Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
astronomical clock
Rachel Carson

Category: Man

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 17, 2024

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

Metaphor was born from curiosity. From metaphor comes astonishing revelations. Such was the experience of this year’s April Quarterly Discussion. We discussed two short stories written by completely different authors, one by the contemporary science fiction and fantasy author Ted Chiang, and one by the Canadian Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Montgomery’s story “The Man on the Train,” first published in 1914,

 » Read more about: Unlikely Pairing  »

April 26, 2024

Thanks to Tyler Wright, a 2024 HMU Fellow in Ideas, for today’s review.

A recurrent theme in Mary Q. Steele’s Journey Outside is this idea of rejecting comfort and refuge in the familiar and instead turning one’s attention to the unknown.  Where other tales within the “hollow earth” subgenre present clear external threats that the protagonist must contend with, Dilar’s conflict resides strictly within himself. 

 » Read more about: BOOK REVIEW: Journey Outside by Mary Q. Steele  »

April 5, 2024

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

It’s an unlikely pairing, but reading Moby Dick feels a lot like taking a deep dive into a Queen album. First, you’re in gospel, then punk rock, then opera, and all of this about some seemingly mundane thing, like a bicycle. Or, in the case of Moby Dick, into the world of whaling. There are entire chapters on the shape of a whale’s head,

 » Read more about: Moby Dick and Queen  »

February 23, 2024

Thanks to Chad Greene, a 2023 Fellowship in Ideas recipient, for today’s blog.

“There is nothing new: all things are both familiar and short-lived,” the Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius Antoninus wrote more than 1,800 years ago in the text that we tend to title the Meditations (VII.1). Marcus Aurelius did not give them this title; he merely referred to them by a Greek term that translates to “things to one’s self.” So,

 » Read more about: A Week’s Worth of Meditations to Help Prepare to Read Marcus Aurelius  »

December 15, 2023

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

Apollonius of Rhodes fleshed out the story of Jason and Medea in The Voyage of the Argo. It describes a love story within a tale already full of adventure. More than a few things strike me as interesting about this work, such as the ship itself which creates a safe space for this rowdy band of heroes.

 » Read more about: The Voyage of the Argo  »

August 18, 2023

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

Harrison Middleton University hosts regularly scheduled discussions for the public as well as students. Open to anyone interested in intellectual discussion, short, easily digestible readings are provided electronically. If you’re interested in more information, reach me at as****@hm*.edu.

Our most recent Quarterly Discussion focused on Thomas Nagel’s article “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” and the first section of David Hume’s Treatise on Human Nature.

 » Read more about: Nagel and Hume on Consciousness  »

Conference Microphone

This year I presented unfinished work on purpose at a recent conference. I have seen people do this. It always seemed so brave and intimidating that I continually shied away…until this year. I have to be honest, rather than terrifying, it was extremely liberating. I began my presentation with the caveat that I was looking for advice and ideas. Unfortunately, our session ran long which cut short the Q and A portion. Yet, in the time that we had,

 » Read more about: Conference Feedback  »

March 31, 2023

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

This year I presented unfinished work on purpose at a recent conference. I have seen people do this. It always seemed so brave and intimidating that I continually shied away…until this year. I have to be honest, rather than terrifying, it was extremely liberating. I began my presentation with the caveat that I was looking for advice and ideas.

 » Read more about: Conference Feedback  »

January 13, 2023

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

Readers of Euripides might suspect that he disliked gods and heroes. For example, The Bacchae makes Dionysus appear like a megalomaniac. Hippolytus presents Aphrodite as a ruthless gamer. And in Heracles, the great hero returns from war only to brutally murder his family. Even many of Euripides’ contemporaries disliked his violence,

 » Read more about: The Cyclops by Euripides  »

September 2, 2022

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

Years ago, under the pressures of student life, I read the full volume of Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans (often referred to as Parallel Lives). Honestly, I was dreading it because I harbored assumptions about some of these ancient texts. (And we all know what a mistake it is to assume anything.) At that time,

 » Read more about: Plutarch Is My Favorite  »

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