Harrison Middleton University
The Raven
Gertrude Stein
astronomical clock
Rachel Carson

Tag: imaginative literature

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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April 12, 2024

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

Seeing that April is National Poetry Month, and poetry is one of my lifelong loves, I wanted to spend a few moments to share my experience. From songs and music, to rhyme and meter, I love it all. But people often ask me what I get out of poetry, what it does for me. So, today’s blog is a little nod to a discipline and art form that I have wrestled with for years.

 » Read more about: The Power of Poetry  »

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  »

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  »

January 12, 2024

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

It is impossible to continue our conversation of charity, without a brief exploration of Esther’s Narrative. Chapter 13 of Bleak House is titled “Esther’s Narrative” and is the first of eleven chapters dedicated to her story. Though it purports to be about Esther, the chapter actually begins with a discussion of Richard’s vocation. Esther, in her usual humble manner,

 » Read more about: Charity and Esther’s Narrative  »

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  »

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  »

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  »

October 27, 2023

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

Viola Cordova was one of the first Native American women to earn a degree in philosophy. Born in 1937, she grew up in Taos, New Mexico. Embracing both her own past and her curiosity of the world, she discarded notions that philosophy should be separated into categories like white or western. Instead, she focused on using all of the tools that we have been given,

 » Read more about: V. F. Cordova Describes Energy  »

August 25, 2023

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

Don’t forget the sensations, Whitehead reminds us. Near the end of “Part II: Discussions and Applications” in Whitehead’s book Process and Reality, he mentions his frustration at the fact that philosophers (logicians, really) have discarded emotion as largely unworthy of discussion. He notes the various reasons that feeling is difficult to discuss, but then reminds us that it is also an essential aspect of experience.

 » Read more about: The Lure for Feeling  »

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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