LX:90 | Curiosity
Curiosity is a vice that has been stigmatized in turn by Christianity, by philosophy, and even by a certain conception of science. Curiosity is seen as futility. However, I like the word; it suggests something quite different to me. It evokes “care”; it evokes the care one takes of what exists and what might exist; a sharpened sense of reality, but one that is never immobilized before it; a readiness to find what surrounds us strange and odd; a certain determination to throw off familiar ways of thought and to look at the same things in a different way; a passion for seizing what is happening now and what is disappearing; a lack of respect for the traditional hierarchies of what is important and fundamental.
I dream of a new age of curiosity. We have the technical means; the desire is there; there is an infinity of things to know; the people capable of doing such work exist. So what is our problem? To little: channels of communication that are too narrow, almost monopolistic, inadequate. We mustn’t adopt a protectionist attitude, to stop “bad” information from invading and stifling the “good.” Rather, we must increase the possibility for movement backward and forward. This would not lead, as people often fear, to uniformity and leveling-down, but, on the contrary, to the simultaneous existence and differentiation of these various networks. (325-6)
Foucault, Michel. Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. Ed. Paul Rabinow. The New Press, 1994.
Works and Days
Tags: Michel Foucault