uses of definite descriptions; the de re/de dicto distinction; and Kripke’s distinction between rigid and accidental designators.

Continuing with a discussion of the conditions for curiosity and its satisfaction, Inan argues that the learning process—starting in curiosity and ending in knowledge—is always an effort to transform our inostensible terms into ostensible ones. A contextual account is adopted for the satisfaction of curiosity. It then discusses the conditions of successful reference to the object of curiosity and its presuppositions. The book concludes with a discussion on the limits of curiosity and its satisfaction.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"As the first book-length philosophical treatment of curiosity, this volume brings together epistemology and philosophy of language to the benefit of both disciplines. It is tightly argued, informative, and very timely. It will become standard reading on the topic." — Dennis Whitcomb, Western Washington University, USA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415500135
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
01/11/2012
Series:
Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy Series
Pages:
226
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Ilhan Inan is a Professor of Philosophy at Boğaziçi University, Turkey.

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