All new Linfield students participate in the Common Read program by reading a common text. This year's selection is Ignorance: How it Drives Science by Stuart Firestein. The Common Read program also kicks-off the 2015-2016 Program for Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement (PLACE) program and its theme "How Do We Know? Paths to Wisdom." The goal of PLACE is to build on the Linfield Curriculum to encourage the free exchange of ideas across disciplines, promote active forms of citizenship, and pique intellectual curiosity through the exploration of thematic connections among modes of thinking and inquiry.
The 2015-2016 PLACE program seeks to create a common space within the Linfield curriculum to ask this most basic of human questions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, exploring the methods (paths or ways) that we use to acquire knowledge with a particular emphasis on the NW, QR, and UQ modes of inquiry. In doing so, we will consider questions including: What are the powers and limits of science? How do the humanities factor into this equation? What are the underlying assumptions of the scientific method and how do we know if said assumptions are correct? How do statistics, pure mathematics, or computational models inform our understandings of the human experience? Can philosophy, religious studies, the arts, or literature still reveal deep truths about the world that make a difference? In the end we can, and should, always ask as a rejoinder to any purported answer... how do we know?
A copy of the common reading book is included in your Orientation packet. Plan to read the book over the summer and arrive on campus prepared to discuss it in your Colloquium class. Read on for more information about The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History and the Summer Common Reading Essay Contest.