Method, Imagination and Inquiry is the longest continuously offered course in the CHID curriculum, first designed (and still taught) by Professor Leroy Searle under funding from the original NEH grant that created the CHID program. It was one of three “core” courses from the outset, with the purpose of providing a challenging introduction to intellectual history that spans the humanities and sciences, with a focus on the conceptual grounding of Western traditions of
inquiry. The course has been taught yearly for 30 years, to more than 2500 students—in a number of cases to several generations in the same family. The vitality and durability of the course arises from a simple principle of design: every text, and every problem presented is carried forward to work by subsequent authors. The readings cover, sequentially, Plato, Aristotle, Giordano Bruno, Francis Bacon, Shakespeare, Descartes, Hume, Immanuel Kant, Coleridge, Emerson, Charles Sanders Peirce, James Clerk Maxwell, Thomas Kuhn, and William Faulkner.