Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
astronomical clock
Rachel Carson

Category: Student Post

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.


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  »

Machiavelli quote

September 8, 2023

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

If it’s been awhile since you have read Machiavelli’s The Prince, you might consider reading an excerpt with us this fall. We will examine two chapters of it in the October Quarterly Discussion. (Reach out to Alissa at as****@hm*.edu for more information). I was also thinking about how one might teach this work, how to bring it to life in the eyes of the students.

 » Read more about: The Prince and Pop Culture  »

August 11, 2023

Thanks to James Robertson, HMU student, for today’s post

Learning with Harrison Middleton University offers a number of advantages over more familiar approaches, and prominent among them is freedom, freedom to study at one’s own pace, and in one’s own way. This can be a pleasure, but it is a responsibility. Working with a sense of these twin poles, of freedom and responsibility, has, in my case, evolved a personal method.

 » Read more about: Weaving the Conversation  »

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?  »

July 28, 2023

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

To read the previous post in this series, visit hmu.edu

In our last post we looked at the importance of questions and why self-reflection as individuals and a society is important. It seems part of the human situation to ask questions in order to better understand who we are and how to navigate the world. In our discussion series,

 » Read more about: Can AI Have Human Rationality?  »

July 21, 2023

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

I recently participated in the fall discussion series, What the Greeks can Teach us About AI.  The series focused on four Greek plays — Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus; and Herakles, The Bacchae, and Medea by Euripides.  The discussions were insightful and explored many fascinating questions related to the human condition and societal concerns centering around technology and artificial intelligence (AI). 

 » Read more about: Can AI Help Us With Important Human Questions?  »

February 17, 2023

Thanks to James Robertson, HMU student, for today’s blog.

In a poem, Whitman writes “This is no book; who touches this touches a man” (Leaves of Grass). In contrast, Plato has Socrates observe that “writing is unfortunately like painting; for the creations of the painter have the attitude of life, and yet if you ask them a question they preserve a solemn silence” (Phaedrus).

 » Read more about: Imaginal Communion in Education  »

January 27, 2023

Thanks to James Robertson, HMU student, for today’s post.

Learning with Harrison Middleton involves immersion in a world of books and of reading, and is often an experience of enchantment, as now this author and now that nearly captures the heart. There is power in these books, ancient though they may be, and if one is to learn from them, rather than simply to submit to or reject them,

 » Read more about: The Magic of Reading  »

January 20, 2023

Thanks to Thomas Wells, HMU alumnus, for today’s blog.

I recently published a book of poetry: Complexions of Being, which was inspired by my time at Harrison Middleton University. I graduated in 2019, and my study at the university played an integral role in motivating and shaping the poetry in this book. To explain how this happened, I will describe my foray into poetry.

 » Read more about: Complexions of Being  »

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