Category: Great Questions

From the Times Literary Supplement: Dylan’s voice, music, and words

A visionary trinity. ProfesSir Christopher Ricks is one of the most energetic octogenarians we have on the literary scene. Age has clearly not impaired his hearing, which has been and remains so keenly attune to the sounds and subtleties of (among others) Milton and Tennyson, that it has served as an aid for our own. […]

Study philosophy for better welders?

When Marco Rubio declared “We need more welders and less philosophers,” he was greeted with quite the bit of applause. This push for vocational work (shall we call it a populist appeal?) has become a central thread in the public conversation of this election season; this is likely motivated by continuing concerns about economic recovery […]

To believe or not to believe

Whether you are coming to the course as alover of science or to learn more ABOUT science, CC 212 (course name: “Reality”!) is a place to explore the beauty of quantum physics among many other topics. Eager physicists and philosophers alike enter one of the most challenging fields hoping to make a discovery that could […]

What We Lose if We Lose the Canon

The ease of publishing one’s writing online, in conjunction with the pleasure reading of popular fiction, may have changed our perception of the literary canon, says Arthur Krystal of The Chronicle Review. He fears a loss of appreciation for its greatness as new artists turn out works that will never have the same resonance as, say, a Shakespearean sonnet or a Homerian epic.

“Using Sophocles to Treat PTSD”

Prof. Esposito has written to us here at the Core blog to let us know about an extensive and interesting article from the most recent Harper’s Magazine, entitled “Using Sophocles to Treat PTSD”. He writes: I thought you might be interested in it especially since it’s about the performances of Sophocles’ Ajax, Philoctetes, and Women […]

Esposito introducing Bible lecture with Elie Wiesel

This past Tuesday, September 9th, Prof. Michael Zank of the Department of Religion lectured to students in the first-year Humanities about the Hebrew Bible. His talk was introduced with some very moving comments by Prof. Stephen Esposito (Classics), the course coordinator. Prof. Esposito has agreed to let us republish his introduction here on the Core […]

Borges! Studied for the first time in CC202

For the first time, CC202 is studying Jorge Luis Borges, and his story The Immortal. Here is a short excerpt from the introduction of our edition, with an epigraph by Francis Bacon: A recent article of interest discusses a stolen first edition of Borges’ first poems. It was supposedly returned to Argentina’s National Library, but there […]

Dante saving lives

Students of CC102 will remember the Divine Comedy as an exciting read, but also as the story of a man much older than most students. Dante deals, in a way, with his midlife crisis. In The American Conservative, Rob Dreher writes an article about how, at the age of 46, depressed and aimless, he read […]

David Green on Core and the canon

Prompted by Dean Sapiro’s lecture on Mary Wollstonecraft to question why there are so few women authors in the Core Humanities, Prof. David Green had his CC 202 students this week  momentarily put aside Pride and Prejudice and the question of whether happiness in marriage is a matter of chance to consider the criteria for […]

What would Plato Tweet?

With cerebral momentum from yesterday’s post on why philosophy won’t go away, let’s move on to another question raised by the same author, Rebecca Goldstein: what would Plato Tweet? Goldstein likens the modern social media attention-seeking frenzy to the ancient Greek striving for kleos, which, as students will remember from CC101, is somewhat equivalent to “glory”. […]