Category: Other Publications

On Misreading Homer and Finding the Divine in Coffee

Next month’s issue of the New York Review of Books features Gary Wills’ biting condemnation of the effort of Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly to reconcile modern nihilism in their new book All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age.  The problem is not that the book is […]

Alumni response to Brooks in NYTimes

A guest post from Core alumna Erin McDonagh, CAS ’10): New York Times columnist David Brooks recently discussed the results, 250 years later, of the split between the French Enlightenment and the English one. The French “emphasized individualism and reason,” while the British thinkers focused on social sentiments. As our modern selves learn to rely […]

Q: Is dark energy more interesting than dark matter?

Prof. Daniel Hudon, of CC105 and CC106, writes… This month, in their Readings department, Harper’s magazine published a list of questions* from the entrance examination to All Soul’s College at Oxford University. Applicants take four examinations of three hours each, and in the general subject tests must answer three questions from a list. The question […]

Montaigne On Modern Living and Fulfillment

American Interest Online offers a book review with commentary on How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell.  The review offers first insight into the peculiarities of Montaigne’s approach to his writings, and then on happiness itself, providing humanities scholars a cohesive argument on […]

The Examined Life is Rarely Worth Living?

The Economist summarizes a new book by James Miller,  Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche, wherein he explores the troubled lives of some of the world’s most famous philosophers.  He proposes that the pursuit of philosophical questions, wrought with uncertainty and self-questioning, has led to similarly unfortunately troubled lives: If one wanted to compile a […]

‘A Faustian bargain’: on the value of the humanities

Perhaps my own background will interest you. I started out as a classics major. I’m now Professor of Biochemistry and Chemistry. Of all the courses I took in college and graduate school, the ones that have benefited me the most in my career as a scientist are the courses in classics, art history, sociology, and […]

Core student authors first Bhutanese cookbook

This summer, Core student Erik Nagamatsu (Core ’11, CAS ‘13) released Foods of the Kingdom of Bhutan. This book, which Erik co-authored with his father, is the first cookbook ever devoted to the cuisine the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan.  Core student employees John McCargar and Tom Farndon sat down with Erik to talk about the […]

The Growing Class of Perennially Unemployed

Andy Kroll, in doing an investigative report on the growing list of unemployed and underemployed Americans, takes the case study of Rick Rembold to give a face to the economic struggle of aging middle-class Americans (via TomDispatch): “Wouldn’t that be better than no job at all?” I ask. Rembold gnaws on the question. “I can’t […]

An essay on the color of the canon

A prominent feature of the discussion about great books is the predominance of male authors, and of European ones. The Core at BU has since its inception included texts from the Eastern as well as the Western tradition — the epic of Gilgamesh, the Analects of Lao-Tzu, the Bhagavad-Gita — in the scope of its […]

Physical constants seem to vary, in SpaceDaily

In a challenge to the meaning of the concept “physical constant” as it is taught in CC105, a team of astrophysicists, led by John Webb in the University of New South Wales, Australia are claiming they have discovered a kind of variability in a fundamental constant of nature (via SpaceDaily): New research suggests that the […]