Modern Empiricism

David Hume / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Bryan W. Roberts Associate Professor of Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method London School of Economics & Political Science The Wolf in Grammatical Clothing One important concern of philosophy is the question of when one “knows” a proposition, as opposed to merely believing it. But a precondition for knowing a is that[…]

Crafting Quantum Theory: Margrethe Bohr and the Labor of Theoretical Physics

Margrethe and Neils Bohr, 1910. (Wikimedia Commons | Public Domain)  By Dr. Megan Shields Formato / 03.15.2018 Lecturer in Writing and Rhetoric Stanford University While the personal correspondence and public lectures of the Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist, Niels Bohr, often struck readers and listeners as spontaneous or unrehearsed, a painstaking  writing process preceded all of his[…]

On His 250th birthday, Joseph Fourier’s Math Still Matters

Fourier’s name is inscribed on the Eiffel Tower. / Creative Commons    By Dr. Richard Gunderman (left) and David Gunderman (right) / 03.20.2018 R. Gunderman: Chancellor’s Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University D. Gunderman: PhD Student in Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado March 21 marks the 250th birthday of one of the[…]

Senātus Populusque Rōmānus: The Roman World

Philippe Remacle, Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.20.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The Etruscans 1.1 – The Origins of Etruria The Etruscans were a Mediterranean civilization during the 6th to 3rd century BCE, from whom the Romans derived a great deal of cultural influence. 1.1.1 – Introduction Those who subscribe to an Italic[…]

Religion, Romanticism, and Cultural Reform in America, 1820-1860

Elizabeth Cady Stanton / Public Domain Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.19.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – The Age of Cultural Reforms 1.1 – Movements and Reforms 1.1.1 – Transcendentalism of the Nineteenth Century Transcendentalism was America’s first notable intellectual and philosophical movement. It developed in the 1830s and 1840s in the New England[…]

Mrs. Giacometti Prodgers, the Cabman’s Nemesis

Cartoon from Punch magazine, March 6th 1875, pp.106: (Internet Archive) Heather Tweed explores the story of the woman whose obsessive penchant for the lawsuit struck fear into the magistrates and cabmen alike of Victorian London. By Heather Tweed / 03.23.2016 Artist and Educator Imagine, if you will, strolling towards a Hackney cabstand in late 19th century London.[…]

Volcano Eruption Influenced Medieval Iceland’s Conversion to Christianity

Memories of the largest lava flood in the history of Iceland, recorded in an apocalyptic medieval poem, were used to drive the island’s conversion to Christianity, new research suggests. 03.19.2018 A team of scientists and medieval historians, led by the University of Cambridge, has used information contained within ice cores and tree rings to accurately[…]

The Art and Architecture of Cluny Abbey, France

The consecration of the main altar of Cluny III by Pope Urban II in 1095, in the presence of abbot St Hugh, from the Miscellanea secundum usum Ordinis Cluniacensis, late 12th – early 13th century, folio 91r (Illuminated Manuscript no. 17716, Bibliotheque National de France, Paris) By Christine M. Bolli / 09.08.2016 PhD Candidate in Art History University[…]

The Political Science of Campaigns, Elections, and Participation

The 33rd President of the United States of America, statesman Harry S Truman (1884 – 1972), waving from a train. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.17.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Elections 1.1 – Types of Elections From the broad and general to the small and local, elections are[…]

A Century of Change in America, 1917-2017

By Dr. Vaughn Davis Bornet / 03.18.2018 Professor Emeritus of History Southern Oregon College What were those moments, and when where those developments—the ones that now seem—on reflection– to have changed everything? The ones in my lifetime, I mean, that started as World War I approached an end? Let’s just start with Armistice Day, November 11, 1918.[…]

Hitler’s Americans

By Susan Ronald / 03.18.2018 Why were so many “great” Americans tarred with a pro-Nazi brush? Henry Ford. Connecticut Banker and Senator, Prescott Bush, father and grandfather of the Bush presidents. Charles Lindbergh. Even the first, albeit short-lived, America First Committee (1940-1941) with its origins at Yale University allowed itself to become infiltrated by dangerous agents of[…]

Military Campaigns of Xerxes the Great

A relief with a representation of Persian King Xerxes I. 5th century BCE, Persepolis. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 03.14.2018 Professor of Philosophy Marist College Introduction Xerxes I (ruled 486-465 BCE), also known as Xerxes the Great, was the king of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. His official title was Shahanshah which, though usually translated as `emperor’, actually means `king of kings’.[…]

Darwin’s Polar Bear

“Polar Bear”, artist unknown, ca. 1870s — Library of Congress Musings upon the whys and wherefores of polar bears, particularly in relation to their forest-dwelling cousins, played an important but often overlooked role in the development of evolutionary theory. By Michael Engelhard / 02.21.2018 Anthropologist As any good high school student should know, the beaks of[…]

Josephine Baker: Iconic Entertainer, Resistance Spy, and American Hero

Josephine Baker | AP By Chauncey K. Robinson / 03.01.2018 It seems only fitting with Black History Month closing out, and Women’s History Month beginning, to highlight a Black woman who exemplified strength and resilience in the face of discrimination and oppression. Famed entertainer Josephine Baker was not only a pioneer in breaking color barriers[…]

John Brown’s Raid

Daguerreotype of John Brown, by John Bowles, c.1856 / Boston Athenaeum via Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Christopher H. Hamner Professor of History George Mason University Brown and the Raid John Brown was active in the abolition movement for decades before the Civil War, and had earned a notorious reputation for his antislavery activities in Kansas during[…]

Painting the New World

‘The Flyer’, a Secotan Indian man painted by John White in 1585. British Museum, London In 1585 the Englishman John White, governor of one of the very first North American colonies, made a series of exquisite watercolour sketches of the native Algonkin people alongside whom the settlers would try to live. Benjamin Breen explores the[…]

A Medieval Tree of Knowledge

By Patrick Outhwaite / 04.20.2016 Like modern-day students, medieval people used diagrams and images to reinforce learning and memorisation. In long and complex philosophical manuscripts, occasionally an image was used to break the monotony of reading. The tree diagram considered here was part of a tradition of visualising information and concepts relating to philosophy, medicine and[…]

A Sociological Understanding of Deviance, Social Control, and Crime

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.15.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Deviance 1.1 – Introduction Merton’s Social Strain Theory: This diagram depicts Robert K. Merton’s Social Strain Theory. Deviance, in a sociological context, describes actions or behaviors that violate informal social norms or formally-enacted rules. Among those who study social norms and their relation[…]

Unsung Female Mathematicians: Celebrating Marion Walter

Searching for role models in the math world. ImageFlow/ By Dr. Jennifer Ruef / 03.12.2018 Assistant Professor of Education Studies University of Oregon When I was teaching mathematics in the 90s, before the internet, I had a book of “women mathematicians.” This was helpful for sharing inspirational stories with my middle school students, but there were[…]

Facing Mecca: An Introduction to the History of Islamic Art and Architecture

The Kaaba in Mecca / Photo by Moataz Egbaria, Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.15.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Islam Islamic art encompasses visual arts produced from the seventh century onwards by culturally Islamic populations. Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a book considered by its adherents to be[…]

Technology in Early Modern Europe

By Dr. Marcus Popplow / 07.06.2017 Professor of the History of Technical-Scientific Civilization Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) Die Forschungsuniversität in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Introduction In debates surrounding Europe’s shared history, the role of technology is hardly addressed. As a contributing factor, it appears too far removed from political or cultural processes of integration. At the same[…]

A Background to the History of Europe

A fresco from Pompeii showing a scene from the myth of Europa. This scene represents the capture of Europa by Zeus who had disguised himself as a bull. / Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli via Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.16.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Though archaeological evidence shows a Europe of continuous settlement over[…]