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12/14/09 / Jaquith

On genius and polymaths I wrote something similar before, but it occurred to me while driving that the canons of so many disciplines are comprised of the works of just a few men. How does it come to be like that? It’s like a big bang of sorts: the early minutes of a new discipline [...]

On great men

It is my (humble, uninformed, and unscientific) opinion, that greatness in men is more a function of historical context than any person’s innate genius. This is, of course, not to discount their personal contribution to whatever made them great or famous. Yesterday I was reading the introduction to a book when the name of William [...]


3:24 PM Discovered another author I hadn’t previously heard of. A Nobel laureate no less. Elias Canetti (link to author’s Nobel webpage). I’m interested in reading his Auto-da-fe. 3:34 PM Why, the fuck, is Reuters pronounced “Roiters”? 7:04 PM The inhumanity of man. (The article is graphic.) 8:58 PM Comfortable. Like a rat in a [...]

Philosophers on beauty

From (slightly verbose) article: For Plato, beauty was inseparable from eros, or desire. Roughly with Kant, however, philosophers became increasingly “mistrustful of passion” for all the usual reasons: its baseness, unreliability, and emotional illogic. Kantian philosophy sought to eliminate passion from beauty, replacing it with a model of disinterested contemplation. Kant called this category “the [...]

Is philosophy progressive?

From article: The arts are not like the sciences in this way, and don’t aim to be. “Beethoven did not surpass Bach,” says Nobel biologist Francois Jacob, “in the way that Einstein surpassed Newton.” Rather, the arts furnish a plenitude of points of view, reflecting the uniqueness of their makers. They can all express truths, [...]

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