chapter  9
12 Pages

Conditions for the Satisfaction of Curiosity

As I have argued in the previous chapters, for one to be curious, one has to have a concept expressed by an inostensible term in the form of a defi nite description and seek its referent. If one has the suffi cient motivation to satisfy one’s curiosity, then this will reveal itself in the form of a desire (i.e., a desire to know the referent of the inostensible term that has given rise to the curiosity). By inquiring into the object or by gaining new experience of that object, either directly or by testimony, the curious person will satisfy his curiosity only when he is able to convert his inostensible term into an ostensible one. It is not enough for him to experience the object in question or to come to know it, understand it, or become acquainted with it to satisfy his curiosity. The object in question must be known as being the object that falls under his inostensible concept. If I am curious about the youngest student in my seminar, and if it happens to be the case that Sue is that person, even if I know Sue, no matter how rich my epistemic mental fi le about her is, my curiosity will not be satisfi ed until I come to know Sue as being the youngest student in my seminar. The satisfaction of curiosity then is always in the form of coming to know an object as falling under a concept. Once that is achieved, under normal circumstances, curiosity will be satisfi ed.