Questioning and Exploring Truth

Modes of Inquiry introduces you to diverse ways of approaching, studying, knowing, and understanding information and experience across disciplines.

In this course, you will learn to perceive and critically assess claims to knowledge, understand the role of imagination in science, literature, and art, discover the need for meticulous and relevant documentation of insight, as well as gain mastery of scholarly argument and greater attentiveness to norms of communication. You make tangible connections between problems of knowledge, everyday questions, and the impact of the media (print, digital, visual) on the framing of these questions, thereby bolstering general media literacy.

You will learn to:

  • Understand the assumptions that underlie the various ways of inquiring used within and across disciplines
  • Understand that every mode of inquiry has its own strengths and limitations in the exploration of a given question or problem
  • Sustain a line of argument using one or more modes of inquiry
  • Articulate the commonalities and/or differences among various modes of inquiry

INQUIRY 100 — Modes of Inquiry

Fall of Second Year

This course examines various ways of studying, knowing, and understanding information and experience. It focuses on the axiomatic (or formal deductive), philosophical, historical, observational (or empirical), imaginative expressive, and interpretive paradigms of discovery and understanding. As a result of taking this course, students will understand the assumptions that underlie the various ways of inquiring used within and across disciplines, understand that every mode of inquiry has its own strengths and limitations in the exploration of a given question or problem, be able to sustain a line of argument using one or more modes of inquiry, and be able to articulate the commonalities and/or differences among various modes of inquiry.

The goal of a university education is to enable you to take charge of your own learning, and to activate what you learn by integrating it with your goals and practical knowledge. The modes of inquiry are a set of mental tools that have proved valuable for the most important arenas of human inquiry.

Dr. Robert Hamersley
Associate Professor of Microbiology

2019-2020 Instructors