Investigation into the process of investigation

thomas's picture

Investigation into investigation

This class is inspired by the Roman orator Horace's command, Sapere aude!, or, in English, Dare to know!.

The intention of this course is to study the very simple question: How do we find the information that we want?  This class will ignore the questions of what information we want, or why.  Instead we will focus on methods of investigation and discovery, and the troubles and gad-flies of life that accompany it. 

This class, more simply, will be a group led investigation into the process of investigation itself-- a meta-investigation. While I have some ideas on the topic, I most hope to share the written or composed works of others as source material, along with what we find, together, along the way.

We will be reading the works of the late social scientist, Robert K. Merton, whose contributions to the field of phisolophy and sociology of science, and the nature of investigation itself, I believe can inform us.  In particular, we will be reading from two of his books: "On The Shoulders Of Giants" ( abbrieviated OTSOG ) and "The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity".  This class may also involve reference to Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and also whomever we happen find along the way. 

I would also like to involve in this course a study of music, poetry, and fiction, in order to amplify or discredit the ideas found in our investigations of investigation.  It is my intention that this portion of the class be the most collaborative; I would hope that participants of the class would share their own favorite music, poetry, and fiction about the processes of investigation.

The result of this course, I hope, is that each participant  ( including myself ) will better understand the importance of investigation, and further, how do to it well, how to talk about it, and, finaly how to express it.

Facilitator email(s): 
[email protected]


Midtown Global Market
920 East Lake Street ( Meet by Mapps Coffee )
Minneapolis, MN 55406
United States
Facilitator's experience: 
An unfinished study of philosophy and literature; a prolonged investigation into the history and current usage of digital and analog media. A suspicion that I may have something to learn.
Facilitator phone number(s): 
Class minimum size: 
Class maximum size: 
Class times: 
Sun, 02/07/2010 - 10:00 - 11:30
Sun, 02/14/2010 - 10:00 - 11:30
Sun, 02/28/2010 - 10:00 - 11:30
Sun, 03/14/2010 - 10:00 - 11:30
Sun, 03/28/2010 - 10:00 - 11:30
Sun, 04/11/2010 - 10:00 - 11:30
Midtown Global Market
920 East Lake Street ( Meet by Mapps Coffee )
Minneapolis, MN 55406
United States
44° 56' 54.1068" N, 93° 15' 40.1364" W
Additional class location information: 
An optimal class location will be determined on the first day of class.
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