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ERIC Number: EJ781976
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 0
Schooling and a "Blamable Desire for Knowledge"
Clabaugh, Gary K.
Educational Horizons, v83 n4 p231-234 Sum 2005
As a teacher the author often wishes that his students were more curious. Yet, Alice Ramos (this issue) proposes that curiosity can be a vice. She writes that there are times when a student might be motivated by a "blamable desire for knowledge." Ramos bases this claim on a distinction made by Thomas Aquinas, the thirteenth-century Aristotelian philosopher and theologian. Aquinas splits the desire to learn into two types: "curiositas" (or curiosity)--which he describes as a vice; and "studiositas" (or studiousness)--which he regards as a virtue. Here is how Ramos defines this distinction: "Curiositas" (or curiosity) is a vice because it occurs when the desire for knowing is "disordered or immoderate"; intellectual obligations are abandoned in favor of unprofitable study; or knowledge is sought from "dubious" or "unlawful" sources. "Studiositas" (or studiousness) is a virtue because it is ordered and limited; it occurs within a framework of moderation during the fulfillment of obligations; dubious or unlawful knowledge is avoided. In this article, the author questions whether educators should accept this dichotomy. He offers two related questions that one should first ask: (1) Who decides what is "trivial," "disordered," or "immoderate"?; and (2) Who decides what sources of knowledge are "dubious" or "unlawful"? (Contains 8 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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