Volume 16, Issue 3, 2016
Symposium on Themes from Work of Ilhan Inan
Curiosity about Curiosity
Ilhan Inan’s (2012) approach to curiosity is based on the following central theses: (i) for every question asked out of curiosity there is a corresponding term (definite description) that is inostensible for the asker (its reference is unknown) and that has the function of uniquely identifying an object; (ii) the satisfaction of curiosity is always in the form of coming to know an object as falling under a concept. This model primarily covers curiosity as our search for empirical objectual knowledge. In my critical refl ections, I explore some phenomena of non-objectual curiosity which are left out or at least not sufficiently explored by Inan: curiosity as the search for explanation and understanding, and meta-curiosity—curiosity about the very representations, i.e. how to conceptualize a certain problem, and what definite descriptions to use in the first place.