What Are You Reading…On Discovery

Since arriving in Fond du Lac, I have been exploring my new setting in my spare time to try and learn more about the people that live here, the spaces it offers, and the resources I will have available to me. This past weekend, I visited several farms in the area that produce some of the products Wisconsin is best known for (cheese, ice cream, and apples). I also attended a Unitarian Universalist Church service and found an independent coffee shop on the town’s Main Street that offers excellent food and friendly service.

Reflecting on the experience made me realize just how stimulating (intellectually, socially, and physically) it is to encounter a new place. It requires a leap into the unknown and a willingness to explore that takes you outside your comfort zone. While it is helpful to have (as I had) a guidebook to the area, a willingness to investigate what is unknown without referring to a manual can sometimes be more satisfying. This satisfaction seems to drive many of the great philosophers, scientists, and intellectuals. While none did what they did on their own, neither did they have a guide that told them where to go and what to do. Instead, they were inspired to seek out something novel beyond the well-worn avenues and various constraints of their time. Several recent articles have commented on how discovery depends upon this personal and social appreciation for what is epistemologically new. I recommend them to anyone interested in reflecting on the experience of discovery:

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