Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
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Rachel Carson

Category: Conference

We’re excited that you’ve joined the conversation! At HMU, we want to continue the great authors’ conversations in a contemporary context, and this blog will help us do that. We look back to Aristotle and the early philosophers who used reason and discourse to gain wisdom and now we endeavor to do the same every day.

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May 24, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Recently, I had the great fortune to attend a discussion series on George Eliot’s Adam Bede. Hosted by Classical Pursuits, our leader Nancy Carr guided us through four deep and insightful discussions on Eliot’s novel. I have spent some time ruminating on the ideas that I want to share with you without giving away key parts of the plot.

 » Read more about: Eliot’s Adam Bede  »

April 19, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.” – Paul Kalanithi

Last week, I attended an online conference hosted by The Atlantic. The “Health Summit” promoted discussions of: “the future of scaling innovation, sustainable solutions to improve patient care, and the complexity and opportunity in this revolutionary moment in health care.” They did not disappoint.

 » Read more about: Investigating Health  »

March 22, 2024

Thanks to HMU alumnus, Ellin Iselin, for today’s post.

These two powerful words in “I Have Been a Stranger in a Strange Land” by poet Rita Dove resonate as a major theme in the Community Weekend at Harrision Middleton University March, 1-3, 2024. Although I had participated in a Community Weekend and several HMU Humanities Advisory Council meetings virtually, Being There physically was well worth the cross-country flight.

 » Read more about: Being There  »

March 15, 2024

Thanks to Bill Maniotis, current HMU student, for today’s blog.

I began my first course (HUM 701: The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course) at Harrison Middleton University in April of 2019, and I am about to finish up my coursework at HMU with my second comprehensive exam on the Great Idea of Love in April of 2024, before I move on to working on my Capstone project this summer.

 » Read more about: Community Weekend, A Student’s Perspective  »

March 8, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

If there’s one thing you know about me by now, it’s that I value discussion. This past weekend, a number of students, staff and alumni gathered in Tempe, Arizona for a rare in-person meeting. We last met just before COVID, which caused a few years hiatus. Happily, we were finally able to renew this tradition. HMU President Joe Coulson started us off with an excellent introductory discussion about the similarities between music and poetry.

 » Read more about: Sonny’s Blues Discussion  »

March 1, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s blog.

Every spring, I am fortunate enough to attend the Southwest Popular/American Culture Association (SWPACA) conference. Every year, I come away with such enthusiasm for next year’s conference. How refreshing to be engaged in lively roundtable discussions with friendly and interested peers! I enjoy learning the breadth (and depth) of other’s special interests. It’s just so fun to meet people who are also interested in popular culture.

 » Read more about: Conference Conundrums  »

February 16, 2024

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Every January, our Quarterly Discussion centers around Natural Science. Since I was recently reading Carlo Rovelli’s book Anaximander and the Birth of Science, I decided to focus this discussion on the rift between science and philosophy. This is a subject which Rovelli writes about extensively. Honestly, I don’t fully understand the discord, so I used this discussion to better comprehend the places where science and philosophy meet as well as the places which cause the most debate.

 » Read more about: January Quarterly Discussion Review  »

November 24, 2023

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

Each fall, Great Books San Francisco hosts a Poetry Weekend. And if there’s one thing that I’m grateful for in this world, it’s poetry. I love to attend this event because of its hybrid nature. The first day is filled with reading and discussion. Groups of fifteen or so are separated into Zoom spaces where we read,

 » Read more about: Poetic Gratitude  »

September 15, 2023

Thanks to Alissa Simon, HMU Tutor, for today’s post.

I recently participated in a three day online festival hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The topics to be discussed mentioned AI and technology which happen to be recent fascinations of mine. Though I did not know what to expect, I immensely enjoyed the conference. Not only was it well-organized, the topics were timely and vital to the community of higher education.

 » Read more about: ChronFest 2023  »

August 4, 2023

Thanks to Dave Seng, HMU alumnus, for today’s post.    

In our last two posts we examined the nature of difficult questions—questions which cannot be reduced to utility or calculation and the rationality of humans contrasted with the functionality of AI. In this post I want to explore the question of wisdom. I will further develop why the hard irreducible questions might be a source of wisdom and then I want to explore how information is structured for human understanding which might lead to wisdom. Using this foundation,

 » Read more about: Will AI Ever Become Wise?  »

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