Curiosity (Latin curiosus "careful, curious, wonder") suggests inquisitive thinking, a strong desire to know something, and relates to expressions such as exploration, investigation, creativity, and learning. Much of human endeavor is motivated by curiosity. It is a quality not limited to humans, but can also be observed in the animal world. Curiosity is associated with all aspects of human development and progress--from gazing at the night skies, to speculations about the size of the cosmos, to composing of a new musical score, creative expression of an artist, to philosophical speculations. The philosopher Aristotle summarized: All philosophy begins in wonder. Curiosity is critical in education, as the term denotes the desire to gain knowledge or information. Curiosity has been attributed over millennia as the driving force behind not only human learning, but developments in science, art, music, language, and many other aspects of human endeavor. In other words, curiosity is the engine that drives human progress.
Towards gaining a better understanding of this powerful and pervasive human quality, the SOU Center of Humanities has chosen Shapes of Curiosity as the Campus Theme for 2016-17 academic year.
As with all our previous themes, the goal is for the campus and our larger community to engage in rigorous intellectual conversations about this topic informed by the latest research, scholarship, and insights from a wide variety of perspectives. In addition to our faculty, students and staff, we plan to invite tow more leading scholars, scientists, and/or artists to campus to join us in our yearlong exploration of this theme.
2017-2018 Campus Theme: Truth
Truth, like love and justice, is a term everyone uses, but is surprisingly difficult to define. Many regard truth as the most challenging as well as exciting and engaging issue humans have contemplated through the ages and in cultures across the globe. From Pontius Pilates’ famous question to Jesus Christ: What is truth? some two thousand years ago to philosophers, artists, poets, scientists, and social and political thinkers, all have attempted to get a handle on this intriguing notion. It is the problem of being clear about what we mean when we say some claim or other is true: Is truth objective or subjective? Is truth a single, unified concept or are there many truths? With the goal of gaining a better understanding of this elusive notion, the SOU Center for the Humanities has selected Truth as our Campus Theme.