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Research

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Academic Research Program

The University Academic Research under the Office of Academic Affairs gears toward the institution's strategic development in the context of a dynamically changing multi-layered cultural environment to promote the enhancement of Aquinian Culture, operationalization of Dominican empowerment, and deepening of Dominican charism. It designs, implements, and processes research systems and procedures that bring out results which serve as inputs to the various activities of the University. This makes Aquinas University a proficient center of education.

Guiding Philosophy

The Academic Research Program is guided basically by the vision that "Aquinas University is a reflective community striving for excellence and creativity in the service of God and humanity". It works toward the development of the Filipino nation and the Bikol region through enriching both the Filipino and Bikol cultures, promoting human values, and advocating the social uplift of our people. The Program is guided by the research philosophy framed by the DOMNET Research Committee, to wit: "Research should involve the systematic and continuing search for truth based on reason illumined by faith and permeated with Christian values to increase human knowledge and contribute to the development of the human person in harmony with nature".

Conceptual Framework

Culture is a way of life. All efforts, actions, endeavors, fields, creations, programs, and thoughts of man define culture. As a matter of case, these things make culture comprehensive and historical. It can be said that culture is the human spirit. There is a parallel significance between human culture and human nature. Given such connotation, we need to extrapolate on the different perspectives of culture. It can be argued that, 1) Culture is a universal and objective consciousness of a certain collectivity; 2) Culture is but a progressive development of a collective consciousness; 3) Culture is static yet dynamic; 4) Culture is a series of reconstruction and deconstruction; and 5) Culture is both influential and influenced. These views present culture as totality.

Culture is the "mind" (Grecian) that guides and the "spirit" (Romanticist) that moves people. It serves as a principle from which all human actions are directed to and pointed towards a certain level of normativity (Kantian) in order to establish similarity and promote collectivity. Culture becomes a universal and objective consciousness. It is universal because it transcends particularity and elevates sense of humanity. It is something from which we share and from which we proceed. It is objective because it becomes a fusion of horizons. There arises a common and creative sense of human identity. Regardless of the level of significance and degree of rightness culture brings to people, there is an inescapable point that culture, however good or evil it becomes, is the foundation of human life, and in effect, defines man and his humanity.

If culture is the universal, objective, collective consciousness of people, then culture itself is but a progressive development of such collective consciousness. Human world is but a continuous becoming, a dialectical process, the interplay of the unity and conflict of thesis and antithesis to progressively generate synthesis. Culture pushes man to achieve being and becoming at the same time. It tries to supply man his essence as it continues existence. Hence, culture is the Geist (Hegelian) that moves reality. It can happen through three ultimate forces of culture: religion, aesthetics, and philosophy. These three make culture a progressive development of collectivity.

Culture is static in a certain period to instill order, appreciate development, and acquire sense of well being. It is where people try to 'romanticize' life given its simplicity and complexity. But culture must be dynamic in order to progress significantly. People need to have paradigm shifts (Kuhnian) to instill more order, appreciate more development, and acquire more sense of well being. The collective needs to change views, systems, and processes to live more and live better. This contributes powerfully in the progressive development of collective consciousness to get hold of universality and objectivity.

Because culture is dynamic, it subjects itself to a series of reconstruction and deconstruction. We need to reconstruct to adapt and deconstruct to unlearn. Shifting paradigms suggest human retooling and advancing. Unlearning equips 'traces' (Derridean) and fixes differences. Culture evokes effective historical consciousness (Gadamerian).

Culture is 'influencial' on human actions. It tries to grapple with motives and goals of certain human activities. But at the same time, it is 'influenced' to understand such motives and goals. Taken generally or universally, people need to're-view' culture. They have to identify for themselves, as a group, their purpose and meaning to define what they are and who they are as collectivity.

Based on these ideas, culture is indeed a totality. It works towards a certain 'telos' of and for the entire humanity. Taken on the grand scale, culture is humanity. Man is what he makes of his culture.

To contextualize culture based on AQuinian experience is the development of AQuinian culture. The AQuinian experience of AQuinian Culture can be seen as (1) as a culture that defines our identity as AQuinian, (2) as a description of AQ's continuous becoming, (3) as a primordial development of AQ Vision and Mission, (4) as a principle of AQ Community, and (5) as the AQ way of expression of solidarity.

Goal

  • To define AQuinian Culture as (our) AQuinian Identity, in its relation to its very own continuous becoming, to articulate more the AQ Vision and Mission, (taken) as a principle of AQ Community, towards AQ sense of solidarity
  • To recommend a dynamic development both of the Philippines' social transformation and Bikol Culture
  • To substantiate AQuinian Culture with the creation of new knowledge through a rationalized integration of research, instruction, and extension
  • To identify and describe indigenous cultural forms and properties of the Bikol region through multi-pronged research approaches designed according to the thrusts and specialization of various institutional agencies of the University
  • To conduct research projects to meet the demands of institutional, personal, and community development
  • To publish and disseminate the results of research activities of the university functionaries
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