satisfying curiosity

Habermas’ insistence on the interests behind research procedures can be seen as a blow to a positivistic insistence on impartial objectivity of research: we choose scientific methods out of interests! And of course we do. Research is not just following certain rules, but trying to find answers to questions that we find pressing or interesting, solving urgent problems, creating things we want or need – or just satisfying curiosity. And hopefully we find the relevant methods for solving those problems. But Habermas’ insistence on the interests behind research may remind us of the one thing that we more often than not must search for in vain in general and abstract discussions of artistic research, namely statements about the aim of these kinds of research. What do we want to know that artistic research will be able to tell us? What do we want to achieve through artistic research?

— Kjørup, Søren. 2010. “Pleading for Plurality: Artistic and Other Kinds of Research.” In The Routledge Companion to Research in the Arts, edited by Michael Biggs and Henrik Karlsson, 24–43. London: Routledge. p.30

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