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Tag: Great Ideas

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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December 29, 2023

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

Charity takes center stage this time of year. In Bleak House also, charity becomes a sort of character. Even limited to the first six chapters, Dickens explores a variety of charities. The protagonist, Esther Summerson, is introduced as an orphan in the care of her godmother who is a deeply religious woman. Esther’s godmother sees nothing but sin in the young girl and therefore treats her austerely.

 » Read more about: Charity in Bleak House  »

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  »

May 27, 2022

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

In order to continue with my investigations of Artificial Intelligence (AI), I am looking into historical understandings of the mind. Mind is also one of the great ideas, so obviously there has been a lot of research, discussion, and theorizing about what it is, where it is located, and how it functions. For today’s blog, I simply focus on Lucretius.

 » Read more about: Lucretius Defines Mind  »

May 13, 2022

Thanks to 2022 Fellow in Ideas, David Yamada, for today’s post.

Lost in Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of an Intellectual Life by Zena Hitz

As the humanities and social sciences face core threats fueled by higher education budget cuts and political divisions, they are conventionally defended on vocational and practical grounds. The liberal arts, so the argument goes, provide a strong grounding for successful careers by teaching students how to read,

 » Read more about: BOOK REVIEW: Lost in Thought  »

January 31, 2020

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

“Genome engineered plants and animals are happening right now. And this puts in front of all of us a huge responsibility to consider carefully both the unintended consequences as well as the intended impacts of a scientific breakthrough.” – Jennifer Duodna, TED Talk

In January’s Quarterly Discussion, we looked at The Law by Hippocrates and also some videos and an article by Jennifer Duodna,

 » Read more about: Hippocrates and Gene-editing  »

January 4, 2019

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

Some members in my family celebrate New Year’s Eve with lutefisk or sauerkraut. Some people celebrate with both. I, however, draw the line at lutefisk. I just cannot stomach it. What seems to me to be a petty difference of taste really bothers others, though. They fear bad karma (or something) when I disrespect the tradition. We turn this into a joke at the dinner table,

 » Read more about: Celebrate the Old and New  »

June 29, 2018

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

“Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” – Winston Churchill

Alexis de Tocqueville recognized that democracy presented major changes in the political world which would also affect the social world.

 » Read more about: Tocqueville Celebrates Democracy  »

June 9, 2017

Thanks to Alissa Simon for today’s post.

In the Syntopicon (Astronomy and Cosmology chapter), Mortimer Adler notes that “Man has used astronomy to measure not only the passage of time or the course of a voyage, but also his position in the world, his power of knowing, his relation to God. When man first turns from himself and his immediate earthly surroundings to the larger universe of which he is a part,

 » Read more about: Astronomy Imaging  »

April 28, 2017

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

Did you know that Poetry is listed as one of the Great Ideas in the Syntopicon? If you didn’t you are not alone. However, the importance of this inclusion is often overlooked. Since it is National Poetry Month, now is the best time to better understand why poetry might be considered one of the “great ideas”. For me, poetry is an easy sell.

 » Read more about: National Poetry Month  »

February 17, 2017

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

In “Philebus”, Socrates and Protarchus attempt to understand unity. Socrates states, “The one and many become identified by thought…They run about together, in and out of every word which is uttered…This union of them will never cease, and is not now beginning, but is an…everlasting quality of thought itself, which never grows old.” In other words, the idea of unity is an ancient one – older even than Plato’s writings and Socrates himself.

 » Read more about: Alyosha in Brothers Karamazov  »

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