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Tag: Syntopicon

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.


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  »

June 11, 2021

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

When looking through the Syntopicon under “F,” I find Family, Fate, and Form. Yet, the more I think about it, I want to find Forgiveness.

Merriam-Webster defines “forgive” as: to cease to feel resentment against; to give up resentment or requital; to grant relief from payment; to cancel an indebtedness. It comes from Old English (OE) “for-gifan” which had various meanings,

 » Read more about: Forgiveness  »

March 13, 2020

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

According to Virginia Woolf, reading is virtuous. The endeavor – performed well – enhances one’s being. It pleases her to see books on shelves in coffee houses, children’s rooms, and kitchens. In The Common Reader, Woolf celebrates the fact that reading, having evolved over many hundreds of years, has become a staple of the human lifestyle.

 » Read more about: Using Virginia Woolf to Discuss Emotion  »

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  »

June 22, 2018

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

“Man wishes to be happy, and only wishes to be happy, and cannot wish not to be so.” – Blaise Pascal

Listening to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony recently got me thinking about the difference between joy and happiness. Why does Beethoven end the 9th with an “Ode to Joy?” Why not “Ode to Happiness?” So many authors have discussed the importance of the idea of happiness,

 » Read more about: Joy or Happiness  »

April 21, 2017

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

“The french fry did not become America’s most popular vegetable until industry took over the jobs of of washing, peeling, cutting, and frying the potatoes – and cleaning up the mess.” – Michael Pollan

I don’t think that T.S. Eliot was referring to cleaning when he claimed that April is the cruellest month. However, April is often the culturally accepted time to clean out the old.

 » Read more about: Spring Cleaning  »

September 30, 2016

“We do not organize education the way we sense the world. If we did, we would have departments of Sky, Landscapes, Water, Wind, Sounds, Time, Seashores, Swamps and Rivers.” – David Orr, Author of Ecological Literacy

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

Merriam-Webster defines nature as: the physical world and everything that is not made by people. It also says, however, that nature can be: the way that a person or animal behaves.

 » Read more about: Nature Resources  »

January 15, 2016

“The days of peace and slumberous calm are fled;/ Those days, all innocent of scathing war,/ When all the fair Existences of heaven/ Came open-eyed to guess what we would speak: – / That was before our brows were taught to frown,/ Before our lips knew else but solemn sounds;/ That was before we knew the winged thing,/ Victory, might not be lost, or might be won.”

 » Read more about: Peace  »

December 18, 2015

In the Preface to Genius, literary critic and professor Harold Bloom asserts the existence of and need for a discussion of genius. In the book, Bloom describes one hundred different voices in which he finds an element of genius, of creation. He writes, “Talent cannot originate, genius must.” These authors are considered geniuses because they created something where nothing existed before. Vergil, for example, ordered the Roman world,

 » Read more about: Why the Syntopicon?  »

July 10, 2015

Comparative Literature is an intellectual field that requires a combination of research from more than one disparate fields. It is interesting to think about Comp Lit in relation to the Great Books. Mortimer Adler created the Great Ideas in hopes of having a searchable, navigable reference when looking at big issues that affect human civilization. Big ideas are, generally, generated by those facing a big problem. Therefore, solutions generally fit a specific issue at a specific time and involve a specific population.

 » Read more about: Comparisons, Intersections and Margins  »

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