Category: Great Personalities

One Of Us: Discussing Descartes & Animal Consciousness

Relating to CC201′s study of The Renaissance is the essay ‘One Of Us’ by John Jeremiah Sullivan on animal consciousness, in which he discusses Descartes’ views on the topic. Here is an extract: Descartes’ term for them [animals] was automata—windup toys, like the Renaissance protorobots he’d seen as a boy in the gardens at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, “hydraulic statues” that […]

Famous Authors To Famous Authors

As an example of fan letters written by famous authors to famous authors, here is a sample of W.H. Auden’s words to James Agee’s editors in 1944: In my opinion, his column is the most remarkable regular event in American journalism to-day. What he says is of such profound interest, expressed with such extraordinary wit […]

Six Degrees of Francis Bacon

This project reassembles the Early Modern social network, interweaving many of the personalities studied in CC201: bit.ly/15YyGnM

‘Seeds of Hope’ by Jane Goodall

In this article for the Boston Globe, Adam Langer discusses Jane Goodall’s new work. He describes it as: Part reminiscence, part natural history, and part plea on behalf of the natural world, “Seeds of Hope” begins with Goodall’s childhood in Bournemouth, England, where she recalls spending hours in her favorite tree doing her homework, reading […]

Core Texts on Leadership

Here are samples from the Odyssey, the Aeneid, and Don Quixote on the topic of leadership: My child, what strange remarks you let escape you. Could I forget that kingly man, Odysseus? There is no mortal half so wise; no mortal gave so much to the lords of open sky. ~ The Odyssey, Book I, […]

Giacinto Scelsi

From the Shutter Island Soundtrack: The Core presents Giacinto Scelsi, an Italian composer from the 20th century that remained largely unknown for most of his career. The impact caused by the late discovery of Scelsi’s works was described by Belgian musicologist Harry Halbreich: A whole chapter of recent musical history must be rewritten: the second half of […]

Sting & Confucius

The Core presents a song by Sting titled Englishman in New York. It’s message relates to CC102′s study of the Analects of Confucius. The Confucian idea of the ethics of a “gentleman”, to some extent, provides directions on how to behave in the “gentlemanly” way when in a foreign land. Sting addresses this idea of […]

Kurt Cobain: Letters & Journals

Kurt Cobain’s music and ideas have had a large impact on several generations, and the Core finds it worth acknowledging. In this article, Maria Popova explores and provides pages from the letters and journals of grunge legend. She describes the collection: The posthumously released Kurt Cobain: Journals (public library) offers an unprecedented glimpse of the modern icon’s […]

Winston Churchill- ‘Our Modern Watchwords’

Until recently, Winston Churchill was only known to have written one poem as a schoolboy. Now, a 10-verse poem he wrote while serving in the army has emerged, from 1898 when he was 24 years old. Two of the 10 stanza of the work, titled ‘Our Modern Watchwords’, read: The shadow falls along the shore The search […]