Category: Great Questions

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”. […]

Why philosophy won’t go away

Are you living an examined life? No, really, are you? In between texting while walking, daydreaming while note-taking, scrolling while sleeping, and sleeping while strolling, are you living an examined life? It’s ok if you are not. Few are. But it’s an important question to ask oneself, and that’s why philosophy matters. Clancy Martin, in […]

The Downsides of Everyone Being a Critic

Not everyone is as lucky as those of us in Core. Very few can boast such an encompassing grasp of great works as we can; even less learn how to talk about these works, yet we, also, are able to hold a conversation with the best of them concerning Suicide, The Republic, any of the […]

“It’s over, book… you’re an inferior technology”

An amusing comic strip, on how we choose to read: An interesting read may be our article From Scroll to Screen.

What is wrong with TED talks?

Do you like TED talks? Some address issues relevant to the Core, including literature, art, theater, music, education, and choice of curriculum. Many of the talks can be informative and inspiring. However, Benjamin Bratton, a theorist in philosophy, art and design, raises an important point in his TED talk, titled What’s Wrong With TED Talks? He tackles what […]

Vermeer & his photo-realism

Related to CC201′s study of Rembrandt is the mysterious work of Johannes Vermeer, another painter of the Dutch Golden Age. His photo-realism has been a topic of debate – how did he achieve it? Vanity Fair offers some recent speculation. Here is a sample: Despite occasional speculation over the years that an optical device somehow enabled […]

Jay Samons & ‘What follows Democracy?’

Prof. Samons gave his famous Trireme lecture last Tuesday – a most exciting highlight of CC101 according to our alumni! Refresh your memory with some select quotes from previous years: “Triremes were built to kill. You can’t have fun on a trireme. You can’t water-ski behind one. You can’t hold an afternoon BBQ on one. […]

Machiavelli: still shocks 5 centuries later

CC201 has started off the semester by dabbling, among other things, in Machiavelli’s The Prince. Many were acquainted with the work from their high school years, and many were not - all admit it remains potent and relevant today. This post for The National Interest highlights the way in which The Prince still shocks today. A sample: […]