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4.1 Why was our immortality an issue?

When reading about Hume's death you may have been puzzled as to why people became so worked up about Hume's attitude. The question of what, if anything, happens after death is something most of us are at least curious about, just as most of us are curious to know what we will be doing in a few years’ time. But curiosity cannot explain the venom evident in the condemnations of Hume.

The reason for the hostility can be approached by considering the opera Don Giovanni. The opera i
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5.1 Revolutionary calendar and metric system

We considered earlier the universalist principles of 1789 deriving from the Enlightenment that inspired the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the redivision of France into departments. As the dominant group in the Convention by 1793, the Jacobins regarded themselves as mandated to enact the ‘general will’ of the people in a sense inspired by Rousseau: not as the aggregate weight of the individual aspirations of 28 million Frenchmen, but as the expression of that which, as virtuous men
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Introduction

This case study looks at Aberdulais Falls near Neath, South Wales. This is a place of great natural beauty, but also an important industrial heritage site. The course considers the key issues affecting the decision-making of the bodies which are responsible for looking after our heritage. For example, who decides what should be preserved from the past as our heritage, who is this heritage for, and how should it be presented and explained? In this case study, we examine the heritage debates ar
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1.3 Napier's approach to logarithms

Napier's major and more lasting invention, that of logarithms, forms a very interesting case study in mathematical development. Within a century or so what started life as merely an aid to calculation, a set of ‘excellent briefe rules’, as Napier called them, came to occupy a central role within the body of theoretical mathematics.

The basic idea of what logarithms were to achieve is straightforward: to replace the wearisome task of multiplying two numbers by the simpler task
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1.2 Napier's bones

Before pursuing who logarithms were for (and what they are), we first look briefly at another of Napier's computational aids. For in the years following his death, it was in fact his numerating rods, the so-called Napier's bones, that were more widely known and used. These consisted of the columns of a multiplication table inscribed on rods, which could make the multiplying of two numbers easier by setting down the partial products more swiftly. This simple contrivance was derived from
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1.1 Background to Napier and his work

For many years, John Napier (1550–1617) spent his leisure time devising means for making arithmetical calculations easier. Just why a Scots laird at the turn of the seventeenth century should have thus devoted the energies left over from the management of his estates remains a puzzle. Up to the publication of his description of logarithms in 1614, three years before his death, Napier was best known to the world for his Protestant religious treatise A plaine discovery of the whole Revelat
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:

  • understand the significance of John Napier's contributions to mathematics;

  • give examples of the factors that influenced Napier's mathematical work.


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4 Conclusion

The biographical monograph is probably one of the best ways of writing appealing and accessible art history. Helen Langdon's Caravaggio is an attractive and well-written narrative of the life and work of an important and allegedly infamous artist. We learn about a set of artworks in a particular context and at the same time get to know a ‘new friend’ whose personality and environment seem to speak through the illustrations. The biographical structure is also a convenient way of con
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3.4 Further reading

Baxandall, M. (1985) Patterns of Intention: On the Historical Interpretation of Pictures, New Haven and London, Yale University Press.

Olin, M. (1996) ‘Gaze’ in Shiff, R. and Nelson, R.S. (eds) Critical Terms for Art History, Chicago and London, The University of Chicago Press, pp. 208–19.


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1.2 The myth of the artist

Consider Howard Hibbard's analysis of Caravaggio's The Martyrdom of St Matthew in the Contarelli chapel (Langdon Plate 19 – see the Web Gallery of Art at http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/c/caravagg/04/index.html) from his monograph, Caravaggio (1983). Hibbard identifies the figure at the rear to the left of the semi-naked executioner as the artist's self-portrait: ‘a bearded, saturnine villain who is none other than Caravaggio himself’.

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Introduction

This unit looks at a selection of short poems in German that were set to music by Franz Schubert (1797–1828) for a single voice with piano, a genre known as ‘Lieder’ (the German for ‘songs’). Once they became widely known, Schubert's Lieder influenced generations of songwriters up to the present day. This unit discusses a choice of Schubert's settings of Goethe's poems, and using recordings, the poems (in German with parallel translations into English) and the some music scores. You
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References

Ayer, A.J., 1954. ‘Freedom and necessity’, in Watson 1982, 15–23.
Butterfield, J., 1998. ‘Determinism’, in Craig 1998.
Craig, E., 1998. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, London and New York: Routledge.
Chisholm, R.M., 1964. ‘Human freedom and the self’, in Watson 1982, 24–35.
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3.4 Strawson: Section VI

There is only one more section left in the paper. Here, as we would expect, Strawson returns to the way in which he set out the problem (in II:4) and makes good his promise to ‘[give] the optimist something more to say’.

Activity


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Conclusion

You have now had an opportunity to examine the poetry of Sorley Maclean. This should have helped you gain an increased sense of the power of Maclean's poetry both in the English and in its original Gaelic.

The provision of the English translations and the discussion by the poet himself during the interview with Ian Critchton-Smith should have increased your understanding of the English texts.


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1.3 MacLean's Celtic roots

MacLean was born in 1911 in Osgaig, a small township on the Isle of Raasay, adjacent to Skye, the larger island where he went to school. His childhood was dominated by a majestic landscape. The woods of Raasay and the peaks of the Cuillin Hills on Skye are as central to his poetic universe as the hills of Cumbria to Wordsworth's. His father and mother combined work on a small croft with a tailoring business. The latter was severely hit by the great depression of the 1930s, and the family's re
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1.2 Grasping Gaelic

Activity 1

Please read the following poems by Sorley MacLean (linked below): ‘The Turmoil’, ‘Kinloch Ainort’, ‘Heroes’, ‘Death Valley’, ‘A Spring’, and ‘She to Whom I Gave…’. Some of the poems have both Gaelic
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10 Hold that space!

The caesura is the stress which falls at a moment of silence. It's the equivalent of a musical rest and is usually delineated by punctuation. Composers and poets recognise the importance of the space between notes.

The house that Jack or Jill might build

We know that poems

are made of lines

and lines need line-

breaks,

which we've already discussed.

These
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9 Metre

As we have seen, scansion is the act of mapping out stress patterns in order to ascertain the metre (rhythm). In the accentual-syllabic system, the dominant tradition in English, both accents (stresses) and syllables are measured and counted. In accentual metre, the stresses are counted and the syllables can vary. In syllabic metre, the syllables are counted, while the stresses can vary.

Here is pentameter, the line of f
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5.4 Tercets

The following poem is written in tercets.

There's no one here at the moment

It happens once, in his absence.

The bright hall rings, rings and, mid-ring,

clicks back over into silence.

It leaves two isolated sighs,

hers, momentarily frozen

before an ocean of blank space

that by nightfall he'll come across

and save against the backdrop of


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5.3 Stanzas and verse

The poem ‘The literal and the metaphor’, which you read in Section 5.1, was divided into two sections. We call these verses or stanzas, and they are the poetic equivalent of paragraphs, but with more shape, weight and focus than the prose equivalent. Stanzas are like islands encircled by shores. Or,
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