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9 Line lengths and line endings

Read the following prose extract taken from Walter Pater's discussion of the Mona Lisa, written in 1893, and then complete the activity:

She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire, she has been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave; and has been a diver in deep seas, and keeps their fallen day about her; and trafficked for strange webs with Eastern merchants: and, as L
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Introduction

This unit is designed to develop the analytical skills you need for a more in-depth study of literary texts. You will learn about rhythm, alliteration, rhyme, poetic inversion, voice and line lengths and endings. You will examine poems that do not rhyme and learn how to compare and contrast poetry.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Approaching Literature (A210) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us,
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1.8 Conclusion

In conclusion, what is Babylonian mathematics about? Although it is not easy to answer this question precisely, because of the difficulties of interpretation such as you saw with Plimpton 322, the overwhelming impression is of the study and use of numbers, and various techniques for solving problems involving numbers. Where the numbers arise from—whether land measurement, economic questions, idealised geometrical objects (cubes, triangles and so on), or just fairly abstractly—seems
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4.4 Political implications

In chapter VI of A Practical View Wilberforce broadens his perspective from the primarily spiritual emphasis of the earlier chapters to a consideration of the political implications of his analysis. In so doing he contributed to the ongoing debate on the French Revolution and the changing nature of British society and politics.

A Practical View can usefully be compared here with another work that gave considerable prominence to religion in the aftermath of 1789, Edmund Bu
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1.2 Upbringing; MP for Yorkshire

William Wilberforce (Figure 1) was born in Hull, the son and grandson of substantial merchants who had made their fortune in trade between Yorkshire and the Baltic. His father died in 1768 and he subsequently went to live for a period with his uncle and aunt. Through them he was exposed not only to the influence of John Newton, but also to that
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2.1 The sensible body

For centuries, and well into the early modern period, sense experience, including seeing, hearing and touching, as well as bodily movement, had been explained according to the precepts of Galenic physiology – that is, as the result of the action of animal spirits flowing along the nerves between the brain and the periphery. Nerves were understood as hollow ducts that distributed animal spirits to sustain sensation and motion. In his groundbreaking model of the body as a machine, Descartes r
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Introduction

This unit presents information about how Scottish healthcare institutions were influenced by the underlying social, economic, political and cultural contexts.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a series of innovative models of the body was produced, from the mechanical to the mathematical to the sensible. As groundbreaking anatomical investigation and physiological experimentation were carried out, the map of the body changed, and different parts (vessels, glands, nerves) acqu
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1.5 Napier and Briggs

The fact remains that few mathematical inventions have burst on the world so unexpectedly as Napier's logarithms. Although various disparate strands – the idea of doing multiplication via addition, the idea of comparing arithmetic and geometric progressions, the use of the concept of motion – had all been floated at some stage, the enthusiasm with which Napier's work was received makes it clear both that this was perceived as a novel invention and that it fulfilled a pressing need. Foremo
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3.3 ‘Intentionality’

Is the work of art a free-standing artefact to be interpreted entirely on its own terms, extracted from its historical context, as Bal does it? Or can the artist and the artwork be brought back together again without committing the intentional fallacy?

Joseph Margolis makes several important points about the relationship of an artwork to its maker which has significant implications for the limits and possibilities of interpretation of works of art. Margolis puts it thus:

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References

Brown, M.J.E. (1966) Schubert: A Critical Biography, London, Macmillan.
Deutsch, O.E. (1946) Schubert: A Documentary Biography, London, Dent.
Fischer-Dieskau, D. (1976) Schubert: A Biographical Study of his Songs, London, Cassell.
Goethe, J.W. von (1998) Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre, book 2, chapter 13,
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3.5 New light on compatibilist versus incompatibilist debate

Strawson has attempted to throw new light on the compatibilist versus incompatibilist debate by showing that there are certain ‘reactive attitudes’ that are a necessary part of the framework of anything that is recognizably the life of a person. His argument has centred on the claim that is it ‘useless’ to question these attitudes. He argues this by showing the role they have in our lives, and arguing that they are part of the ‘framework’ of life. We could put the point as follows
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3.1 Strawson: Sections I and II

Activity

Click on 'View document' to open Peter Strawson's article 'Freedom and Resentment'.

Learning outcomes

Having studied this unit you should be able to:

  • discuss what it means to be a person;

  • read and understand arguments discussing this question;


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Introduction

This unit asks what it is to be a person. You will see that there are several philosophical questions around the nature of personhood. Here we explore what it is that defines the concept. As you work through the unit, you will notice that this area of enquiry has developed its own semi-technical vocabulary. The plural of ‘person’ is, in this area of enquiry, ‘persons’ rather than ‘people’. It is easy to see the reason for this. The question ‘What are people?’ is potentially c
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4.3 Sentences: subject and object

A sentence consists of a number of words which, to make sense, must include a verb. Unless this is the only word in the sentence (as in ‘Run!’), there will normally be a word telling us who or what is doing the action. This doer, whether noun or pronoun, is called the subject of the verb.

Consider these sentences:

The players ran onto the pitch. The referee blew his whistle, and the centre-forward
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4.2.1 Nouns

Nouns are used to name people, places, things or concepts, for example Cicero, Italy, tree, happiness. Most nouns can be singular or plural, for example tree, trees. They each belong to a certain gender, masculine, feminine or neuter (from Latin neuter, neither). In English, nouns have natural gender; for example, boatsman is masculine, woman is feminine, student is of common gender (either masculine or feminine), and university and b
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2.3 After the recording

It follows that sorting MacLean's poems out by ‘themes’ entails the risk of disguising the tight interlocking of ‘Politics’, ‘Love’, ‘Landscape’, ‘War’ and ‘History’ in all his poetry down to 1945. Nevertheless, for convenience's sake, I will do this.


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2.1.2 The poems

Your reading in this unit has already prepared you to some extent, but please read the following poems (both the English and Gaelic versions are given) which are discussed in the recordings, and then listen to the recordings.

 

Kinloch Ainort

A company of mountains, an upthrust of mountains

a great garth of growing mountains

a concourse of summits, of knolls, of hills


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2.1 Before the recording

Now you have the opportunity to listen to the recordings of Sorley MacLean. I hope you will find that it brings to life the poetry that you have looked at on the page, and that it helps you to grasp some of the differences between Gaelic and English that affect MacLean's translation of his own work, as well as elucidating particular references that may have puzzled you. Perhaps the best plan, if you have time, will be to listen to each section once, and then go through them again, stopping an
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3 Studying philosophy

In the final section of this taster unit I want to say something about the process of studying philosophy. We can divide the process up into three components: reading (and listening), discussing, and writing. Let us take them in turn and see what they will involve in A211.

Reading. Reading philosophy is a special skill. You can't read a philosophy book as you would a novel. You will need to approach it carefully and critically, taking much more time than normal. Different
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