A person who significantly influenced or was significantly influenced by others.
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Kenneth Elton "Ken" Kesey ( /ˈkiːziː/; September 17, 1935 – November 10, 2001) was an American author, best known for his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962) and as a counter-cultural figure who considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s. "I was too young to be a beatnik, and too old to be a hippie," Kesey said in a 1999 interview with Robert K. Elder.
Ken Kesey was born in La Junta, Colorado, to dairy farmers Frederick A. Kesey and Geneva (Smith). In 1946, the family moved to Springfield, Oregon. Kesey was a champion wrestler in both high school and college in the 174 pound weight division, and he almost qualified to be on the Olympic team until a serious shoulder injury stopped his wrestling career. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1953. An avid reader and filmgoer, the young Kesey took John Wayne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Zane Grey as his role models (later naming a son Zane) and toyed with magic, ventriloquism, and hypnotism.
In 1956, while attending college at the University of Oregon in neighboring Eugene, Kesey eloped with his high-school sweetheart, Norma "Faye" Haxby, whom he had met in seventh
Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (also Antoine Lavoisier after the French Revolution; 26 August 1743 – 8 May 1794; French pronunciation: [ɑ̃twan lɔʁɑ̃ də lavwazje]), the "father of modern chemistry," was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry and biology. He named both oxygen (1778) and hydrogen (1783) and helped construct the metric system, put together the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature. He was also the first to establish that sulfur was an element (1777) rather than a compound. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same.
He was an administrator of the Ferme Générale and a powerful member of a number of other aristocratic councils. All of these political and economic activities enabled him to fund his scientific research. At the height of the French Revolution, he was accused by Jean-Paul Marat of selling adulterated tobacco, and of other crimes and was eventually guillotined a year after Marat's death. Benjamin Franklin was familiar with Antoine, as they were both members of the "Benjamin Franklin inquiries" into Mesmer and animal magnetism.
Born to a wealthy
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), commonly known as Michelangelo (Italian pronunciation: [mikeˈlandʒelo]), was an Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci.
Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and ever since then he has been held to be one of the greatest artists of all time. A number of his works in painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in every field during his long life was prodigious; when the sheer volume of correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences that survive is also taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, Michelangelo also created two of the
René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (German: [ˈʁaɪnɐ maˈʁiːa ˈʁɪlkə]; 4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian-Austrian poet. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety: themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets.
He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose. Among English-language readers, his best-known work is the Duino Elegies; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographical Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. He also wrote more than 400 poems in French, dedicated to his homeland of choice, the canton of Valais in Switzerland.
He was born René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke in Prague, capital of Bohemia (then part of Austria-Hungary, now the Czech Republic). His childhood and youth in Prague were not especially happy. His father, Josef Rilke (1838–1906), became a railway official after an unsuccessful military career. His mother, Sophie ("Phia")
Émile François Zola (French: [e.mil zɔ.la]; 2 April 1840 – 29 September 1902) was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'Accuse.
Zola was born in Paris in 1840. His father, François Zola (originally Francesco Zolla), was an Italian engineer. With his French wife Émilie Aurélie Aubert, the family moved to Aix-en-Provence in the southeast, when Émile was three years old. Four years later in 1847, his father died leaving his mother on a meager pension. In 1858 the Zolas moved to Paris, where Émile's childhood friend Paul Cézanne soon joined him. Zola started to write in the romantic style. His widowed mother had planned a law career for Émile but he failed his Baccalauréat examination.
Before his breakthrough as a writer, Zola worked as a clerk in a shipping firm and then in the sales department for a publisher (Hachette). He also wrote literary and art reviews
Bruno Latour (French: [latuʁ]; born 22 June 1947) is a French sociologist of science and anthropologist and an influential theorist in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS). After teaching at the École des Mines de Paris (Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation) from 1982 to 2006, he is now Professor at Sciences Po Paris (2006), where he is the scientific director of the Sciences Po Medialab.
He is best known for his books We Have Never Been Modern (1991; English translation, 1993), Laboratory Life (with Steve Woolgar, 1979) and Science in Action (1987). Although his studies of scientific practice were at one time associated with social constructionist approaches to the philosophy of science, Latour has diverged significantly from such approaches. Latour is best known for withdrawing from the subjective/objective division and re-developing the approach to work in practice. Along with Michel Callon and John Law, Latour is one of the primary developers of actor–network theory (ANT), a constructionist approach influenced by the ethnomethodology of Harold Garfinkel, the generative semiotics of Greimas, and (more recently) the sociology of Durkheim's rival Gabriel Tarde.
Honoré de Balzac (French pronunciation: [ɔ.nɔ.ʁe d(ə) bal.zak] ; 20 May 1799 – 18 August 1850) was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled, La Comédie humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon.
Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multifaceted characters, who are complex, morally ambiguous and fully human. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gustave Flaubert, Benito Pérez Galdós, Marie Corelli, Henry James, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics.
An enthusiastic reader and independent thinker as a child, Balzac had trouble adapting to the teaching style of his grammar school. His willful nature
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE ( /ˈtɒlkiːn/; 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature there from 1945 to 1959. He was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.
After his death, Tolkien's son Christopher published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings.
While many other
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these in any profound sense. He was born in Monmouthshire, into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in Britain.
Russell led the British "revolt against idealism" in the early 20th century. He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege and his protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. He co-authored, with A. N. Whitehead, Principia Mathematica, an attempt to ground mathematics on logic. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy." His work has had a considerable influence on logic, mathematics, set theory, linguistics, computer science (see type theory and type system), and philosophy, especially philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics.
Russell was a prominent anti-war activist; he championed
Johann Kaspar Schmidt (October 25, 1806 – June 26, 1856), better known as Max Stirner was a German philosopher who was one of the forerunners in nihilism, existentialism, post-modernism, and anarchism, especially of individualist anarchism. Stirner's main work is The Ego and Its Own, also known as The Ego and His Own (Der Einzige und sein Eigentum in German, which translates literally as The Unique One and his Property). This work was first published in 1844 in Leipzig, and has since appeared in numerous editions and translations.
Stirner was born in Bayreuth, Bavaria. What little is known of his life is mostly due to the Scottish born German writer John Henry Mackay, who wrote a biography of Stirner (Max Stirner - sein Leben und sein Werk), published in German in 1898 (enlarged 1910, 1914), and translated into English in 2005.
Stirner was the only child of Albert Christian Heinrich Schmidt (1769–1807) and Sophia Elenora Reinlein (1778–1839). His father died of tuberculosis on the April 19, 1807 at the age of 37. In 1809 his mother remarried to Heinrich Ballerstedt, a pharmacist, and settled in West Prussian Kulm (now Chełmno, Poland).
When Stirner turned 20, he attended the
William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads.
Wordsworth's magnum opus is generally considered to be The Prelude, a semiautobiographical poem of his early years which he revised and expanded a number of times. It was posthumously titled and published, prior to which it was generally known as the poem "to Coleridge". Wordsworth was Britain's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.
The second of five children born to John Wordsworth and Ann Cookson, William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770 in Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, Cumberland—part of the scenic region in northwest England, the Lake District. His sister, the poet and diarist Dorothy Wordsworth, to whom he was close all his life, was born the following year, and the two were baptised together. They had three other siblings: Richard, the eldest, who became a lawyer; John, born after Dorothy, who went to sea and died in 1805 when the ship of which he was Master, the Earl of Abergavenny, was wrecked off the south coast of England; and
Adrien-Marie Legendre (French pronunciation: [adʁiɛ̃ maʁi ləʒɑ̃ːdʁ]) (18 September 1752 – 10 January 1833) was a French mathematician. Legendre made numerous contributions to mathematics. Well-known and important concepts such as the Legendre polynomials and Legendre transformation are named after him.
Adrien-Marie Legendre was born in Paris (or possibly, in Toulouse, depending on sources) on 18 September 1752 to a wealthy family. He was given an excellent education at the Collège Mazarin in Paris, defending his thesis in physics and mathematics in 1770. From 1775 to 1780 he taught at the École Militaire in Paris, and from 1795 at the École Normale, and was associated with the Bureau des longitudes. In 1782, he won the prize offered by the Berlin Academy for his treatise on projectiles in resistant media, which brought him to the attention of Lagrange.
In 1783 he became an adjoint of the Académie des Sciences, and an associé in 1785. In 1789 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. During the French Revolution, in 1793, he lost his private fortune, but was able to put his affairs in order with the help of his wife, Marguerite-Claudine Couhin, whom he married in the same year.
Blaise Pascal (French: [blɛz paskal]; 19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662), was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method.
In 1642, while still a teenager, he started some pioneering work on calculating machines, and after three years of effort and 50 prototypes he invented the mechanical calculator. He built twenty of these machines (called pascal's calculator and later pascaline) in the following ten years. Pascal was an important mathematician, helping create two major new areas of research: he wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen, and later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science. Following Galileo and Torricelli, in 1646 he refuted Aristotle's
Joseph Priestley, FRS (13 March 1733 (O.S.) – 6 February 1804) was an 18th-century English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator, and political theorist who published over 150 works. He is usually credited with the discovery of oxygen, having isolated it in its gaseous state, although Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Antoine Lavoisier also have a claim to the discovery.
During his lifetime, Priestley's considerable scientific reputation rested on his invention of soda water, his writings on electricity, and his discovery of several "airs" (gases), the most famous being what Priestley dubbed "dephlogisticated air" (oxygen). However, Priestley's determination to defend phlogiston theory and to reject what would become the chemical revolution eventually left him isolated within the scientific community.
Priestley's science was integral to his theology, and he consistently tried to fuse Enlightenment rationalism with Christian theism. In his metaphysical texts, Priestley attempted to combine theism, materialism, and determinism, a project that has been called "audacious and original". He believed that a proper understanding of the natural world would promote
Edward Estlin Cummings (October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962), popularly known as E. E. Cummings, with the abbreviated form of his name often written by others in lowercase letters as e.e. cummings (in the style of some of his poems—see name and capitalization, below), was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings. He is remembered as a preeminent voice of 20th century poetry.
Born into a Unitarian family, Cummings exhibited transcendental leanings his entire life. As he grew in maturity and age, Cummings moved more toward an "I, Thou" relationship with God. His journals are replete with references to “le bon Dieu” as well as prayers for inspiration in his poetry and artwork (such as “Bon Dieu! may I some day do something truly great. amen.”). Cummings "also prayed for strength to be his essential self ('may I be I is the only prayer—not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong'), and for relief of spirit in times of depression ('almighty God! I thank thee for my soul; & may I never die
Irvine Welsh (born 27 September 1958) is a contemporary Scottish novelist, best known for his novel Trainspotting. His work is characterised by a raw Scots dialect, and brutal depiction of the realities of Edinburgh life. He has also written plays, screenplays, and directed several short films.
Irvine Welsh was born in Leith, the port area of the Scottish capital Edinburgh. He gives his birthdate as 1958, though it has been widely reported that it is actually 1951. His family moved to Muirhouse, in Edinburgh, when he was four, where the family stayed at local housing schemes. His mother worked as a waitress. His father was a dock worker in Leith until bad health forced him to become a carpet salesman; he died when Welsh was 25. Welsh left Ainslie Park High School when he was 16 and then completed a City and Guilds course in electrical engineering. He became an apprentice TV repairman until an electric shock persuaded him to move on to a series of other jobs. He left Edinburgh for the London punk scene in 1978, where he played guitar and sang in The Pubic Lice and Stairway 13, the latter a reference to the Ibrox disaster. A series of arrests for petty crimes and finally a suspended
Denis Diderot (French: [dəni didʁo] ; October 5, 1713 – July 31, 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer. He was a prominent person during the Enlightenment and is best known for serving as co-founder and chief editor of and contributor to the Encyclopédie along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert.
Diderot also contributed to literature, notably with Jacques le fataliste et son maître (Jacques the Fatalist and his Master), which emulated Laurence Sterne in challenging conventions regarding novels and their structure and content, while also examining philosophical ideas about free will. Diderot is also known as the author of the dialogue, Le Neveu de Rameau (Rameau's Nephew), upon which many articles and sermons about consumer desire have been based.
Denis Diderot was born in Langres, Champagne, and began his formal education at the jesuitic Collège jésuite in Langres.
His parents were Didier Diderot (1675–1759) a cutler, maître coutelier and his wife Angélique Vigneron (1677–1748). Three of five siblings survived to adulthood, Denise Diderot (1715–1797) and their youngest brother Pierre-Didier Diderot (1722–1787), and finally their sister Angélique Diderot (1720–1749).
Ernest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson OM, FRS (30 August 1871 – 19 October 1937) was a New Zealand-born British chemist and physicist who became known as the father of nuclear physics. He is considered the greatest experimentalist since Michael Faraday (1791–1867).
In early work he discovered the concept of radioactive half-life, proved that radioactivity involved the transmutation of one chemical element to another, and also differentiated and named alpha and beta radiation, proving that the former was essentially helium ions. This work was done at McGill University in Canada. It is the basis for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry he was awarded in 1908 "for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of radioactive substances".
Rutherford performed his most famous work after he had moved to the Victoria University of Manchester in the UK in 1907 and was already a Nobel laureate. In 1911, although he could not prove that it was positive or negative; he theorized that atoms have their charge concentrated in a very small nucleus, and thereby pioneered the Rutherford model of the atom, through his discovery and interpretation of Rutherford
Quintus Horatius Flaccus (8 December 65 BC – 27 November 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. The rhetorician Quintillian regarded his Odes as just about the only Latin lyrics worth reading: "He can be lofty sometimes, yet he is also full of charm and grace, versatile in his figures, and felicitously daring in his choice of words."
Horace also crafted elegant hexameter verses (Sermones and Epistles) and caustic iambic poetry (Epodes). The hexameters are amusing yet serious works, friendly in tone, leading the ancient satirist Persius to comment: "as his friend laughs, Horace slyly puts his finger on his every fault; once let in, he plays about the heartstrings". Some of his iambic poetry has seemed repulsive to modern audiences.
His career coincided with Rome's momentous change from Republic to Empire. An officer in the republican army defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, he was befriended by Octavian's right-hand man in civil affairs, Maecenas, and became a spokesman for the new regime. For some commentators, his association with the regime was a delicate balance in which he maintained a strong
Wallace Stevens (October 2, 1879 – August 2, 1955) was an American Modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, and he spent most of his life working as an executive for an insurance company in Hartford, Connecticut. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his Collected Poems in 1955.
Some of his best-known poems include "Valley Candle", "Anecdote of the Jar", "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock", "The Emperor of Ice-Cream", "The Idea of Order at Key West", "Sunday Morning", "The Snow Man", and "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."
The son of a prosperous lawyer, Stevens attended Harvard as a non-degree special student, after which he moved to New York City and briefly worked as a journalist. He then attended New York Law School, graduating in 1903. On a trip back to Reading in 1904 Stevens met Elsie Viola Kachel (1886–1963, aka Elsie Moll), a young woman who had worked as a saleswoman, milliner, and stenographer. After a long courtship, he married her in 1909 over the objections of his parents, who considered her lower-class. As The New York Times reported in an article in 2009, "Nobody from his family attended the
Paul-Marie Verlaine (French pronunciation: [vɛʁˈlɛn]; 30 March 1844 – 8 January 1896) was a French poet associated with the Symbolist movement. He is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry.
Born in Metz, he was educated at the Lycée impérial Bonaparte (now the Lycée Condorcet) in Paris and then took up a post in the civil service. He began writing poetry at an early age, and was initially influenced by the Parnassien movement and its leader, Leconte de Lisle. Verlaine's first published poem was published in 1863 in La Revue du progrès, a publication founded by poet Louis-Xavier de Ricard. Verlaine was a frequenter of the salon of the Marquise de Ricard (Louis-Xavier de Ricard's mother) at 10 Boulevard des Batignolles and other social venues, where he rubbed shoulders with prominent artistic figures of the day: Anatole France; Emmanuel Chabrier; inventor-poet and humorist Charles Cros; the cynical anti-bourgeois idealist Villiers de l'Isle-Adam; Theodore de Banville; François Coppée; Jose-Maria de Heredia; Leconte de Lisle; Catulle Mendes, and others. Verlaine's first published collection, Poèmes saturniens (1866),
Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and journalist. His work is marked by clarity, intelligence and wit, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and belief in democratic socialism.
Considered perhaps the 20th century's best chronicler of English culture, Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945), which together have sold more copies than any two books by any other 20th-century author. His book Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, is widely acclaimed, as are his numerous essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".
Orwell's work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian—descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices—has entered the vernacular with several of his neologisms, such as doublethink, thoughtcrime, and thought police.
Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) was a noted American art collector of seminal modernist paintings and an experimental writer of novels, poetry and plays, which eschewed the narrative, linear, and temporal conventions of 19th century literature. She moved to Paris in 1903, making France her home for the remainder of her life. For some forty years, the Stein home on the Left Bank of Paris would become a renowned Saturday evening gathering place for expatriate American artists and writers, and others noteworthy in the world of vanguard arts and letters. Entre and membership in the Stein salon was a sought after validation signifying that Stein had recognized a talent worthy of inclusion into a rarefied group of gifted artists. Stein became combination mentor, critic, and guru to those who gathered around her. A self-defined "genius", she was described as an imposing figure with a commanding manner whose inordinate self-confidence could intimidate. Among her coterie she was referred to as “Le Stein” and with less laudatory deference as “The Presence.”
In 1933, Stein published the memoirs of her Paris years titled The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, which became a
John Roderigo Dos Passos (/dɵsˈpæsɵs/; January 14, 1896 – September 28, 1970) was an American novelist and artist.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Dos Passos was the illegitimate son of John Randolph Dos Passos (1844–1917), a distinguished lawyer of Madeiran Portuguese descent, and Lucy Addison Sprigg Madison of Petersburg, Virginia. The elder Dos Passos was married with a son several years older than John. Although John's father married his mother after the death of his first wife in 1910, he refused to acknowledge John for another two years, until he was 16. John Randolph Dos Passos was an authority on trusts, a staunch supporter of the powerful industrial conglomerates that his son would come to oppose in his fictional works of the 1920s and 1930s.
The younger Dos Passos received a first-class education, enrolling at The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall) in Wallingford, Connecticut in 1907 under the name John Roderigo Madison, then traveling with a private tutor on a six-month tour of France, England, Italy, Greece, and the Middle East to study the masters of classical art, architecture, and literature.
In 1912, he enrolled in Harvard University. Following his graduation in
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop, and despite his death at 37, a large body of his work remains. Many of his works are found in the Apostolic Palace of The Vatican, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was self-designed, but for the most part executed by the workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking. After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th
William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and libertarian socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement. He founded a design firm in partnership with the artist Edward Burne-Jones, and the poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti which profoundly influenced the decoration of churches and houses into the early 20th century. As an author, illustrator and medievalist, he helped to establish the modern fantasy genre, and was a direct influence on postwar authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien. He was also a major contributor to reviving traditional textile arts and methods of production, and one of the founders of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, now a statutory element in the preservation of historic buildings in the UK.
Morris wrote and published poetry, fiction, and translations of ancient and medieval texts throughout his life. His best-known works include The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems (1858), The Earthly Paradise (1868–1870), A Dream of John Ball (1888), the utopian News from Nowhere (1890), and the fantasy romance The Well at the World's End (1896). He
Claude Monet (French pronunciation: [klod mɔnɛ/mɔne]) (14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant).
Claude Monet was born on 14 November 1840 on the 5th floor of 45 rue Laffitte, in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. He was the second son of Claude Adolphe Monet and Louise Justine Aubrée Monet, both of them second-generation Parisians. On 20 May 1841, he was baptized in the local parish church, Notre-Dame-de-Lorette, as Oscar-Claude, but his parents called him simply Oscar. In 1845, his family moved to Le Havre in Normandy. His father wanted him to go into the family grocery business, but Monet wanted to become an artist. His mother was a singer.
On 1 April 1851, Monet entered Le Havre secondary school of the arts. Locals knew him well for his charcoal caricatures, which he would sell for ten to twenty francs. Monet also undertook his first drawing lessons
Rabindranath Tagore pronunciation (help·info) (Bengali: রবীন্দ্রনাথ ঠাকুর; 7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), sobriquet Gurudev, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped his region's literature and music. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; his seemingly mesmeric personality, flowing hair, and other-worldly dress earned him a prophet-like reputation in the West. His "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He was highly influential in introducing the best of Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of modern India.
A Pirali Brahmin from Calcutta, Tagore wrote poetry as an eight-year-old. At age sixteen, he released his first substantial poems under the pseudonym Bhānusiṃha ("Sun Lion"), which were seized upon by literary authorities as
Thomas Clayton Wolfe (October 3, 1900 – September 15, 1938) was a major American novelist of the early 20th century.
Wolfe wrote four lengthy novels, plus many short stories, dramatic works and novellas. He is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing. His books, written and published from the 1920s to the 1940s, vividly reflect on American culture and mores of the period, albeit filtered through Wolfe's sensitive, sophisticated and hyper-analytical perspective. He became very famous during his own lifetime.
After Wolfe's death, his chief contemporary William Faulkner said that Wolfe may have had the best talent of their generation. Wolfe's influence extends to the writings of famous Beat writer Jack Kerouac, authors Ray Bradbury and Philip Roth, among others. He remains one of the most important writers in modern American literature, as he was one of the first masters of autobiographical fiction. He is considered North Carolina's most famous writer.
Wolfe was born in Asheville, North Carolina, the youngest of eight children of William Oliver Wolfe (1851–1922) and Julia Elizabeth Westall (1860–1945). His siblings
George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950) was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw's attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.
He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles. For a short time he was active in local politics, serving on the London County Council.
In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte
Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (12 March 1824 – 17 October 1887) was a German physicist who contributed to the fundamental understanding of electrical circuits, spectroscopy, and the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects.
He coined the term "black body" radiation in 1862, and two sets of independent concepts in both circuit theory and thermal emission are named "Kirchhoff's laws" after him, as well as a law of thermochemistry. The Bunsen–Kirchhoff Award for spectroscopy is named after him and his colleague, Robert Bunsen.
Gustav Kirchhoff was born in Königsberg, East Prussia, the son of Friedrich Kirchhoff, a lawyer, and Johanna Henriette Wittke. He graduated from the Albertus University of Königsberg in 1847 where he attended the mathematico-physical seminar directed by Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi, Franz Ernst Neumann and Friedrich Julius Richelot. He married Clara Richelot, the daughter of his mathematics professor Richelot. In the same year, they moved to Berlin, where he stayed until he received a professorship at Breslau.
Kirchhoff formulated his circuit laws, which are now ubiquitous in electrical engineering, in 1845, while still a student. He completed this study as a
Pericles (Greek: Περικλῆς, Periklēs, "surrounded by glory"; c. 495 – 429 BC) was a prominent and influential Greek statesman, orator, and general of Athens during the city's Golden Age—specifically, the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars. He was descended, through his mother, from the powerful and historically influential Alcmaeonid family.
Pericles had such a profound influence on Athenian society that Thucydides, his contemporary historian, acclaimed him as "the first citizen of Athens". Pericles turned the Delian League into an Athenian empire and led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War. The period during which he led Athens, roughly from 461 to 429 BC, is sometimes known as the "Age of Pericles", though the period thus denoted can include times as early as the Persian Wars, or as late as the next century.
Pericles promoted the arts and literature; it is principally through his efforts that Athens holds the reputation of being the educational and cultural center of the ancient Greek world. He started an ambitious project that generated most of the surviving structures on the Acropolis (including the Parthenon). This project beautified
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (German: [ˈɡeɔɐ̯k ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈheːɡəl]; August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher, and a major figure in German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.
Hegel developed a comprehensive philosophical framework, or "system", of Absolute idealism to account in an integrated and developmental way for the relation of mind and nature, the subject and object of knowledge, psychology, the state, history, art, religion, and philosophy. In particular, he developed the concept that mind or spirit manifested itself in a set of contradictions and oppositions that it ultimately integrated and united, without eliminating either pole or reducing one to the other. Examples of such contradictions include those between nature and freedom, and between immanence and transcendence.
Hegel influenced writers of widely varying positions, including both his admirers (Strauss, Bauer, Feuerbach, T. H. Green, Baur, Marx, Engels, Vygotsky, F. H. Bradley, Dewey, Sartre, Croce, Dilthey, Gadamer, Küng, Kojève, Fukuyama, Žižek, Brandom,
Jacques Derrida ( /ʒɑːk ˈdɛrɨdə/; French: [ʒak dɛʁida]; July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004) was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed a form of semiotic analysis known as deconstruction. His work was labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy.
He published more than 40 books, together with essays and public presentations. He had a significant influence upon the humanities, particularly on anthropology, sociology, semiotics, jurisprudence, and literary theory. His work still has a major influence in the academe of Continental Europe, South America and all countries where continental philosophy is predominant. His theories became crucial in debates around ontology, epistemology (especially concerning social sciences), ethics, esthetics, hermeneutics, and the philosophy of language. Jacques Derrida's work also influenced architecture (in the form of deconstructivism), music, art and art critics.
Particularly in his later writings, he frequently addressed ethical and political themes. His work influenced various activists and political movements. He was a well-known and influential figure, while his approach to philosophy and the notorious
Ezra Weston Loomis Pound (30 October 1885 – 1 November 1972) was an American expatriate poet and critic and a major figure of the early modernist movement. His contribution to poetry began with his promotion of Imagism, a movement that derived its technique from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, stressing clarity, precision and economy of language. His best-known works include Ripostes (1912), Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and his unfinished 120-section epic, The Cantos (1917–1969).
Working in London in the early 20th century as foreign editor of several American literary magazines, Pound helped to discover and shape the work of contemporaries such as T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Robert Frost and Ernest Hemingway. He was responsible for the publication in 1915 of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and for the serialization from 1918 of Joyce's Ulysses. Hemingway wrote of him in 1925: "He defends [his friends] when they are attacked, he gets them into magazines and out of jail. ... He writes articles about them. He introduces them to wealthy women. He gets publishers to take their books. He sits up all night with them when they claim to be dying ... he advances them
Herbert Marcuse (German: [maʁˈkuːzə]; July 19, 1898 – July 29, 1979) was a German Jewish philosopher, sociologist and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory. Born in Berlin into a Jewish family, Marcuse studied at the universities of Berlin and Freiburg. He was a prominent figure in the Frankfurt-based Institute for Social Research - what later became known as the Frankfurt School. He was married to Sophie Wertheim (1924-1951), Inge Neumann (1955-1972), and Erica Sherover (1976-1979). Active in the United States after 1934, his intellectual concerns were the dehumanizing effects of capitalism and modern technology.
After his studies, in the late 1960s and the 1970s he became known as the preeminent theorist of the New Left and the student movements of Germany, France, and the USA. Between 1943 and 1950, Marcuse worked in US Government Service, which helped form the basis of his book Soviet Marxism (1964). Celebrated as the "Father of the New Left," his best known works are Eros and Civilization (1955) and One-Dimensional Man (1964). His Marxist scholarship inspired many radical intellectuals and political activists in the 1960s and '70s, both in
Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whigs, then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.
He is remembered for works such as Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language, and is less well known for his poetry. Swift originally published all of his works under pseudonyms – such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, MB Drapier – or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of satire: the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.
Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland. He was the second child and only son of Jonathan Swift (1640–67) and his wife Abigail Erick (or Herrick), of Frisby-on-the-Wreake. His father, a native of Goodrich, Herefordshire, accompanied his brothers to Ireland to seek their fortunes in law after their Royalist father's estate was brought to ruin during the English Civil War. Swift's father died at Dublin before he was born,
Judith Butler (born February 24, 1956) is an American post-structuralist philosopher, who has contributed to the fields of feminist philosophy, queer theory, political philosophy, and ethics. She is a professor in the Rhetoric and Comparative Literature departments at the University of California, Berkeley, and is also the Hannah Arendt Professor of Philosophy at the European Graduate School. Butler received her PhD in philosophy from Yale University in 1984, for a dissertation subsequently published as Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-Century France. In the late-1980s she held several teaching/research appointments, and was involved in "post-structuralist" efforts within Western feminist theory to question the "presuppositional terms" of feminism. Considered "one of the most influential voices in contemporary political theory" and as "one of the most influential feminist theorists" today, she is best known for her seminal work Gender Trouble. She was awarded the Theodor W. Adorno Award in 2012 for her work on "political theory, on moral philosophy and gender studies."
Her research ranges from literary theory, modern philosophical fiction, feminist, gender and
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol (Russian: Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь, tr. Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol; IPA: [nʲɪkɐˈlaj vɐˈsʲilʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ˈgogəlʲ]; Ukrainian: Мико́ла Васи́льович Го́голь, Mykola Vasyliovych Hohol; 31 March [O.S. 19 March] 1809 – 4 March [O.S. 21 February] 1852) was a Ukrainian-born Russian dramatist, novelist and short story writer.
Considered by his contemporaries one of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, later critics have found in Gogol's work a fundamentally romantic sensibility, with strains of Surrealism and the grotesque ("The Nose", "Viy", "The Overcoat," "Nevsky Prospekt"). His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing, Ukrainian culture and folklore. His later writing satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire (The Government Inspector, Dead Souls), leading to his eventual exile. The novel Taras Bulba (1835) and the play Marriage (1842), along with the short stories "Diary of a Madman", "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich", "The Portrait" and "The Carriage", round out the tally of his best-known works.
Gogol was born in the
Pieter Cornelis "Piet" Mondriaan, after 1906 Mondrian (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈpiːt ˈmɔndriaːn], later [ˈmɔndriɔn]; March 7, 1872 – February 1, 1944), was a Dutch painter.
He was an important contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group, which was founded by Theo van Doesburg. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed Neo-Plasticism. This consisted of white ground, upon which was painted a grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and the three primary colors.
Between his 1905 painting, The River Amstel, and his 1907 Amaryllis, Mondrian changed the spelling of his signature from Mondriaan to Mondrian.
Mondrian was born in Amersfoort in The Netherlands, the second of his parents' children. He was descended from Christian Dirkzoon Monderyan who lived in The Hague as early as 1670. The family moved to Winterswijk when his father, Pieter Cornelius Mondriaan, was appointed Head Teacher at a local primary school. Mondrian was introduced to art from a very early age: his father was a qualified drawing teacher; and, with his uncle, Fritz Mondriaan (a pupil of Willem Maris of the Hague School of artists), the younger Piet often painted and drew along the river
Theodor Holm Nelson (born June 17, 1937) is an American sociologist, philosopher, and pioneer of information technology (IT sociolosopher). He coined the terms "hypertext" and "hypermedia" in 1963 and published them in 1965.
He also has been credited with first using the words transclusion, virtuality, intertwingularity, and teledildonics.
Nelson founded Project Xanadu in 1960 with the goal of creating a computer network with a simple user interface. The effort is documented in his 1974 book Computer Lib / Dream Machines and the 1981 Literary Machines. Much of his adult life has been devoted to working on Xanadu and advocating it.
The Xanadu project itself failed to flourish, for a variety of reasons which are disputed. Journalist Gary Wolf published an unflattering history on Nelson and his project in the June 1995 issue of Wired calling it "the longest-running vaporware project in the history of computing". Nelson expressed his disgust on his website, referring to Wolf as a "Gory Jackal", and threatened to sue him. He also outlined his objections in a letter to Wired, and released a detailed rebuttal of the article.
Nelson claims some aspects of his vision are in the process of
Charles Sanders Peirce ( /ˈpɜrs/ like "purse"; September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American philosopher, logician, mathematician, and scientist, sometimes known as "the father of pragmatism". He was educated as a chemist and employed as a scientist for 30 years. Today he is appreciated largely for his contributions to logic, mathematics, philosophy, scientific methodology, and semiotics, and for his founding of pragmatism. In 1934, the philosopher Paul Weiss called Peirce "the most original and versatile of American philosophers and America's greatest logician".
An innovator in mathematics, statistics, philosophy, research methodology, and various sciences, Peirce considered himself, first and foremost, a logician. He made major contributions to logic, but logic for him encompassed much of that which is now called epistemology and philosophy of science. He saw logic as the formal branch of semiotics, of which he is a founder. As early as 1886 he saw that logical operations could be carried out by electrical switching circuits; the same idea as was used decades later to produce digital computers.
Peirce was born at 3 Phillips Place in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was the son
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, KBE ( /ˈwʊd.haʊs/; 15 October 1881 – 14 February 1975) was an English humorist, whose body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He enjoyed enormous popular success during a career that lasted more than seventy years and his many writings continue to be widely read. Despite the political and social upheavals that occurred during his life, much of which was spent in France and the United States, Wodehouse's main canvas remained that of a pre- and post-World War I English upper-class society, reflecting his birth, education and youthful writing career.
An acknowledged master of English prose, Wodehouse has been admired both by contemporaries such as Hilaire Belloc, Evelyn Waugh and Rudyard Kipling and by recent writers such as Stephen Fry, Christopher Hitchens, Douglas Adams, J. K. Rowling, and John Le Carré.
Best known today for the Jeeves and Blandings Castle novels and short stories, Wodehouse was also a playwright and lyricist who was part author and writer of 15 plays and of 250 lyrics for some 30 musical comedies, many of them produced in collaboration with Jerome Kern and Guy
Philip Cortelyou Johnson (July 8, 1906 – January 25, 2005) was an influential American architect.
In 1930, he founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and later (1978), as a trustee, he was awarded an American Institute of Architects Gold Medal and the first Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 1979. He was a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Johnson died in his sleep while at the Glass House retreat. He was survived by his life partner of 45 years, David Whitney, who died later that year at age 66.
Johnson was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He was descended from the Jansen (a.k.a. Johnson) family of New Amsterdam, and included among his ancestors the Huguenot Jacques Cortelyou, who laid out the first town plan of New Amsterdam for Peter Stuyvesant. He attended the Hackley School, in Tarrytown, New York, and then studied at Harvard University as an undergraduate, where he focused on history and philosophy, particularly the work of the Pre-Socratic philosophers. Johnson interrupted his education with several extended trips to Europe. These trips became the pivotal moment of his education; he visited Chartres, the Parthenon,
Amy Lawrence Lowell (February 9, 1874 – May 12, 1925) was an American poet of the imagist school from Brookline, Massachusetts who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926.
Lowell was born into Brookline's prominent Lowell family, sister to astronomer Percival Lowell and Harvard president Abbott Lawrence Lowell.
She never attended college because her family did not consider that proper for a woman, but she compensated with avid reading and near-obsessive book collecting. She lived as a socialite and travelled widely, turning to poetry in 1902 after being inspired by a performance of Eleonora Duse in Europe.
Lowell was said to be lesbian, and in 1912 she and actress Ada Dwyer Russell were reputed to be lovers. Russell is reputed to be the subject of her more erotic work, most notably the love poems contained in 'Two Speak Together', a subsection of Pictures of the Floating World. The two women traveled to England together, where Lowell met Ezra Pound, who at once became a major influence and a major critic of her work. Pound considered her embrace of Imagism to be a kind of hi-jacking of the movement, and among his friends he referred to her as the "hippo-poetess".
Franz Joseph Haydn ( /ˈdʒoʊzəf ˈhaɪdən/; German pronunciation: [ˈjoːzɛf ˈhaɪdən] ( listen); 31 March 1732 – 31 May 1809), known as Joseph Haydn, was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms. He was also instrumental in the development of the piano trio and in the evolution of sonata form.
A lifelong resident of Austria, Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Esterházy family on their remote estate. Isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, "forced to become original". At the time of his death, he was one of the most celebrated composers in Europe.
Joseph Haydn was the brother of Michael Haydn, himself a highly regarded composer, and Johann Evangelist Haydn, a tenor. He was also a close friend of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and a teacher of Ludwig van Beethoven.
Joseph Haydn was born in Rohrau, Austria, a village near the border with Hungary. His father was Mathias Haydn, a wheelwright who also served
Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa or simply Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃ʁi də tuluz loˈtʁɛk]; 24 November 1864 – 9 September 1901) was a French painter, printmaker, draughtsman, and illustrator, whose immersion in the colourful and theatrical life of Paris in the late 1800s yielded a collection of exciting, elegant and provocative images of the modern and sometimes decadent life of those times. Toulouse-Lautrec is known along with Cézanne, Van Gogh, and Gauguin as one of the greatest painters of the Post-Impressionist period. In a 2005 auction at Christie's auction house a new record was set when La blanchisseuse, an early painting of a young laundress, sold for $22.4 million U.S.
Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa was born at the chateau de Malromé near Albi, Tarn in the Midi-Pyrénées région of France, the firstborn child of Comte Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa and Adèle Tapié de Celeyran. He was therefore a member of an aristocratic family (descendants of the Counts of Toulouse and Lautrec and the Viscounts of Montfa, a village and commune of the Tarn department of southern France). A younger brother was born on 28 August 1867,
Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach (8 December 1723 – 21 January 1789) was a French-German author, philosopher, encyclopedist and a prominent figure in the French Enlightenment. He was born Paul Heinrich Dietrich in Edesheim, near Landau in the Rhenish Palatinate, but lived and worked mainly in Paris, where he kept a salon. He is best known for his atheism and for his voluminous writings against religion, the most famous of them being The System of Nature (1770).
D’Holbach's mother Catherine Jacobina née Holbach (1684–1743) was the daughter of Johannes Jacobus Holbach (died 1723) the Prince-Bishop's tax collector, or better for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Speyer. His father, Johann Jakob Dietrich, (with other notations: ger.: Johann Jakob Dirre; fr.: Jean Jacques Thiry) (1672–1756) was a wine-grower.
He was raised in Paris by his uncle Franz Adam Holbach, (or Adam François d’Holbach or Messire François-Adam, Baron d’Holbach, Seigneur de Heeze, Leende et autres Lieux) (approx. 1675–1753), who had become a millionaire by speculating on the Paris stock-exchange. With his financial support, d’Holbach attended the Leiden University from 1744 to 1748 and went on to marry his second
John Singer Sargent (12 January 1856 – 14 April 1925) was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.
His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, though not without controversy and some critical reservation; an early submission to the Paris Salon, his "Portrait of Madame X", was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. From the beginning his work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality. His commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with
Sir Joshua Reynolds RA FRS FRSA (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792) was an influential 18th-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first President of the Royal Academy. King George III appreciated his merits and knighted him in 1769.
Reynolds was born in Plympton, Devon, on 16 July 1723 the third son of the Rev. Samuel Reynolds, master of the Free Grammar School in the town. Samuel Reynolds had been a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, but did not send any of his sons to university.
As a boy, he came under the influence of Zachariah Mudge, whose Platonistic philosophy stayed with him all his life. Reynolds made extracts in his commonplace book from Theophrastus, Plutarch, Seneca, Marcus Antonius, Ovid, William Shakespeare, John Milton, Alexander Pope, John Dryden, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, Aphra Behn and passages on art theory by Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Alphonse Du Fresnoy, and André Félibien. The work that came to have the most influential impact on Reynolds was Jonathan Richardson's An Essay on the Theory of Painting (1715). Reynolds'
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian-British philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. He was professor in philosophy at the University of Cambridge from 1939 until 1947. In his lifetime, he published just one book review, one article, a children's dictionary, and the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921). In 1999, his posthumously published Philosophical Investigations (1953) was ranked as the most important book of 20th-century philosophy by the Baruch Poll , standing out as "...the one crossover masterpiece in twentieth-century philosophy, appealing across diverse specializations and philosophical orientations". Philosopher Bertrand Russell described him as "the most perfect example I have ever known of genius as traditionally conceived, passionate, profound, intense, and dominating".
Born in Vienna into one of Europe's wealthiest families, he gave away his entire inheritance. Three of his brothers committed suicide, with Ludwig contemplating it too. He left academia several times: serving as an officer on the frontline during World War I,
Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass 'armonica'. He facilitated many civic organizations, including a fire department and a university.
Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity; as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies, then as the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and
James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominently the stream of consciousness technique he perfected. Other major works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His complete oeuvre includes three books of poetry, a play, occasional journalism, and his published letters.
Joyce was born to a middle class family in Dublin, where he excelled as a student at the Jesuit schools Clongowes and Belvedere, then at University College Dublin. In his early twenties he emigrated permanently to continental Europe, living in Trieste, Paris and Zurich. Though most of his adult life was spent abroad, Joyce's fictional universe does not extend beyond Dublin, and is populated largely by characters who closely resemble family members, enemies and friends from his time there;
Albert Einstein ( /ˈælbərt ˈaɪnstaɪn/; German: [ˈalbɐt ˈaɪnʃtaɪn] ( listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and the most influential physicist of the 20th century. While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc (which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation"), he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory within physics.
Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He
Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (German: [ˈvaltɐ ˈbɛnjamiːn]; 15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish literary critic, philosopher, social critic, translator, radio broadcaster and essayist. Combining elements of German idealism or Romanticism, Historical Materialism and Jewish mysticism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory and Western Marxism, and is associated with the Frankfurt School. Among his major works as a literary critic are essays on Goethe's novel Elective Affinities; the work of Franz Kafka and Karl Kraus; translation theory; the stories of Nikolai Leskov; the work of Marcel Proust and perhaps most significantly, the poetry of Charles Baudelaire. He also made major translations into German of the Tableaux Parisiens section of Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal and parts of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu.
His turn to Marxism in the 1930s was partly due to the influence of Bertolt Brecht, whose critical aesthetics developed epic theatre and its Verfremdungseffekt (defamiliarisation, alienation). An earlier influence was friend Gershom Scholem, founder of the academic study of the Kabbalah and of Jewish
Edgar Degas (US /deɪˈɡɑː/ or UK /ˈdeɪɡɑː/; French: [ilɛʁ ʒɛʁmɛ̃ ɛdɡɑʁ dəɡɑ]; born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas, 19 July 1834 – 27 September 1917), was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist. A superb draftsman, he is especially identified with the subject of dance, and over half of his works depict dancers. These display his mastery in the depiction of movement, as do his racecourse subjects and female nudes. His portraits are notable for their psychological complexity and depiction of human isolation.
Early in his career, he wanted to be a history painter, a calling for which he was well prepared by his rigorous academic training and close study of classic art. In his early thirties, he changed course, and by bringing the traditional methods of a history painter to bear on contemporary subject matter, he became a classical painter of modern life.
Degas was born in Paris, France, the oldest of five children of Célestine Musson De Gas, a Creole from New Orleans, and Augustin De Gas, a banker. The family was
Gerald Jay Sussman (February 8, 1947) is the Panasonic Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He received his S.B. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from MIT in 1968 and 1973 respectively. He has been involved in artificial intelligence research at MIT since 1964. His research has centered on understanding the problem-solving strategies used by scientists and engineers, with the goals of automating parts of the process and formalizing it to provide more effective methods of science and engineering education. Sussman has also worked in computer languages, in computer architecture and in VLSI design.
Sussman is a coauthor (with Hal Abelson and Julie Sussman) of the former introductory computer science textbook used at MIT. This textbook, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, has been translated into several languages.
Sussman's contributions to artificial intelligence include problem solving by debugging almost-right plans, propagation of constraints applied to electrical circuit analysis and synthesis, dependency-based explanation and dependency-based backtracking, and various language structures for expressing
Josiah Royce (November 20, 1855 – September 14, 1916) was an American objective idealist philosopher.
Royce, born in Grass Valley, California on November 20, 1855. He was the son of Josiah and Sarah Eleanor (Bayliss) Royce, whose families were recent English emigrants, and who sought their fortune in the westward movement of the American pioneers in 1849. He received the B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley (which moved from Oakland to Berkeley during his matriculation) in 1875 where he later accepted an instructorship teaching English composition, literature, and rhetoric. After some time in Germany, where he studied with Hermann Lotze, the new Johns Hopkins University awarded him in 1878 one of its first four doctorates, in philosophy. At Johns Hopkins he taught a course on the history of German thought, which was “one of his chief interests” because he was able to give consideration to the philosophy of history. After four years at the University of California, Berkeley, he went to Harvard in 1882 as a sabbatical replacement for William James, who was at once Royce's friend and philosophical antagonist. Royce's position at Harvard was made permanent in 1884 and he
Pablo Neruda (Spanish: [ˈpaβ̞lo̞ ne̞ˈɾuð̞a]; July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Neruda became known as a poet while still a teenager. He wrote in a variety of styles including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and erotically-charged love poems such as the ones in his 1924 collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. He often wrote in green ink colour as it was his personal symbol for desire and hope with his poetry.
Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language."
On July 15, 1945, at Pacaembu Stadium in São Paulo, Brazil, he read to 100,000 people which was a historical number of people for a poet in honor of Communist revolutionary leader Luís Carlos Prestes. During his lifetime, Neruda occupied many diplomatic positions and served a stint as a senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When Chilean President González Videla outlawed
Ford Madox Ford (17 December 1873 – 26 June 1939), born Ford Hermann Hueffer ( /ˈhɛfər/ HEF-ər), was an English novelist, poet, critic and editor whose journals, The English Review and The Transatlantic Review, were instrumental in the development of early 20th-century English literature. He is now remembered best for his publications The Good Soldier (1915), the Parade's End tetralogy (1924–28) and The Fifth Queen trilogy (1906–08). The Good Soldier is frequently included among the great literature of the 20th century, including the Modern Library 100 Best Novels, The Observer's "100 Greatest Novels of All Time", and The Guardian's "1000 novels everyone must read".
Ford was born to Catherine and Francis Hueffer, the eldest of three; his brother was Oliver Madox Hueffer. His father, who became music critic for The Times, was German and his mother English. His paternal grandfather Johann Hermann Hüffer was first to publish the fellow Westphalian poet and author Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, a Catholic aristocrat. He used the name of Ford Madox Hueffer and during 1919 changed it to Ford Madox Ford (allegedly, in the aftermath of World War I because "Hueffer" sounded too German) in
Georges Albert Maurice Victor Bataille (French: [ʒɔʁʒ batɑj]; 10 September 1897 – 9 July 1962) was a French intellectual and literary figure working in literature, anthropology, philosophy, economy, sociology and history of art. Eroticism, sovereignty, and transgression are at the core of his writings.
Georges Bataille was the son of Joseph-Aristide Bataille (b. 1851), a tax collector, and Antoinette-Aglaë Tournarde (b. 1865). Born in Billom in the region of Auvergne, his family moved to Reims in 1898, where he was baptized. He went to school in Reims and then Épernay. Although brought up without religious observance, he "converted" to Catholicism in 1914, and became a devout Catholic for about nine years. He considered entering the priesthood and attended a Catholic seminary briefly. However, he quit, apparently in part in order to pursue an occupation where he could eventually support his mother. He eventually renounced Christianity in the early 1920s.
Bataille attended the École des Chartes in Paris, graduating in February 1922. Though he is often referred to as an archivist and a librarian because of his employment at the Bibliothèque Nationale, his work there was with the
David Hilbert, ForMemRS (German pronunciation: [ˈdaːvɪt ˈhɪlbɐt]; January 23, 1862 – February 14, 1943) was a German mathematician. He is recognized as one of the most influential and universal mathematicians of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Hilbert discovered and developed a broad range of fundamental ideas in many areas, including invariant theory and the axiomatization of geometry. He also formulated the theory of Hilbert spaces, one of the foundations of functional analysis.
Hilbert adopted and warmly defended Georg Cantor's set theory and transfinite numbers. A famous example of his leadership in mathematics is his 1900 presentation of a collection of problems that set the course for much of the mathematical research of the 20th century.
Hilbert and his students contributed significantly to establishing rigor and developed important tools used in modern mathematical physics. Hilbert is known as one of the founders of proof theory and mathematical logic, as well as for being among the first to distinguish between mathematics and metamathematics.
Hilbert, the first of two children of Otto and Maria Therese (Erdtmann) Hilbert, was born in the Province of Prussia - either in
Ivan Edward Sutherland (born May 16, 1938) is an American computer scientist and Internet pioneer. He received the Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery in 1988 for the invention of Sketchpad, an early predecessor to the sort of graphical user interface that has become ubiquitous in personal computers. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, as well as the National Academy of Sciences among many other major awards.
Sutherland earned his Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), his Master's degree from Caltech, and his Ph.D. from MIT in EECS in 1963.
He invented Sketchpad, an innovative program that influenced alternative forms of interaction with computers. Sketchpad could accept constraints and specified relationships among segments and arcs, including the diameter of arcs. It could draw both horizontal and vertical lines and combine them into figures and shapes. Figures could be copied, moved, rotated, or resized, retaining their basic properties. Sketchpad also had the first window-drawing program and clipping algorithm, which allowed zooming. Sketchpad ran on the
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (/ˈsɑrtrə/; French pronunciation: [saʁtʁ]; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism. His work has also influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and literary studies, and continues to influence these disciplines. Sartre has also been noted for his relationship with the prominent feminist theorist Simone de Beauvoir.
He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature and refused it, saying that he always declined official honors and that "a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution."
Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris as the only child of Jean-Baptiste Sartre, an officer of the French Navy, and Anne-Marie Schweitzer. His mother was of Alsatian origin and the first cousin of Nobel Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer. (Her father, Charles Schweitzer, was the older brother of Albert Schweitzer's father, Louis Théophile.) When Sartre was only two years old,
Robert Rauschenberg (October 22, 1925 – May 12, 2008) was an American painter and graphic artist whose early works anticipated the pop art movement. Rauschenberg is well known for his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations. Rauschenberg was both a painter and a sculptor and the Combines are a combination of both, but he also worked with photography, printmaking, papermaking, and performance. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1993.
Rauschenberg lived and worked in New York City as well as on Captiva Island, Florida until his death from heart failure on May 12, 2008.
Rauschenberg was born as Milton Ernest Rauschenberg in Port Arthur, Texas, the son of Dora Carolina (née Matson) and Ernest R. Rauschenberg. His father was of German and Cherokee ancestry and his mother of Anglo-Saxon descent. His parents were Fundamentalist Christians. Rauschenberg studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Académie Julian in Paris, France, where he met the painter Susan Weil. In 1948 Rauschenberg and Weil decided to attend Black Mountain College in North Carolina.
Josef Albers, a founder of the Bauhaus, became
Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957) was the pseudonym of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, a Chilean poet, educator, diplomat, and feminist who was the first Latin American (and, so far, the only Latin American woman) to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1945. Some central themes in her poems are nature, betrayal, love, a mother's love, sorrow and recovery, travel, and Latin American identity as formed from a mixture of Native American and European influences. Her portrait also appears on the 5,000 Chilean peso bank note.
Mistral was born in Vicuña, Chile, but was raised in the small Andean village of Montegrande, where she attended the Primary school taught by her older sister, Emelina Molina. She respected her sister greatly, despite the many financial problems that Emelina brought her in later years. Her father, Juan Gerónimo Godoy Villanueva, was also a schoolteacher. He abandoned the family before she was three years old, and died, long since estranged from the family, in 1911. Throughout her early years she was never far from poverty. By age fifteen, she was supporting herself and her mother, Petronila Alcayaga, a seamstress, by working as a teacher's aide in the seaside town of Compañia
Ernst Schröder (25 November 1841, Mannheim, Baden, Germany – 16 June 1902, Karlsruhe, Germany) was a German mathematician mainly known for his work on algebraic logic. He is a major figure in the history of mathematical logic (a term he may have invented), by virtue of summarizing and extending the work of George Boole, Augustus De Morgan, Hugh MacColl, and especially Charles Peirce. He is best known for his monumental Vorlesungen über die Algebra der Logik (Lectures on the algebra of logic), in 3 volumes, which prepared the way for the emergence of mathematical logic as a separate discipline in the twentieth century by systematizing the various systems of formal logic of the day.
Schröder learned mathematics at Heidelberg, Königsberg, and Zürich, under Hesse, Kirchhoff, and Franz Neumann. After teaching school for a few years, he moved to the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt in 1874. Two years later, he took up a chair in mathematics at the Polytechnische Schule in Karlsruhe, where he spent the remainder of his life. He never married.
Schröder's early work on formal algebra and logic was written in ignorance of the British logicians George Boole and Augustus De Morgan. Instead, his
Maximilian Karl Emil "Max" Weber (German: [ˈmaks ˈveːbɐ]; 21 April 1864 – 14 June 1920) was a German sociologist, philosopher, and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself. Weber is often cited, with Émile Durkheim and Karl Marx, as one of the three founding architects of sociology.
Weber was a key proponent of methodological antipositivism, arguing for the study of social action through interpretive (rather than purely empiricist) means, based on understanding the purpose and meaning that individuals attach to their own actions. Weber's main intellectual concern was understanding the processes of rationalisation, secularization, and "disenchantment" that he associated with the rise of capitalism and modernity and which he saw as the result of a new way of thinking about the world. Weber is perhaps best known for his thesis combining economic sociology and the sociology of religion, elaborated in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, in which he proposed that ascetic Protestantism was one of the major "elective affinities" associated with the rise in the Western world of market-driven
Bertolt Brecht (German: [ˈbɛɐ̯tɔlt ˈbʁɛçt] ( listen); born Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (help·info); 10 February 1898 – 14 August 1956) was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director.
An influential theatre practitioner of the 20th century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble – the post-war theatre company operated by Brecht and his wife, long-time collaborator and actress Helene Weigel.
Bertolt Brecht was born in Augsburg, Bavaria (about 80 km/50 mi north-west of Munich), to a devout Protestant mother and a Catholic father (who had been persuaded to have a Protestant wedding). His father worked for a paper mill, becoming its managing director in 1914. Thanks to his mother's influence, Brecht knew the Bible, a familiarity that would impact on his writing throughout his life. From her, too, came the "dangerous image of the self-denying woman" that recurs in his drama. Brecht's home life was comfortably middle class, despite what his occasional attempt to claim peasant origins implied. At school in Augsburg he met Caspar
Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (28 October 1466? – 12 July 1536), known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian.
Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a pure Latin style. He was an early proponent of religious toleration, and enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists"; he has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists". Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. These raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote The Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works.
Erasmus lived against the backdrop of the growing European religious Reformation; but while he was critical of the abuses within the Church and called for reform, he kept his distance from Luther and Melancthon and continued to recognise the authority of the pope. In relation to clerical abuses in the Church, Erasmus remained committed to reforming the Church from
Frédéric François Chopin ( /ˈʃoʊpæn/; French pronunciation: [fʁe.de.ʁik ʃɔ.pɛ̃]; Polish: Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, also phonetically Szopen; 1 March or 22 February 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of French-Polish parentage. He is considered one of the great masters of Romantic music. Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, Chopin grew up in Warsaw and completed his music education there; he composed many mature works in Warsaw before leaving Poland in 1830 at age 20, shortly before the November 1830 Uprising.
Following the Russian suppression of the Uprising, he settled in Paris as part of Poland's Great Emigration. During the remaining 19 years of his life, Chopin gave only some 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon; he supported himself by sales of his compositions and as a piano teacher. After some romantic dalliances with Polish women, including an abortive engagement, from 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin. For most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health; he died in Paris in
Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, known as George Santayana (December 16, 1863 – September 26, 1952) was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. A lifelong Spanish citizen, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States and identified himself as an American, although he always kept a validated Spanish passport. He wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters. At the age of forty-eight, Santayana left his position at Harvard and returned to Europe permanently, never to return to the United States. His last will was to be buried in the Spanish Pantheon of the Cimitero Monumentale del Verano in Rome.
Santayana is known for the sayings, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", and "[O]nly the dead have seen the end of war." The latter sentence is often (for example, at the start of the film Black Hawk Down) falsely attributed to Plato; the former appears in Reason in Common Sense, the first volume of Santayana's five-volume Life of Reason. (In the 1905 Charles Scribner's Sons edition, it is found on page 284.) Santayana is broadly included among the pragmatists with Harvard University colleagues William
Günter Wilhelm Grass (born 16 October 1927) is a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. He is widely regarded as Germany's most famous living writer.
Grass was born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland). In 1945, he came to West Germany as a homeless refugee, though in his fiction he frequently returns to the Danzig of his childhood.
Grass is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), a key text in European magic realism, and the first part of his Danzig Trilogy, which also includes Cat and Mouse and Dog Years. His works are frequently considered to have a left-wing political dimension and Grass has been an active supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). The Tin Drum was adapted into a film, which won both the 1979 Palme d'Or and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The Swedish Academy, upon awarding him the Nobel Prize in Literature, noted him as a writer "whose frolicsome black fables portray the forgotten face of history".
Grass was born in the Free City of Danzig on 16 October 1927, to Wilhelm Grass (1899–1979), a Protestant ethnic German,
Paul Cézanne (US /seɪˈzæn/ or UK /sɨˈzæn/; French: [pɔl sezan]; 1839–1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. The line attributed to both Matisse and Picasso that Cézanne "is the father of us all" cannot be easily dismissed.
Cézanne's often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects.
The Cézannes came from the small town of Cesana now in West Piedmont, and it has been assumed that the surname came from Italian origin. Paul Cézanne was born on 19 January 1839 in Aix-en-Provence, in Provence in the South of France. On 22 February, Paul was baptized in the parish church, with his grandmother and uncle Louis as godparents. His father, Louis-Auguste Cézanne (28 July
Pierre de Fermat (French: [pjɛːʁ dəfɛʁma]; 17 August 1601 or 1607/8 – 12 January 1665) was a French lawyer at the Parlement of Toulouse, France, and an amateur mathematician who is given credit for early developments that led to infinitesimal calculus, including his adequality. In particular, he is recognized for his discovery of an original method of finding the greatest and the smallest ordinates of curved lines, which is analogous to that of the then unknown differential calculus, and his research into number theory. He made notable contributions to analytic geometry, probability, and optics. He is best known for Fermat's Last Theorem, which he described in a note at the margin of a copy of Diophantus' Arithmetica.
Fermat was born in Beaumont-de-Lomagne, Tarn-et-Garonne, France; the late 15th century mansion where Fermat was born is now a museum. He was of Basque origin. Fermat's father was a wealthy leather merchant and second consul of Beaumont-de-Lomagne. Pierre had a brother and two sisters and was almost certainly brought up in the town of his birth. There is little evidence concerning his school education, but it may have been at the local Franciscan monastery.
Alexander Bain (11 June 1818 – 18 September 1903) was a Scottish philosopher and educationalist in the British school of empiricism who was a prominent and innovative figure in the fields of psychology, linguistics, logic, moral philosophy and education reform. He founded Mind, the first ever journal of psychology and analytical philosophy, and was the leading figure in establishing and applying applying the scientific method to psychology. Bain was the inaugural Regius Chair in Logic and Professor of Logic at the University of Aberdeen, where he also held Professorships in Moral Philosophy and English Literature and was twice elected Lord Rector of the University of Aberdeen.
Alexander Bain was born in Aberdeen, Scotland to George Bain, a weaver and veteran soldier, and Margaret Paul. At age eleven he left school to work as a weaver hence the description of him as Weevir, rex philosophorum. He also took to lectures at the Mechanics' Institutes of Aberdeen and the Aberdeen Public Library.
In 1836 he entered Marischal College where he came under the influence of Professor of Mathematics John Cruickshank, Professor of Chemistry Thomas Clark and Professor of Natural Philosophy William
John William Coltrane (also known as "Trane"; September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. Working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz. He organized at least fifty recording sessions as a leader during his recording career, and appeared as a sideman on many other albums, notably with trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk.
As his career progressed, Coltrane and his music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension. His second wife was pianist Alice Coltrane, and their son Ravi Coltrane is also a saxophonist. Coltrane influenced innumerable musicians, and remains one of the most significant tenor saxophonists in jazz history. He received many posthumous awards and recognitions, including canonization by the African Orthodox Church as Saint John William Coltrane. In 2007, Coltrane was awarded the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation for his "masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz."
John Coltrane was born in Hamlet, North Carolina on September 23, 1926, and grew up in High Point,
Marin Mersenne, Marin Mersennus or le Père Mersenne (8 September 1588 – 1 September 1648) was a French theologian, philosopher, mathematician and music theorist, often referred to as the "father of acoustics" (Bohn 1988:225). Mersenne was "the center of the world of science and mathematics during the first half of the 1600s."
Marin Mersenne (pronounced Mehr-SENN) was born of peasant parents near Oizé, Maine (present day Sarthe, France). He was educated at Le Mans and at the Jesuit College of La Flèche. On 17 July 1611, he joined the Minim Friars, and, after studying theology and Hebrew in Paris received his full holy orders in 1613.
Between 1614 and 1618, he taught theology and philosophy at Nevers, but he returned to Paris and settled at the convent of L'Annonciade in 1620. There, with other kindred spirits such as René Descartes, Étienne Pascal, Gilles de Roberval and Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, he studied mathematics and music. He corresponded with Giovanni Doni, Constantijn Huygens and other scholars in Italy, England and Holland. He was a staunch defender of Galileo, assisting him in translations of some of his mechanical works. For four years, Mersenne devoted himself
Niels Henrik David Bohr (Danish: [ˈnels ˈboɐ̯ˀ]; 7 October 1885 – 18 November 1962) was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. He developed the model of the atom with the nucleus at the center and electrons in orbit around it, which he compared to the planets orbiting the sun. He worked on the idea in quantum mechanics that electrons move from one energy level to another in discrete steps, not continuously. Bohr mentored and collaborated with many of the top physicists of the century at his institute in Copenhagen. He was part of the British team of physicists working on the Manhattan Project. Bohr married Margrethe Nørlund in 1912, and one of their sons, Aage Bohr, was also a physicist and in 1975 also received the Nobel Prize.
Bohr was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1885. His father, Christian Bohr, was professor of physiology at the University of Copenhagen (it is his name which is given to the Bohr shift or Bohr effect), while his mother, Ellen Adler Bohr, came from a wealthy Jewish family prominent in Danish banking and parliamentary circles (in
Robin George Collingwood (22 February 1889 – 9 January 1943) was a British philosopher and historian. He was born at Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands in Lancashire, the son of the academic W. G. Collingwood, and was educated at Rugby School and at University College, Oxford, where he read Greats. He graduated with congratulatory first class honours and, prior to his graduation, was elected a fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford.
Collingwood was a fellow of Pembroke, Oxford for some 15 years until becoming the Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford. He was the only pupil of F. J. Haverfield to survive World War I. Important influences on Collingwood were the Italian Idealists Croce, Gentile and Guido de Ruggiero, the last of whom was also a close friend. Other important influences were Hegel, Kant, Vico, F. H. Bradley and J. A. Smith. His father W. G. Collingwood, professor of fine art at University College, Reading, was a student of Ruskin and was also an important influence.
Collingwood is most famous for his book The Idea of History, a work collated from various sources soon after his death by his pupil, T. M. Knox. The book came to be a major
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet, A.R.A. (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898) was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, who worked closely with William Morris on a wide range of decorative arts as a founding partner in Morris, Marshall, Faulkner, and Company. Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in Britain; his stained glass works include the windows of St. Philip's Cathedral, Birmingham, Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square, Chelsea, St Martin's Church in Brampton, St Michael's Church, Brighton, Cumbria, the church designed by Philip Webb, All Saints, Jesus Lane, Cambridge and in Christ Church, Oxford.
Burne-Jones's early paintings show the heavy inspiration of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but by the 1860s Burne-Jones was discovering his own artistic "voice". In 1877, he was persuaded to show eight oil paintings at the Grosvenor Gallery (a new rival to the Royal Academy). These included The Beguiling of Merlin. The timing was right, and he was taken up as a herald and star of the new Aesthetic Movement.
In addition to painting and stained glass, Burne-Jones worked in
Jeremy Bentham ( /ˈbɛnθəm/; 15 February 1748 – 6 June 1832) was an English philosopher, jurist and social reformer. He is regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.
Bentham became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism. He advocated individual and economic freedom, usury, the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce, and the decriminalising of homosexual acts. He called for the abolition of slavery and the death penalty, and for the abolition of physical punishment, including that of children. Though strongly in favour of the extension of individual legal rights, he opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them "nonsense upon stilts".
Bentham's students included his secretary and collaborator James Mill, the latter's son, John Stuart Mill, the legal philosopher John Austin, as well as influential political figures such as Robert Owen, one of the founders of modern socialism. Bentham has been described as the "spiritual founder" of University College London, though he played little direct part in its
Thomas Paine (January 29, 1737 (NS February 9, 1737) – June 8, 1809) was an English-American political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of two highly influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the America Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called "a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination."
Born in Thetford, England, in the county of Norfolk, Paine emigrated to the British American colonies in 1774 with the help of Benjamin Franklin and he arrivied in time to participate in the American Revolution. His principal contributions were the powerful, widely read pamphlet Common Sense (1776), the all-time best-selling American book that advocated colonial America's independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and The American Crisis (1776–83), a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. Common Sense was so influential that John Adams said, "Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.”
Paine lived in France for most
Friedrich August Hayek CH (German: [ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈaʊ̯ɡʊst ˈhaɪ̯ɛk]; 8 May 1899 – 23 March 1992), born in Austria-Hungary as Friedrich August von Hayek, was a British economist and philosopher best known for his defense of classical liberalism. In 1974, Hayek shared the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (with Gunnar Myrdal) for his "pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and... penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena."
Hayek is considered to be a major economist and political philosopher of the twentieth century. Hayek's account of how changing prices communicate information which enables individuals to coordinate their plans is widely regarded as an important achievement in economics. He also contributed to the fields of systems thinking, jurisprudence, neuroscience and the history of ideas.
Hayek served in World War I and said that his experience in the war and his desire to help avoid the mistakes that had led to the war led him to his career. Hayek lived in Austria, Great Britain, the United States and Germany, and became a British subject in 1938. He spent most of his academic life at the London
Heinrich Heine (born Harry Heine, changed to Christian Johann Heinrich Heine following his conversion to Christianity from Judaism) (13 December 1797 – 17 February 1856) was one of the most significant German poets of the 19th century. He was also a journalist, essayist, and literary critic. He is best known outside Germany for his early lyric poetry, which was set to music in the form of Lieder (art songs) by composers such as Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert. Heine's later verse and prose is distinguished by its satirical wit and irony. His radical political views led to many of his works being banned by German authorities. Heine spent the last 25 years of his life as an expatriate in Paris.
Heine was born in Düsseldorf, Rhineland, into a Jewish family. He was called "Harry" as a child, but became "Heinrich" after his conversion to Christianity in 1825. Heine's father, Samson Heine (1764–1828), was a textile merchant. His mother Peira (known as "Betty"), née van Geldern (1771–1859), was the daughter of a physician. Heinrich was the eldest of the four children; his siblings were Charlotte, Gustav - who later became Baron Heine-Geldern and publisher of the Viennese newspaper Das
Franz Liszt (German: [fʁant͡s lɪst]); in Hungarian: Liszt Ferencz, in modern use Liszt Ferenc (Hungarian pronunciation: [list ˈfɛrɛnt͡s]); from 1859 to 1867 officially Franz Ritter von Liszt (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor and teacher.
Liszt became renowned in Europe during the nineteenth century for his virtuosic skill as a pianist. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age (though Liszt vehemently denied this, stating that Charles-Valentin Alkan undoubtedly had superior technical facility), and in the 1840s he was considered by some to be perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. Liszt was also a well-known and influential composer, piano teacher and conductor. He was a benefactor to other composers, including Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.
As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (sometimes von Leibniz or Leibnitz) (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɔtfʁiːt ˈvɪlhɛlm fɔn ˈlaɪbnɪts] or [ˈlaɪpnɪts]) (July 1, 1646 – November 14, 1716) was a German mathematician and philosopher.
Leibniz occupies a prominent place in the history of mathematics and the history of philosophy. He developed the infinitesimal calculus independently of Isaac Newton, and Leibniz's mathematical notation has been widely used ever since it was published. His visionary Law of Continuity and Transcendental Law of Homogeneity only found mathematical implementation in the 20th century. He became one of the most prolific inventors in the field of mechanical calculators. While working on adding automatic multiplication and division to Pascal's calculator, he was the first to describe a pinwheel calculator in 1685 and invented the Leibniz wheel, used in the arithmometer, the first mass-produced mechanical calculator. He also refined the binary number system, which is at the foundation of virtually all digital computers. In philosophy, Leibniz is mostly noted for his optimism, e.g., his conclusion that our Universe is, in a restricted sense, the best possible one that God could
Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky, August 27, 1890 – November 18, 1976) was an American modernist artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. He was a significant contributor to the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal. He produced major works in a variety of media but considered himself a painter above all. He was best known in the art world for his avant-garde photography, and he was a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. Ray is also noted for his work with photograms, which he called "rayographs" in reference to himself.
Ray's work was not appreciated during his lifetime, with the exception of his fashion and portrait photography; especially in his native United States. Nevertheless, his reputation has grown steadily in the decades since.
During his career as an artist, Man Ray allowed few details of his early life or family background to be known to the public. He even refused to acknowledge that he ever had a name other than Man Ray.
Man Ray was born as Emmanuel Radnitzky in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. in 1890. He was the eldest child of Russian Jewish immigrants. He had a brother and two sisters, the youngest born
Michel Foucault (French: [miʃɛl fuko]; born Paul-Michel Foucault) (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984) was a French philosopher, social theorist, historian of ideas, and literary critic. He held a chair at the Collège de France with the title "History of Systems of Thought", and lectured at both the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Berkeley. His philosophical theories addressed what power is and how it works, the manner in which it controls knowledge and vice versa, and how it is used as a form of social control.
Born into a middle-class family in Poitiers, Foucault was educated at the Lycée Henri-IV and then the École Normale Supérieure, where he developed a keen interest in philosophy and came under the influence of his tutors Jean Hyppolite and Louis Althusser. After several years as a cultural diplomat abroad, he returned to France and published his first major book, Madness and Civilization (1961), which explored the history of the mental institution in Europe. After obtaining work between 1960 and 1966 at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, he produced two more significant publications, The Birth of the Clinic (1963) and The Order of Things (1966), which
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (August 29, 1809 – October 7, 1894) was an American physician, poet, professor, lecturer, and author. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). He is also recognized as an important medical reformer.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Holmes was educated at Phillips Academy and Harvard College. After graduating from Harvard in 1829, he briefly studied law before turning to the medical profession. He began writing poetry at an early age; one of his most famous works, "Old Ironsides", was published in 1830 and was influential in the eventual preservation of the USS Constitution. Following training at the prestigious medical schools of Paris, Holmes was granted his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1836. He taught at Dartmouth Medical School before returning to teach at Harvard and, for a time, served as dean there. During his long professorship, he became an advocate for various medical reforms and notably posited the controversial idea that doctors were
Richard Joseph Neutra (April 8, 1892 – April 16, 1970) was an Austrian American architect. Living and building for the majority of his career in Southern California, he came to be considered among the most important modernist architects.
Neutra was born in Leopoldstadt, the 2nd district of Vienna, Austria Hungary, on April 8, 1892 into a wealthy Jewish family. His Jewish-Hungarian father Samuel Neutra (1844 – 1920) was a proprietor of a metal foundry, and his mother, Elizabeth "Betty" Glaser Neutra (1851 – 1905) was a member of the IKG Wien. Richard had two brothers who also emigrated to the United States, and a sister who married in Vienna.
Neutra attended to the Sophiengymnasium in Vienna until 1910, and he studied under Adolf Loos at the Vienna University of Technology (1910–1918). He was a student of Max Fabiani and Karl Mayreder. In 1912 he undertook to study trip to Italy and Balkans with Ernst Ludwig Freud (son of Sigmund Freud).
After World War I Neutra went to Switzerland where he worked with the landscape architect Gustav Ammann. In 1921 he served briefly as city architect in the German town of Luckenwalde, and later in the same year he joined the office of Erich
William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist who had trained as a physician. He was the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States.
James wrote influential books on pragmatism, psychology, educational psychology, the psychology of religious experience, and mysticism. He was the brother of novelist Henry James and of diarist Alice James. In the summer of 1878, James married Alice Gibbens.
William James was born at the Astor House in New York City. He was the son of Henry James Sr., a noted and independently wealthy Swedenborgian theologian well acquainted with the literary and intellectual elites of his day. The intellectual brilliance of the James family milieu and the remarkable epistolary talents of several of its members have made them a subject of continuing interest to historians, biographers, and critics.
James interacted with a wide array of writers and scholars throughout his life, including his godfather Ralph Waldo Emerson, his godson William James Sidis, as well as Charles Sanders Peirce, Bertrand Russell, Josiah Royce, Ernst Mach, John Dewey, Macedonio Fernández, Walter Lippmann, Mark Twain,
Christian Felix Klein (25 April 1849 – 22 June 1925) was a German mathematician, known for his work in group theory, complex analysis, non-Euclidean geometry, and on the connections between geometry and group theory. His 1872 Erlangen Program, classifying geometries by their underlying symmetry groups, was a hugely influential synthesis of much of the mathematics of the day.
Klein was born in Düsseldorf, to Prussian parents; his father was a Prussian government official's secretary stationed in the Rhine Province. He attended the Gymnasium in Düsseldorf, then studied mathematics and physics at the University of Bonn, 1865–1866, intending to become a physicist. At that time, Julius Plücker held Bonn's chair of mathematics and experimental physics, but by the time Klein became his assistant, in 1866, Plücker's interest was geometry. Klein received his doctorate, supervised by Plücker, from the University of Bonn in 1868.
Plücker died in 1868, leaving his book on the foundations of line geometry incomplete. Klein was the obvious person to complete the second part of Plücker's Neue Geometrie des Raumes, and thus became acquainted with Alfred Clebsch, who had moved to Göttingen in 1868.
Jean-Louis "Jack" Kerouac ( /ˈkɛruːæk/ or /ˈkɛrɵæk/; March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969) was an American novelist and poet. He is considered a literary iconoclast and, alongside William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, a pioneer of the Beat Generation. Kerouac is recognized for his spontaneous method of writing, covering topics such as Catholic spirituality, jazz, promiscuity, Buddhism, drugs, poverty, and travel. Kerouac became an underground celebrity and, with other beats, a progenitor of the hippie movement, although he remained antagonistic toward some of its politically radical elements. In 1969, at age 47, Kerouac died from internal bleeding due to long-standing abuse of alcohol. Since his death Kerouac's literary prestige has grown and several previously unseen works have been published. All of his books are in print today, among them: On the Road, Doctor Sax, The Dharma Bums, Mexico City Blues, The Subterraneans, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, The Sea is My Brother, and Big Sur.
Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, to French-Canadian parents, Léo-Alcide Kéroack and Gabrielle-Ange Lévesque, of St-Hubert-de-Rivière-du-Loup in the province of Quebec, Canada.
Sigmund Freud (German: [ˈziːkmʊnt ˈfʁɔʏt]; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud, was an Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis.
Freud's parents were poor, but they ensured his education. Freud chose medicine as a career and qualified as a doctor at the University of Vienna, subsequently undertaking research into cerebral palsy, aphasia and microscopic neuroanatomy at the Vienna General Hospital. This led in turn to the award of a University lectureship in neuropathology, a post he resigned once he had decided to go into private practice. On the basis of his clinical practice Freud went on to develop theories about the unconscious mind and the mechanism of repression, and created psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient (or "analysand") and a psychoanalyst. Though psychoanalysis has declined as a therapeutic practice, it has helped inspire the development of many other forms of psychotherapy, some diverging from Freud's original ideas and approach.
Freud postulated the existence of libido (an energy with which mental process and structures are invested),
Gregory Bateson (9 May 1904 – 4 July 1980) was an English anthropologist, social scientist, linguist, visual anthropologist, semiotician and cyberneticist whose work intersected that of many other fields. In the 1940s he helped extend systems theory/cybernetics to the social/behavioral sciences, and spent the last decade of his life developing a "meta-science" of epistemology to bring together the various early forms of systems theory developing in various fields of science. Some of his most noted writings are to be found in his books, Steps to an Ecology of Mind (1972) and Mind and Nature (1979). Angels Fear (published posthumously in 1987) was co-authored by his daughter Mary Catherine Bateson.
Bateson was born in Grantchester in Cambridgeshire, England on 9 May 1904 – the third and youngest son of [Caroline] Beatrice Durham and of the distinguished geneticist William Bateson. The younger Bateson attended Charterhouse School from 1917 to 1921, obtained a BA in biology at St. John's College, Cambridge in 1925, and continued at Cambridge from 1927 to 1929. Bateson lectured in linguistics at the University of Sydney in 1928. From 1931 to 1937 he was a Fellow of St. John's College,
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 (April 2, 1743 O.S.) – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). At the beginning of the American Revolution, he served in the Continental Congress, representing Virginia and then served as a wartime Governor of Virginia (1779–1781). Just after the war ended, from mid-1784 Jefferson served as a diplomat, stationed in Paris. In May 1785, he became the United States Minister to France. Jefferson was the first United States Secretary of State (1790–1793) serving under President George Washington. With his close friend James Madison he organized the Democratic-Republican Party, and subsequently resigned from Washington's cabinet. Elected Vice President in 1796, when he came in second to John Adams of the Federalists, Jefferson opposed Adams and with Madison secretly wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, which attempted to nullify the Alien and Sedition Acts.
Elected president in what Jefferson called the Revolution of 1800, he oversaw the purchase of the vast Louisiana Territory from France (1803), and sent the Lewis and
Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (German pronunciation: [ˈhʊsɐl]) (April 8, 1859, Proßnitz, Moravia, Austrian Empire – April 26, 1938, Freiburg, Germany) was a philosopher and mathematician and the founder of the 20th century philosophical school of phenomenology. He broke with the positivist orientation of the science and philosophy of his day, yet he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic. Not limited to empiricism, but believing that experience is the source of all knowledge, he worked on a method of phenomenological reduction by which a subject may come to know directly an essence.
Although born into a Jewish family, Husserl was baptized as a Lutheran in 1886. He studied mathematics under Karl Weierstrass and Leo Königsberger, and philosophy under Franz Brentano and Carl Stumpf. Husserl himself taught philosophy as a Privatdozent at Halle from 1887, then as professor, first at Göttingen from 1901, then at Freiburg from 1916 until he retired in 1928. Thereafter he gave two notable lectures: at Paris in 1929, and at Prague in 1935. The notorious 1933 race laws of the Nazi regime took away his academic standing and privileges. Following an illness, he died
Howard Hathaway Aiken (March 8, 1900 – March 14, 1973) was a pioneer in computing, being the original conceptual designer behind IBM's Harvard Mark I computer.
Aiken studied at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and later obtained his PhD in physics at Harvard University in 1939. During this time, he encountered differential equations that he could only solve numerically. He envisioned an electro-mechanical computing device that could do much of the tedious work for him. This computer was originally called the ASCC (Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator) and later renamed Harvard Mark I. With engineering, construction, and funding from IBM, the machine was completed and installed at Harvard in February, 1944. Grace Hopper joined the project in July of that year. In 1947, Aiken completed his work on the Harvard Mark II computer. He continued his work on the Mark III and the Harvard Mark IV. The Mark III used some electronic components and the Mark IV was all-electronic. The Mark III and Mark IV used magnetic drum memory and the Mark IV also had magnetic core memory.
Aiken was inspired by Charles Babbage's Difference Engine.
He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts
John Henry McDowell (born 1942) is a South African philosopher, formerly a fellow of University College, Oxford and now University Professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Although he has written extensively on metaphysics, epistemology, ancient philosophy, and meta-ethics, McDowell's most influential work has been in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. McDowell was one of three recipients of the 2010 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Distinguished Achievement Award.
McDowell has, throughout his career, understood philosophy to be "therapeutic" and thereby to "leave everything as it is", which he understands to be a form of philosophical quietism (although he does not consider himself to be a "quietist"). The philosophical quietist believes that philosophy cannot make any explanatory comment about how, for example, thought and talk relate to the world but can, by offering re-descriptions of philosophically problematic cases, return the confused philosopher to a state of intellectual quietude. However, in defending this quietistic perspective McDowell has engaged with the work of leading contemporaries in such a way as to both therapeutically dissolve what he takes to
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (German: [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ amaˈdeus ˈmoːtsaʁt], English see fn.), baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era.
Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons.
Mozart learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and
Douglas Carl Engelbart (born January 30, 1925) is an American inventor, and an early computer and internet pioneer. He is best known for his work on the challenges of human–computer interaction, particularly while at his Augmentation Research Center Lab in SRI International, resulting in the invention of the computer mouse, and the development of hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to graphical user interfaces.
He is a committed, vocal proponent of the development and use of computers and networks to help cope with the world’s increasingly urgent and complex problems. Engelbart embedded a set of organizing principles in his lab, which he termed "bootstrapping strategy". He designed the strategy to accelerate the rate of innovation of his lab.
Engelbart was born in Portland, Oregon on January 30, 1925 to Carl Louis Engelbart and Gladys Charlotte Amelia Munson Engelbart. He is of German, Swedish and Norwegian descent.
He was the middle of three children, with a sister Dorianne (3 years older), and a brother David (14 months younger). They lived in Portland in his early years, and moved to the countryside to Johnson Creek when he was 9 or 10, after the death of his father.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as for his major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. He coined many familiar words and phrases, including the celebrated suspension of disbelief. He was a major influence, via Emerson, on American transcendentalism.
Throughout his adult life, Coleridge suffered from crippling bouts of anxiety and depression; it has been speculated by some that he suffered from bipolar disorder, a condition as yet unidentified during his lifetime. Coleridge suffered from poor health that may have stemmed from a bout of rheumatic fever and other childhood illnesses. He was treated for these concerns with laudanum, which fostered a lifelong opium addiction.
Coleridge was born on 21 October 1772 in the country town of Ottery St Mary,
Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor ( /ˈkæntɔr/ KAN-tor; German: [ɡeˈɔʁk ˈfɛʁdinant ˈluːtvɪç ˈfiːlɪp ˈkantɔʁ]; March 3 [O.S. February 19] 1845 – January 6, 1918) was a German mathematician, best known as the inventor of set theory, which has become a fundamental theory in mathematics. Cantor established the importance of one-to-one correspondence between the members of two sets, defined infinite and well-ordered sets, and proved that the real numbers are "more numerous" than the natural numbers. In fact, Cantor's method of proof of this theorem implies the existence of an "infinity of infinities". He defined the cardinal and ordinal numbers and their arithmetic. Cantor's work is of great philosophical interest, a fact of which he was well aware.
Cantor's theory of transfinite numbers was originally regarded as so counter-intuitive—even shocking—that it encountered resistance from mathematical contemporaries such as Leopold Kronecker and Henri Poincaré and later from Hermann Weyl and L. E. J. Brouwer, while Ludwig Wittgenstein raised philosophical objections. Some Christian theologians (particularly neo-Scholastics) saw Cantor's work as a challenge to the uniqueness of the
Gustave Flaubert (French pronunciation: [ɡystav flobɛʁ]; December 12, 1821 – May 8, 1880) was a French writer who is counted among the greatest novelists in Western literature. He is known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary (1857), for his Correspondence, and for his scrupulous devotion to his art and style.
Flaubert was born on December 12, 1821, in Rouen, in the Seine-Maritime department of Upper Normandy, in northern France. He was the second son of Anne Justine Caroline (née Fleuriot; 1793–1872) and Achille-Cléophas Flaubert (1784–1846), a surgeon. He began writing at an early age, as early as eight according to some sources.
He was educated at the Lycée Pierre Corneille in Rouen. and did not leave until 1840, when he went to Paris to study law. In Paris, he was an indifferent student and found the city distasteful. He made a few acquaintances, including Victor Hugo. Toward the end of 1840, he traveled in the Pyrenees and Corsica. In 1846, after an attack of epilepsy, he left Paris and abandoned the study of law.
From 1846 to 1854, Flaubert had a relationship with the poet Louise Colet; his letters to her survive. After leaving Paris, he returned to
Joan Miró i Ferrà (Catalan pronunciation: [ʒuˈam miˈɾo]) (April 20, 1893 – December 25, 1983) was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona. A museum dedicated to his work, the Fundació Joan Miró, was established in his birth city in 1975.
Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride. In numerous interviews dating from the 1930s onwards, Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods as a way of supporting bourgeois society, and famously declared an "assassination of painting" in favour of upsetting the visual elements of established painting.
Born to the families of a goldsmith and a cabinet-maker, he grew up in the Barri Gòtic neighborhood of Barcelona. His father was Miquel Miró Adzerias and his mother was Dolores Ferrà. He began drawing classes at the age of seven at a private school at Carrer del Regomir 13, a medieval mansion. In 1907 he enrolled at the fine art academy at La Llotja, to the dismay of his father. He studied at the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc and he had his first solo show in 1918 at the
Thorstein Bunde Veblen, born Torsten Bunde Veblen (July 30, 1857 – August 3, 1929), was an American economist and sociologist, and a leader of the institutional economics movement. Besides his technical work he was a popular and witty critic of capitalism, as shown by his best known book The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899).
Veblen is famous in the history of economic thought for combining a Darwinian evolutionary perspective with his new institutionalist approach to economic analysis. He combined sociology with economics in his masterpiece The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) where he argued that there was a basic distinction between the productiveness of "industry", run by engineers manufacturing goods, vis-a-vis the parasitism of "business" that exists only to make profits for a leisure class. The chief activity of the leisure class was "conspicuous consumption", and their economic contribution is "waste," activity that contributes nothing to productivity. The American economy was thereby made inefficient and corrupt by the businessmen, though Veblen never made that claim explicit. He believed that technological advances were the driving force behind cultural change, but,
Dennis Miller Bunker (November 6, 1861 – December 28, 1890) was an American painter and innovator of American Impressionism. His mature works include both brightly colored landscape paintings and dark, finely drawn portraits and figures. One of the major American painters of the late 19th century, and a friend of many prominent artists of the era, Bunker died from meningitis at the age of 29.
Bunker was born in New York City to Matthew Bunker, the secretary-treasurer of the Union Ferry Company, and his wife, Mary Anne Eytinge Bunker. In 1876 he enrolled at the Art Students League of New York and the National Academy of Design. By 1880 he was participating in the annual exhibitions of the National Academy, the American Watercolor Society, and the Brooklyn Art Association.
In 1881 Bunker exhibited a watercolor at the Boston Art Club. He subsequently exhibited both oil paintings and watercolors at the Club in 1882 and 1883. In 1886, the American printmaker Louis Prang exhibited two of Bunker's works from his own collection at the Club.
In 1882 Bunker left New York to study at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, most notably with Jean-Léon Gérôme. In the spring of
Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (French pronunciation: [gi.d(ə}.mo.pa'sɑ̃] ; 5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893) was a popular 19th-century French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents.
A protégé of Flaubert, Maupassant's stories are characterized by their economy of style and efficient, effortless dénouements. Many of the stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s and several describe the futility of war and the innocent civilians who, caught in the conflict, emerge changed. He authored some 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of verse. The story "Boule de Suif" ("Ball of Fat", 1880) is often accounted his masterpiece. His most unsettling horror story, "Le Horla" (1887), was about madness and suicide.
Henri-René-Albert-Guy de Maupassant was born on August 5, 1850 at the château de Miromesnil, near Dieppe in the Seine-Inférieure (now Seine-Maritime) department in France. He was the first son of Laure Le Poittevin and Gustave de Maupassant, both from prosperous bourgeois families. When Maupassant was 13 and his brother Hervé was five, his mother, an independent-minded woman,
Joseph-Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 – December 28, 1937) was a French composer known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects. Much of his piano music, chamber music, vocal music and orchestral music has entered the standard concert repertoire.
Ravel's piano compositions, such as Jeux d'eau, Miroirs, Le tombeau de Couperin and Gaspard de la nuit, demand considerable virtuosity from the performer, and his orchestral music, including Daphnis et Chloé and his arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, uses a variety of sound and instrumentation.
Ravel is perhaps known best for his orchestral work Boléro (1928), which he considered trivial and once described as "a piece for orchestra without music".
According to SACEM, Ravel's estate had earned more royalties than that of any other French composer (until, that is, January 1, 2008 when, according to the governing copyright laws of most countries around the world, including all members of the World Trade Organization, Ravel's works fell into the public domain).
Ravel was born in the Basque town of Ciboure, France, near Biarritz, close to the border with Spain, in 1875. His mother,
Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, commonly known as Simone de Beauvoir (French pronunciation: [simɔn də boˈvwaʁ]; 9 January 1908 – 14 April 1986), was a French writer, intellectual, existentialist philosopher, political activist, feminist, and social theorist. While she did not consider herself a philosopher, de Beauvoir had a significant influence on both feminist existentialism and feminist theory. de Beauvoir wrote novels, essays, biographies, an autobiography, monographs on philosophy, politics, and social issues. She is best known for her novels, including She Came to Stay and The Mandarins, as well as her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.
Simone de Beauvoir was born in Paris, the elder daughter of Georges Bertrand de Beauvoir, a legal secretary who once aspired to be an actor, and Françoise (née) Brasseur, a wealthy banker’s daughter and devout Catholic. Simone's sister, Hélène, was born two years later. The family struggled to maintain their bourgeois status after losing much of their fortune shortly after World War I, and Françoise insisted that the two daughters be
Marius Sophus Lie (Norwegian: [liː] Lee) (17 December 1842 – 18 February 1899) was a Norwegian mathematician. He largely created the theory of continuous symmetry and applied it to the study of geometry and differential equations.
His first mathematical work, Repräsentation der Imaginären der Plangeometrie, was published, in 1869, by the Academy of Sciences in Christiania and also by Crelle's Journal. That same year he received a scholarship and traveled to Berlin, where he stayed from September to February 1870. There, he met Felix Klein and they became close friends. When he left Berlin, Lie traveled to Paris, where he was joined by Klein two months later. There, they met Camille Jordan and Gaston Darboux. But on 19 July 1870 the Franco-Prussian War began and Klein (who was Prussian) had to leave France very quickly. Lie decided then to visit Luigi Cremona in Milan but he was arrested at Fontainebleau under suspicion of being a German spy, an event which made him famous in Norway. He was released from prison after a month, thanks to the intervention of Darboux.
Lie obtained his PhD at the University of Christiania (present day Oslo) in 1871 with a thesis entitled On a class of
Timothy Francis Leary (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs. During a time when drugs such as LSD and psilocybin were legal, Leary conducted experiments at Harvard University under the Harvard Psilocybin Project, resulting in the Concord Prison Experiment and the Marsh Chapel Experiment. Both studies produced useful data, but Leary and his associate Richard Alpert were fired from the university.
Leary believed LSD showed therapeutic potential for use in psychiatry. He popularized catchphrases that promoted his philosophy, such as "turn on, tune in, drop out", "set and setting", and "think for yourself and question authority". He also wrote and spoke frequently about transhumanist concepts involving space migration, intelligence increase and life extension (SMI²LE), and he developed the eight-circuit model of consciousness in his book Exo-Psychology (1977).
During the 1960s and 1970s, Leary was arrested regularly and was held captive in 29 different prisons throughout the world. President Richard Nixon once described Leary as "the most dangerous man in America".
Leary was born in Springfield,
Tycho Brahe (14 December 1546 – 24 October 1601), born Tyge Ottesen Brahe, was a Danish nobleman known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations. He was born in Scania, then part of Denmark, now part of modern-day Sweden. Tycho was well known in his lifetime as an astronomer and alchemist.
His work as an astronomer was remarkably accurate for his time. Most importantly, it had a lasting impact which remains to this day.
In his De nova stella (On the new star) of 1573, he refuted the Aristotelian belief in an unchanging celestial realm. His precise measurements indicated that "new stars" (stella novae, now known as supernovae), in particular that of 1572, lacked the parallax expected in sub-lunar phenomena, and were therefore not "atmospheric" tail-less comets as previously believed, but occurred above the atmosphere and moon. Using similar measurements he showed that comets were also not atmospheric phenomena, as previously thought, and must pass through the supposed "immutable" celestial spheres.
As an astronomer, Tycho worked to combine what he saw as the geometrical benefits of the Copernican system with the philosophical benefits of the
Max Horkheimer (February 14, 1895 – July 7, 1973) was a German philosopher and sociologist, famous for his work in critical theory as a member of the 'Frankfurt School' of social research. His most important works include The Eclipse of Reason (1947), "Between Philosophy and Social Science" (1930-1938) and, in collaboration with Theodor Adorno, The Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947). Through the Frankfurt School, Horkheimer planned, supported and made other significant works possible.
Horkheimer was born in the Zuffenhausen district of Stuttgart, which at the time was the capital of the Kingdom of Württemberg within the German Empire, the only son of a wealthy orthodox Jewish family on February 14, 1895. Due to pressure from his father who wanted Max to take over the family business, Horkheimer left secondary school at the age of sixteen to work in his father's factory. In 1916, his manufacturing career ended when he was drafted into World War I.
After World War I, he enrolled at Munich University, where he studied philosophy and psychology. After university, Horkheimer moved to Frankfurt am Main, where he studied under Hans Cornelius. There, he met Theodor Adorno, several years his
Richard Buckminster "Bucky" Fuller (/ˈfʊlər/; July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) was an American systems theorist, architect, engineer, author, designer, inventor, and futurist.
Fuller published more than 30 books, inventing and popularizing terms such as "Spaceship Earth", ephemeralization, and synergetic. He also developed numerous inventions, mainly architectural designs, the best known of which is the geodesic dome. Carbon molecules known as fullerenes were later named by scientists for their resemblance to geodesic spheres.
Fuller was born on July 12, 1895, in Milton, Massachusetts, the son of Richard Buckminster Fuller and Caroline Wolcott Andrews, and also the grandnephew of the American Transcendentalist Margaret Fuller. He attended Froebelian Kindergarten. Spending much of his youth on Bear Island, in Penobscot Bay off the coast of Maine, he had trouble with geometry, being unable to understand the abstraction necessary to imagine that a chalk dot on the blackboard represented a mathematical point, or that an imperfectly drawn line with an arrow on the end was meant to stretch off to infinity. He often made items from materials he brought home from the woods, and sometimes made
Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire (French pronunciation: [ɡijom apɔliˈnɛʁ]; Rome, 26 August 1880 – 9 November 1918, Paris) was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother.
Among the foremost poets of the early 20th century, he is credited with coining the word Surrealism and writing one of the earliest works described as surrealist, the play The Breasts of Tiresias (1917, used as the basis for a 1947 opera). Two years after being wounded in World War I, he died in the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 at age 38.
Born Wilhelm Apolinary Kostrowicki and raised speaking French, among other languages, he was a Russian subject. He emigrated to France in his late teens and adopted the name Guillaume Apollinaire. His mother, born Angelika Kostrowicka, was a Polish noblewoman born near Navahrudak, Grodno Governorate (now in Belarus). His maternal grandfather was a general in the Russian Imperial Army, killed in the Crimean War. Apollinaire's father is unknown but may have been Francesco Flugi d'Aspermont, a Swiss Italian aristocrat who disappeared early from Apollinaire's life. Apollinaire
Leon Trotsky (Russian: Лев Троцкий, pronounced [ˈlʲef ˈtrot͡skʲɪj] ( listen); 7 November [O.S. 26 October] 1879 – 21 August 1940), born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army.
Trotsky was initially a supporter of the Menshevik Internationalists faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. He joined the Bolsheviks immediately prior to the 1917 October Revolution, and eventually became a leader within the Party. During the early days of the Soviet Union, he served first as People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs and later as the founder and commander of the Red Army as People's Commissar of Military and Naval Affairs. He was a major figure in the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War (1918–20). He was also among the first members of the Politburo.
After leading a failed struggle of the Left Opposition against the policies and rise of Joseph Stalin in the 1920s and the increasing role of bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, Trotsky was successively removed from power (1927), expelled from the Communist Party, and finally deported from the Soviet Union (1929). As the head
Miguel de Unamuno y Jugo (29 September 1864, Bilbao, Biscay, Basque Country, Spain – 31 December 1936, Salamanca, Salamanca, Castile and León, Spain) was a Spanish essayist, novelist, poet, playwright and philosopher.
Miguel de Unamuno was born in Bilbao, a port city of Spain, the son of Félix de Unamuno and Salomé Jugo. As a young man, he was interested in the Basque language, and competed for a teaching position in the Instituto de Bilbao, against Sabino Arana. The contest was finally won by the Basque scholar Resurrección María de Azkue.
Unamuno worked in all major genres: the essay, the novel, poetry and theatre, and, as a modernist, contributed greatly to dissolving the boundaries between genres. There is some debate as to whether Unamuno was in fact a member of the Generation of '98, an ex post facto literary group of Spanish intellectuals and philosophers that was the creation of José Martínez Ruiz — a group that includes Antonio Machado, Azorín, Pío Baroja, Ramón del Valle-Inclán, Ramiro de Maeztu and Ángel Ganivet, among others.
In addition to his writing, Unamuno played an important role in the intellectual life of Spain. He served as rector of the University of Salamanca
The Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus FRS (13 or 14 February 1766 – 23 or 29 December 1834) was an English scholar, influential in political economy and demography. Malthus popularized the economic theory of rent.
Malthus has become widely known for his theories about population and its increase or decrease in response to various factors. The six editions of his An Essay on the Principle of Population, published from 1798 to 1826, observed that sooner or later population gets checked by famine and disease. He wrote in opposition to the popular view in 18th-century Europe that saw society as improving and in principle as perfectible. William Godwin and the Marquis de Condorcet, for example, believed in the possibility of almost limitless improvement of society. In a more complex way, so did Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose notions centered on the goodness of man and the liberty of citizens bound only by the social contract—a form of popular sovereignty.
Malthus thought that the dangers of population growth would preclude endless progress towards a utopian society: "The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man". As an Anglican
Alexandre Koyré (French: [kwaʁe]; 29 August 1892 – 28 April 1964), sometimes anglicized as Alexander Koiré, was a French philosopher of Russian origin who wrote on the history and philosophy of science.
Koyré was born in the city of Taganrog, Russia on 29 August 1892 into a Jewish family. His original name was Александр Владимирович Койранский, Alexandr Vladimirovich Koyranskiy. In Russia he studied in Tiflis, Rostov-on-Don and Odessa, before pursuing his studies abroad.
In Göttingen, Germany (1908–1911) he studied under Edmund Husserl and David Hilbert. Husserl did not approve of Koyré's dissertation, whereupon Koyré left for Paris, to study from 1912 under Bergson, Brunschvicg, Lalande, Delbos and Picavet. Following Husserl's Cartesian Meditations, a series of lectures given in Paris and one of the more important of Husserl's later works, Koyré met again with Husserl repeatedly and influenced his understanding of Galileo.
In 1914 he joined the French Foreign Legion as soon as the war broke out. In 1916 he volunteered for a Russian regiment fighting on the Russian front, following a cooperation agreement between the French and Russian governments.
From 1922 Koyré taught in Paris
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English film director and producer. He pioneered many techniques in the suspense and psychological thriller genres. After a successful career in British cinema in both silent films and early talkies, billed as England's best director, Hitchcock moved to Hollywood.
Over a career spanning more than half a century, Hitchcock fashioned for himself a distinctive and recognisable directorial style. He pioneered the use of a camera made to move in a way that mimics a person's gaze, forcing viewers to engage in a form of voyeurism. He framed shots to maximise anxiety, fear, or empathy, and used innovative film editing. His stories frequently feature fugitives on the run from the law alongside "icy blonde" female characters. Many of Hitchcock's films have twist endings and thrilling plots featuring depictions of violence, murder, and crime, although many of the mysteries function as decoys or "MacGuffins" meant only to serve thematic elements in the film and the psychological examinations of the characters. Hitchcock's films also borrow many themes from psychoanalysis and feature strong sexual undertones. Through his
Ernest Bloch (July 24, 1880 – July 15, 1959) was a Swiss-born American composer.
Bloch was born in Geneva and began playing the violin at age 9. He began composing soon afterwards. He studied music at the conservatory in Brussels, where his teachers included the celebrated Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. He then travelled around Europe, moving to Germany (where he studied composition from 1900–1901 with Iwan Knorr at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt), on to Paris in 1903 and back to Geneva before settling in the United States in 1916, taking American citizenship in 1924. He held several teaching appointments in the U.S., with George Antheil, Frederick Jacobi, Bernard Rogers, and Roger Sessions among his pupils. In December 1920 he was appointed the first Musical Director of the newly formed Cleveland Institute of Music, a post he held until 1925. Following this he was director of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music until 1930.
In 1941, Bloch moved to the small coastal community of Agate Beach, Oregon and lived there the rest of his life. He died in 1959 in Portland, Oregon, of cancer at the age of 78. The Bloch Memorial has been moved from near his house in Agate Beach to a
Hector Berlioz (pronounced: [ɛktɔʁ bɛʁˈljoːz]; 11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts (Requiem). Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works; as a conductor, he performed several concerts with more than 1,000 musicians. He also composed around 50 songs. His influence was critical for the further development of Romanticism, especially in composers like Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and many others.
Hector Berlioz was born in France at La Côte-Saint-André in the département of Isère, near Grenoble. His father, a respected provincial physician and scholar, was responsible for much of the young Berlioz's education. His father, Louis-Joseph Berlioz, was an atheist, with a liberal outlook; his mother, Marie-Antoinette, was an orthodox Roman Catholic. He had five siblings in all, three of whom did not survive to adulthood. The other two, Nanci and Adèle, remained close to Berlioz throughout his life.
Berlioz was not
Herbert Spencer (27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) was an English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist of the Victorian era.
Spencer developed an all-embracing conception of evolution as the progressive development of the physical world, biological organisms, the human mind, and human culture and societies. He was "an enthusiastic exponent of evolution" and even "wrote about evolution before Darwin did." As a polymath, he contributed to a wide range of subjects, including ethics, religion, anthropology, economics, political theory, philosophy, biology, sociology, and psychology. During his lifetime he achieved tremendous authority, mainly in English-speaking academia. "The only other English philosopher to have achieved anything like such widespread popularity was Bertrand Russell, and that was in the 20th century." Spencer was "the single most famous European intellectual in the closing decades of the nineteenth century" but his influence declined sharply after 1900; "Who now reads Spencer?" asked Talcott Parsons in 1937.
Spencer is best known for coining the concept "survival of the fittest", which he did in Principles of Biology
Kurt Friedrich Gödel (/ˈkɜrt ɡɜrdəl/; German pronunciation: [ˈkʊʁt ˈɡøːdəl] ( listen); April 28, 1906 – January 14, 1978) was an Austrian American logician, mathematician, and philosopher. Later in his life he emigrated to the United States to escape the effects of World War II. Considered one of the most significant logicians in human history, with Aristotle and Frege, Gödel made an immense impact upon scientific and philosophical thinking in the 20th century, a time when many, such as Bertrand Russell, A. N. Whitehead and David Hilbert, were pioneering the use of logic and set theory to understand the foundations of mathematics.
Gödel is best known for his two incompleteness theorems, published in 1931 when he was 25 years old, one year after finishing his doctorate at the University of Vienna. The more famous incompleteness theorem states that for any self-consistent recursive axiomatic system powerful enough to describe the arithmetic of the natural numbers (for example Peano arithmetic), there are true propositions about the naturals that cannot be proved from the axioms. To prove this theorem, Gödel developed a technique now known as Gödel numbering, which codes formal
Louis Pierre Althusser (French: [altysœʁ]; 16 October 1918 – 22 October 1990) was a French Marxist philosopher. He was born in Algeria and studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy.
Althusser was a longtime member—although sometimes a strong critic—of the French Communist Party. His arguments and thesis were set against the threats that he saw attacking the theoretical foundations of Marxism. These included both the influence of empiricism on Marxist theory, and humanist and reformist socialist orientations which manifested as divisions in the European communist parties, as well as the problem of the "cult of personality" and of ideology.
Althusser is commonly referred to as a structural Marxist, although his relationship to other schools of French structuralism is not a simple affiliation and he was critical of many aspects of structuralism.
Althusser's life was marked by periods of intense mental illness. During one of his bouts, he killed his wife by strangling her.
Althusser wrote two autobiographies. The first, L'Avenir dure longtemps ("The Future Lasts a Long Time"), is published in the United States as "The Future
Philip Milton Roth (born March 19, 1933) is an American novelist. He gained fame with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, an irreverent and humorous portrait of American-Jewish life that earned him the U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. In 1969 he became a major celebrity with the publication of the controversial Portnoy's Complaint, the humorous and sexually explicit psychoanalytical monologue of "a lust-ridden, mother-addicted young Jewish bachelor", filled with "intimate, shameful detail, and coarse, abusive language".
Roth has been one of the most honored authors of his generation: his books have twice been awarded the National Book Award, twice the National Book Critics Circle award, and three times the PEN/Faulkner Award. He received a Pulitzer Prize for his 1997 novel, American Pastoral, which featured one of his best-known characters, Nathan Zuckerman, the subject of many other of Roth's novels. His 2000 novel The Human Stain, another Zuckerman novel, was awarded the United Kingdom's WH Smith Literary Award for the best book of the year. His fiction, set frequently in Newark, New Jersey, is known for its intensely autobiographical character, for philosophically and
Stefan Anton George (12 July 1868 – 4 December 1933) was a German poet, editor, and translator.
George was born in Bingen in Prussia in 1868. He spent time in Paris, where he was among the writers and artists who attended the Tuesday soirées held by the poet Stéphane Mallarmé. He began to publish poetry in the 1890s, while in his twenties. George founded and edited an important literary magazine called Blätter für die Kunst. He was also at the center of an influential literary and academic circle known as the George-Kreis, which included many of the leading young writers of the day, (for example Friedrich Gundolf and Ludwig Klages). In addition to sharing cultural interests, the circle reflected mystical and political themes. George knew and befriended the "Bohemian Countess" of Schwabing, Fanny zu Reventlow, who sometimes satirized the circle for its melodramatic actions and views. George and his writings were identified with the Conservative Revolutionary movement. He was a homosexual, yet exhorted his young friends to lead a celibate life like his own.
In 1914 at the start of the war he foretold a sad end for Germany, and between then and 1916 wrote the pessimistic poem Der
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (27 January 1775 – 20 August 1854), later von Schelling, was a German philosopher. Standard histories of philosophy make him the midpoint in the development of German idealism, situating him between Fichte, his mentor as very young writer, and Hegel, his former university roommate, early friend, and later rival. Interpreting Schelling's philosophy as a whole is difficult because of its apparently ever-changing nature.
Schelling's thought in the large has been neglected, especially in the English-speaking world, as has been his later work on mythology and revelation, much of which remains untranslated. There are multiple reasons for this situation. An important factor was the ascendancy of Hegel, whose mature works portray Schelling as a mere footnote in the development of idealism. Schelling's Naturphilosophie also has been attacked by scientists for its analogizing tendency and lack of empirical orientation: "its empirical claims are indefensible". In recent years, Schelling scholars have addressed both of these sources of neglect, and claimed Schelling as a rigorous thinker.
Schelling was born in the town of Leonberg in Württemberg (now
Georges Braque (13 May 1882 – 31 August 1963) was a major 20th-century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism.
Georges Braque was born on 13 May 1882, in Argenteuil, Val-d'Oise. He grew up in Le Havre and trained to be a house painter and decorator like his father and grandfather. However, he also studied artistic painting during evenings at the École des Beaux-Arts, in Le Havre, from about 1897 to 1899. In Paris, he apprenticed with a decorator and was awarded his certificate in 1902. The next year, he attended the Académie Humbert, also in Paris, and painted there until 1904. It was here that he met Marie Laurencin and Francis Picabia.
His earliest works were impressionistic, but after seeing the work exhibited by the artistic group known as the "Fauves" (Beasts) in 1905, Braque adopted a Fauvist style. The Fauves, a group that included Henri Matisse and André Derain among others, used brilliant colors to represent emotional response. Braque worked most closely with the artists Raoul Dufy and Othon Friesz, who shared Braque's hometown of Le Havre, to develop a somewhat more subdued Fauvist style. In 1906, Braque traveled
James Mark Baldwin (January 12, 1861, Columbia, South Carolina – November 8, 1934, Paris) was an American philosopher and psychologist who was educated at Princeton under the supervision of Scottish philosopher James McCosh and who was one of the founders of the Department of Psychology at the university. He made important contributions to early psychology, psychiatry, and to the theory of evolution.
Using the opportunity offered by the Green Fellowship in Mental Science awarded to him at Princeton he went to study in Germany with Wilhelm Wundt at Leipzig and with Friedrich Paulsen at Berlin. (1884–1934).
In 1885 he became Instructor in French and German at the Princeton Theological Seminary. He translated Théodule-Armand Ribot's "German Psychology of Today" and wrote his first paper "The Postulates of a Physiological Psychology". Ribot's work traced the origins of psychology from Immanuel Kant through Johann Friedrich Herbart, Gustav Theodor Fechner, Hermann Lotze to Wundt.
In 1887,while working as a professor of philosophy at Lake Forest College he married Helen Hayes Green, the daughter of the President of the Seminary. At Lake Forest he published the first part of his "Handbook
Ernest André Gellner (9 December 1925 – 5 November 1995) was a British-Czech philosopher and social anthropologist, described by The Daily Telegraph when he died as one of the world's most vigorous intellectuals and by The Independent as a "one-man crusade for critical rationalism."
His first book, Words and Things (1959) prompted a leader in The Times and a month-long correspondence on its letters page over his attack on linguistic philosophy. As the Professor of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at the London School of Economics for 22 years, the William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge for eight, and finally as head of the new Centre for the Study of Nationalism in Prague, Gellner fought all his life—in his writing, his teaching, and through his political activism—against what he saw as closed systems of thought, particularly communism, psychoanalysis, relativism, and the dictatorship of the free market. Among other issues in social thought, the modernization of society and nationalism were two of his central themes, his multicultural perspective allowing him to work within the subject-matter of three separate civilizations—the Western,
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский; IPA: [ˈfʲodər mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ dəstɐˈjefskʲɪj] ( listen); 11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881) sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian writer of novels, short stories and essays. Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russia. Although Dostoyevsky began writing books in the mid-1850s, his most remembered work are from his last years, including Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. He wrote eleven novels, three novellas, seventeen short novels and three essays, and is often acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.
Dostoyevsky was born and raised on the grounds of the Mariinsky hospital in Moscow, Russia. At an early age he was introduced to English, French, German and Russian literature, as well as to fairy tales and legends. His mother's sudden death devastated him and, around the same time, he left private school for a military academy. After his graduation he worked as an engineer and briefly enjoyed a liberal lifestyle. He soon began
Hilary Whitehall Putnam (born July 31, 1926) is an American philosopher, mathematician and computer scientist, who has been a central figure in analytic philosophy since the 1960s, especially in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of science. He is known for his willingness to apply an equal degree of scrutiny to his own philosophical positions as to those of others, subjecting each position to rigorous analysis until he exposes its flaws. As a result, he has acquired a reputation for frequently changing his own position. Putnam is currently Cogan University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University.
In philosophy of mind, Putnam is known for his argument against the type-identity of mental and physical states based on his hypothesis of the multiple realizability of the mental, and for the concept of functionalism, an influential theory regarding the mind-body problem. In philosophy of language, along with Saul Kripke and others, he developed the causal theory of reference, and formulated an original theory of meaning, inventing the notion of semantic externalism based on a famous thought experiment called Twin Earth.
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, known as Pablo Picasso (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpaβlo piˈkaso], 25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973), was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer who spent most of his adult life in France. As one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, he is widely known for co-founding the Cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture, the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. Among his most famous works are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a portrayal of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.
Picasso, Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp are commonly regarded as the three artists who most defined the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics.
Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a realistic manner through his childhood and adolescence. During the first decade of the 20th century, his style changed as he experimented
Influenced By:George Gordon Noel Byron, 6th Baron Byron
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Пу́шкин, tr. Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin; IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr sʲɪˈrɡʲejɪvʲɪtɕ ˈpuʂkʲɪn] ( listen); 6 June [O.S. 26 May] 1799 – 10 February [O.S. 29 January] 1837) was a Russian author of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature.
Born into the Russian nobility in Moscow, Pushkin published his first poem at the age of fifteen, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum.
While under the strict surveillance of the Tsar's political police and unable to publish, Pushkin wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialized between 1825 and 1832.
Notoriously touchy about his honour, Pushkin fought a total of twenty-nine duels, and was fatally wounded in such an encounter with Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès. D'Anthès, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment, had been attempting to seduce the poet's wife, Natalya Pushkina. Pushkin's early death at the age of 37 is still regarded as a catastrophe for
Irwin Allen Ginsberg ( /ˈɡɪnzbərɡ/; June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, economic materialism and sexual repression. Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem "Howl", in which he celebrated his fellow "angel-headed hipsters" and harshly denounced what he saw as the destructive forces of capitalism and conformity in the United States. This poem is one of the classic poems of the Beat Generation. The poem, which was dedicated to writer Carl Solomon, opens:
In October 1955, Ginsberg and five other unknown poets gave a free reading at an experimental art gallery in San Francisco. Ginsberg's "Howl" electrified the audience. According to fellow poet Michael McClure, it was clear "that a barrier had been broken, that a human voice and body had been hurled against the harsh wall of America and its supporting armies and navies and academies and institutions and ownership systems and power support bases." In 1957, "Howl" attracted widespread publicity when it became the subject of an obscenity trial in which a San Francisco prosecutor argued it contained "filthy, vulgar,
André Derain (10 June 1880 – 8 September 1954) was a French artist, painter, sculptor and co-founder of Fauvism with Henri Matisse.
Derain was born in 1880 in Chatou, Yvelines, Île-de-France, just outside Paris. In 1898, while studying to be an engineer at the Académie Camillo, he attended painting classes under Eugène Carrière, and there met Matisse. In 1900, he met and shared a studio with Maurice de Vlaminck and began to paint his first landscapes. His studies were interrupted from 1901 to 1904 when he was conscripted into the French army. Following his release from service, Matisse persuaded Derain's parents to allow him to abandon his engineering career and devote himself solely to painting; subsequently Derain attended the Académie Julian.
Derain and Matisse worked together through the summer of 1905 in the Mediterranean village of Collioure and later that year displayed their highly innovative paintings at the Salon d'Automne. The vivid, unnatural colors led the critic Louis Vauxcelles to derisively dub their works as les Fauves, or "the wild beasts", marking the start of the Fauvist movement. In March 1906, the noted art dealer Ambroise Vollard sent Derain to London to
George Edward Moore OM, FBA (4 November 1873 – 24 October 1958) was an English philosopher. He was, with Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and (before them) Gottlob Frege, one of the founders of the analytic tradition in philosophy. Along with Russell, he led the turn away from idealism in British philosophy, and became well known for his advocacy of common sense concepts, his contributions to ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics, and "his exceptional personality and moral character." He was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, a highly influential member of the Bloomsbury Group, and the editor of the influential journal Mind. He was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1918. He is buried at the Parish of the Ascension Burial Ground in Cambridge, with his wife Dorothy Moore, nee Ely.
Moore was educated at Dulwich College, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read Classics and Moral Sciences. He became a Fellow of Trinity in 1898, and went on to hold the University of Cambridge chair of mental philosophy and logic, from 1925 to 1939. He was the brother of the writer and engraver Thomas Sturge Moore.
Moore is best known today for his defence of
Henry Valentine Miller (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980) was an American writer and painter. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new sort of "novel" that is a mixture of novel, autobiography, social criticism, philosophical reflection, surrealist free association, and mysticism, one that is distinctly always about and expressive of the real-life Henry Miller and yet is also fictional. His most characteristic works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer (1934), Black Spring (1936), and Tropic of Capricorn (1939). He also wrote travel memoirs and essays of literary criticism and analysis.
Miller was born to German parents, tailor Heinrich Miller and Louise Marie Neiting, in the Yorkville section of Manhattan, New York City. As a child, he lived for nine years at 662 Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, known in that time (and referred to frequently in his works) as the Fourteenth Ward. As a young man, he was active with the Socialist Party (his "quondam idol" was the Black Socialist Hubert Harrison). He briefly—for only one semester—attended the City College of New York. Although he was an exceptional student, he was willing neither to be anchored
Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace (/ləˈplɑːs/; French: [laplas]; 23 March 1749 – 5 March 1827) was a French mathematician and astronomer whose work was pivotal to the development of mathematical astronomy and statistics. He summarized and extended the work of his predecessors in his five-volume Mécanique Céleste (Celestial Mechanics) (1799–1825). This work translated the geometric study of classical mechanics to one based on calculus, opening up a broader range of problems. In statistics, the so-called Bayesian interpretation of probability was mainly developed by Laplace.
Laplace formulated Laplace's equation, and pioneered the Laplace transform which appears in many branches of mathematical physics, a field that he took a leading role in forming. The Laplacian differential operator, widely used in mathematics, is also named after him. He restated and developed the nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system and was one of the first scientists to postulate the existence of black holes and the notion of gravitational collapse.
Laplace is remembered as one of the greatest scientists of all time. Sometimes referred to as the French Newton or Newton of France, he possessed a
Influenced By:Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, (8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law to return to music, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.
Schumann's published compositions were written exclusively for the piano until 1840; he later composed works for piano and orchestra; many Lieder (songs for voice and piano); four symphonies; an opera; and other orchestral, choral, and chamber works. Works such as Kinderszenen, Album für die Jugend, Blumenstück, Sonatas and Albumblätter are among his most famous. His writings about music appeared mostly in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (New Journal for Music), a Leipzig-based publication which he jointly founded.
In 1840, against her father's wishes, Schumann married pianist Clara Wieck, daughter of his former teacher, the day before she legally
Joseph Rudyard Kipling ( /ˈrʌdjəd ˈkɪplɪŋ/ RUD-yəd KIP-ling; 30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was an English short-story writer, poet, and novelist chiefly remembered for his tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. He was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India, and was taken by his family to England when he was five years old. Kipling is best known for his works of fiction, including The Jungle Book (a collection of stories which includes "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"), Just So Stories (1902) (1894), Kim (1901) (a tale of adventure), many short stories, including "The Man Who Would Be King" (1888); and his poems, including "Mandalay" (1890), "Gunga Din" (1890), "The White Man's Burden" (1899) and "If—" (1910). He is regarded as a major "innovator in the art of the short story"; his children's books are enduring classics of children's literature; and his best works are said to exhibit "a versatile and luminous narrative gift".
Kipling was one of the most popular writers in England, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Henry James said: "Kipling strikes me
Terry Allen Winograd (born February 24, 1946, Takoma Park, Maryland) is an American professor of computer science at Stanford University, and co-director of the Stanford Human-Computer Interaction Group. He is known within the philosophy of mind and artificial intelligence fields for his work on natural language using the SHRDLU program.
SHRDLU was written as a PhD thesis at MIT in the years from 1968-70. In making the program Winograd was concerned with the problem of providing a computer with sufficient "understanding" to be able to use natural language. Winograd built a blocks world, restricting the program's intellectual world to a simulated "world of toy blocks". The program could accept commands such as, "Find a block which is taller than the one you are holding and put it into the box" and carry out the requested action using a simulated block-moving arm. The program could also respond verbally, for example, "I do not know which block you mean." The SHRDLU program can be viewed historically as one of the classic examples of how difficult it is for a programmer to build up a computer's semantic memory by hand and how limited or "brittle" such programs are.
In 1973, Winograd
Walter "Walt" Whitman (May 31, 1819 – March 26, 1892) was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality.
Born on Long Island, Whitman worked as a journalist, a teacher, a government clerk, and – in addition to publishing his poetry – was a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842). Whitman's major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. After a stroke towards the end of his life, he moved to Camden, New Jersey, where his health further declined. He died at age 72 and his funeral became a public spectacle.
Whitman's sexuality is often discussed alongside
Alexander Romanovich Luria (Russian: Алекса́ндр Рома́нович Лу́рия; 16 July 1902 – 14 August 1977) was a famous Soviet neuropsychologist and developmental psychologist. He was one of the founders of cultural-historical psychology and the leaders of the Vygotsky Circle.
Luria was born in Kazan, a regional center east of Moscow, to Jewish parents. He studied at Kazan State University (graduated in 1921), Kharkiv Medical Institute and 1st Moscow Medical Institute (graduated in 1937). He was appointed Professor (1944), Doctor of Pedagogical (1937) and Medical Sciences (1943). Throughout his career Luria worked in a wide range of scientific fields at such institutions as the Academy of Communist Education (1920-1930s), Experimental Defectological Institute (1920-1930s, 1950-1960s, both in Moscow), Ukrainian Psychoneurological Academy (Kharkiv, early 1930s), All-Union Institute of Experimental Medicine, Burdenko Institute of Neurosurgery (late 1930s), and other institutions. In the late 1930s, Luria went to medical school. Following the war, Luria continued his work in Moscow's Institute of Psychology. For a period of time, he was removed from the Institute of Psychology, mainly as a
Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, often referred to as Henri de Saint-Simon (17 October 1760 – 19 May 1825) was a French early socialist theorist whose thought influenced the foundations of various 19th century philosophies; perhaps most notably Marxism, positivism and the discipline of sociology. He was born an aristocrat.
In opposition to the feudal and military system he advocated a form of state-technocratic socialism, an arrangement where industrialists would lead society and found a national community based upon cooperation and technological progress, which would be capable of eliminating poverty of the lower classes. In place of the church, he felt the direction of society should fall to the men of science. Men who are fitted to organize society for productive labour are entitled to rule it.
Saint-Simon was born in Paris as a French aristocrat. Although he was born an aristocrat, the political ideologies he adopted in his later life do not fall into the category that people today consider aristocratic. He belonged to a younger branch of the family of the duc de Saint-Simon. "When he was a young man, being of a restless disposition...he went to America where he
Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of these are considered classics of American literature.
Hemingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to enlist with the World War I ambulance drivers. In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms. In 1922, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent, and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s "Lost Generation"
Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist. He is best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings, and his essay Civil Disobedience, an argument for individual resistance to civil government in moral opposition to an unjust state.
Thoreau's books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions were his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern day environmentalism. His literary style interweaves close natural observation, personal experience, pointed rhetoric, symbolic meanings, and historical lore, while displaying a poetic sensibility, philosophical austerity, and "Yankee" love of practical detail. He was also deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements, historical change, and natural decay; at the same time he advocated abandoning waste and illusion in order to discover life's true essential
John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer, and artist. A pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music, and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century. He was also instrumental in the development of modern dance, mostly through his association with choreographer Merce Cunningham, who was also Cage's romantic partner for most of their lives.
Cage is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition 4′33″, which is performed in the absence of deliberate sound; musicians who present the work do nothing aside from being present for the duration specified by the title. The content of the composition is not "four minutes and 33 seconds of silence," as is sometimes assumed, but rather the sounds of the environment heard by the audience during performance. The work's challenge to assumed definitions about musicianship and musical experience made it a popular and controversial topic both in musicology and the broader aesthetics of art and performance. Cage was also a
John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes, CB FBA ( /ˈkeɪnz/ KAYNZ; 5 June 1883 – 21 April 1946) was a British economist whose ideas have profoundly affected the theory and practice of modern macroeconomics, and informed the economic policies of governments. He refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and advocated the use of fiscal and monetary measures to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions and depressions. Keynes is widely considered to be one of the founders of modern macroeconomics, and the most influential economist of the 20th century. His ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, as well as its various offshoots.
In the 1930s, Keynes spearheaded a revolution in economic thinking, overturning the older ideas of neoclassical economics that held that free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. Keynes instead argued that aggregate demand determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment. Following the outbreak of World War II,
Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Nałęcz Korzeniowski; 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Polish novelist who wrote in English, after settling in England.
Conrad is regarded as one of the great novelists in English, though he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties (and always with a marked Polish accent). He wrote stories and novels, often with a nautical setting, that depict trials of the human spirit in the midst of an indifferent universe. He was a master prose stylist who brought a distinctly non-English tragic sensibility into English literature.
While some of his works have a strain of romanticism, he is viewed as a precursor of modernist literature. His narrative style and anti-heroic characters have influenced many authors, including D. H. Lawrence, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Malcolm Lowry, William Golding, William S. Burroughs, Joseph Heller, Italo Calvino, Gabriel García Márquez, J. G. Ballard, John le Carré, V.S. Naipaul, Hunter S. Thompson and J.M. Coetzee.
Films have been adapted from or inspired by Conrad's Almayer's Folly, An Outcast of the Islands, Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Nostromo,
Paul Karl Feyerabend (January 13, 1924 – February 11, 1994) was an Austrian-born philosopher of science best known for his work as a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked for three decades (1958–1989). He lived a peripatetic life, living at various times in England, the United States, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, and finally Switzerland. His major works include Against Method (published in 1975), Science in a Free Society (published in 1978) and Farewell to Reason (a collection of papers published in 1987). Feyerabend became famous for his purportedly anarchistic view of science and his rejection of the existence of universal methodological rules. He is an influential figure in the philosophy of science, and also in the sociology of scientific knowledge.
Paul Feyerabend was born in 1924 in Vienna, where he attended primary school and high school. In this period he got into the habit of frequent reading, developed an interest in theatre, and started singing lessons. When he graduated from high school in April 1942, he was drafted into the German Arbeitsdienst. After basic training in Pirmasens, Germany, he was assigned to a unit in
Paul Signac (French pronunciation: [pɔl siɲak]; 11 November 1863 – 15 August 1935) was a French neo-impressionist painter who, working with Georges Seurat, helped develop the pointillist style.
Paul Victor Jules Signac was born in Paris on 11 November 1863. He followed a course of training in architecture before deciding at the age of 18 to pursue a career as a painter after attending an exhibit of Monet's work. He sailed around the coasts of Europe, painting the landscapes he encountered. He also painted scenes of cities in France in his later years.
In 1884 he met Claude Monet and Georges Seurat. He was struck by the systematic working methods of Seurat and by his theory of colors and became Seurat's faithful supporter. Under his influence he abandoned the short brushstrokes of impressionism to experiment with scientifically juxtaposed small dots of pure color, intended to combine and blend not on the canvas but in the viewer's eye, the defining feature of pointillism.
Many of Signac's paintings are of the French coast. He loved to paint the water. He left the capital each summer, to stay in the south of France in the village of Collioure or at St. Tropez, where he bought a house
William Carlos Williams (September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963) was an American poet closely associated with modernism and Imagism. He was also a pediatrician and general practitioner of medicine with a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Williams "worked harder at being a writer than he did at being a physician" but excelled at both.
Williams was born in Rutherford, New Jersey. His grandmother, an Englishwoman deserted by her husband, had come to the United States with her son, remarried, and moved to Puerto Rico. Her son, Williams' father, married a Puerto Rican woman of French Basque and Dutch Jewish descent. He received his primary and secondary education in Rutherford until 1897, when he was sent for two years to a school near Geneva and to the Lycée Condorcet in Paris. He attended the Horace Mann School upon his return to New York City and after having passed a special examination, he was admitted in 1902 to the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1906. He published his first book, Poems, in 1909.
Williams married Florence Herman (1891–1976) in 1912, after his first proposal to her older sister was
Pierre Gassendi (January 22, 1592 – October 24, 1655) was a French philosopher, priest, scientist, astronomer, and mathematician. With a church position in south-east France, he also spent much time in Paris, where he was a leader of a group of free-thinking intellectuals. He was also an active observational scientist, publishing the first data on the transit of Mercury in 1631. The lunar crater Gassendi is named after him.
He wrote numerous philosophical works, and some of the positions he worked out are considered significant, finding a way between scepticism and dogmatism. Richard Popkin indicates that Gassendi was one of the first thinkers to formulate the modern "scientific outlook", of moderated scepticism and empiricism. He clashed with his contemporary Descartes on the possibility of certain knowledge. His best known intellectual project attempted to reconcile Epicurean atomism with Christianity.
Gassendi was born at Champtercier, near Digne, in France to Antoine Gassend and Françoise Fabry. A youthful prodigy, at a very early age he showed academic potential and attended the college at Digne, where he displayed a particular aptitude for languages and mathematics. Soon
Slavoj Žižek (Slovene: [ˈslavoj ˈʒiʒɛk]; born 21 March 1949) is a Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic who has made major contributions to political theory, film theory, and theoretical psychoanalysis, among other disciplines. He is normally considered to be a Lacanian Hegelian with Marxist influences.
Žižek achieved international recognition as a social theorist after the 1989 publication of his first book in English, The Sublime Object of Ideology. He has continued to develop his status as a confrontational intellectual, and has been called "one of the world's best known public intellectuals", and "the thinker of choice for Europe's young intellectual vanguard".
Žižek was born in Ljubljana, People's Republic of Slovenia, Yugoslavia, to a middle-class family. His father Jože Žižek was an economist and civil servant from the region of Prekmurje in eastern Slovenia. His mother Vesna, native of the Brda region in the Slovenian Littoral, was an accountant in a state enterprise. He spent most of his childhood in the coastal town of Portorož. The family moved back to Ljubljana when Slavoj was a teenager. His parents were both atheists. Žižek attended the prestigious Bežigrad High
Theodor W. Adorno (/əˈdɔːrnoʊ/; German: [aˈdɔʀno]; born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund; September 11, 1903 – August 6, 1969) was a German sociologist, philosopher and musicologist known for his critical theory of society.
He was a leading member of the Frankfurt School of critical theory, whose work has come to be associated with thinkers such as Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse, for whom the work of Freud, Marx and Hegel were essential to a critique of modern society. He is widely regarded as one of the 20th century's foremost thinkers on aesthetics and philosophy, as well as one of its preeminent essayists. As a critic of both fascism and what he called the culture industry, his writings—such as Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Minima Moralia (1951) and Negative Dialectics (1966)—strongly influenced the European New Left.
Amidst the vogue enjoyed by existentialism and positivism in early 20th century Europe, Adorno advanced a dialectical conception of natural history that critiqued the twin temptations of ontology and empiricism through studies of Kierkegaard and Husserl. As a classically trained pianist whose sympathies with the twelve-tone
Carl Gustav Jung (/ˈjʊŋ/ YUUNG; German: [ˈkarl ˈɡʊstaf ˈjʊŋ]; 26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology. Jung proposed and developed the concepts of the extraverted and the introverted personality, archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, literature, and related fields.
Individuation is the central concept of analytical psychology. Jung considered individuation, the psychological process of integrating the opposites, including the conscious with the unconscious while still maintaining their relative autonomy, to be the central process of human development.
Jung created some of the best known psychological concepts, including the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and synchronicity. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a popular psychometric instrument, has been developed from Jung's theories.
Jung saw the human psyche as "by nature religious", and made this religiousness the focus of his explorations. Jung is one of the best known contemporary contributors to dream analysis and symbolization.
Though he was a practicing
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (German pronunciation: [ˈjaːkɔp ˈluːtvɪç ˈfeːlɪks ˈmɛndl̩szoːn baʁˈtɔldi]), born, and generally known in English-speaking countries, as Felix Mendelssohn (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.
The grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish family, although initially he was raised without religion and was later baptised as a Lutheran Christian. Mendelssohn was recognised early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his talent.
Early success in Germany, where he also revived interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, was followed by travel throughout Europe. Mendelssohn was particularly well received in Britain as a composer, conductor and soloist, and his ten visits there – during which many of his major works were premiered – form an important part of his adult career. His essentially conservative musical tastes, however, set him apart from many of his more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner and Hector Berlioz. The
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (Italian pronunciation: [leoˈnardo da ˈvintʃi] pronunciation (help·info)) (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519, Old Style) was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. According to art historian Helen Gardner, the scope and depth of his interests were without precedent and "his mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote". Marco Rosci states that while there is much speculation about Leonardo, his vision of the world is essentially logical rather than mysterious, and that the empirical methods he employed were unusual for his time.
Born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman,
Publius Vergilius Maro (October 15, 70 BC – September 21, 19 BC), usually called Virgil or Vergil /ˈvɜrdʒəl/ in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him.
Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets. His Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome from the time of its composition to the present day. Modeled after Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and arrive on the shores of Italy—in Roman mythology the founding act of Rome. Virgil's work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably the Divine Comedy of Dante, in which Virgil appears as Dante's guide through hell and purgatory.
Virgil's biographical tradition is thought to depend on a lost biography by Varius, Virgil's editor, which was incorporated into the biography by Suetonius and the commentaries of Servius and Donatus, the two great commentators on Virgil's poetry.
Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Best known for his novels including Brave New World and a wide-ranging output of essays, Huxley also edited the magazine Oxford Poetry, and published short stories, poetry, travel writing, film stories and scripts. Huxley spent the later part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death.
Aldous Huxley was a humanist, pacifist, and satirist, and he was latterly interested in spiritual subjects such as parapsychology and philosophical mysticism. He is also well known for advocating and taking psychedelics.
By the end of his life Huxley was widely acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of his time and respected as an important researcher into visual communication and sight-related theories as well.
Aldous Huxley was born in Godalming, Surrey, England, in 1894. He was the third son of the writer and schoolmaster Leonard Huxley and his first wife, Julia Arnold, who founded Prior's Field School. Julia was the niece of poet and critic Matthew Arnold and the sister of Mrs. Humphrey Ward. Aldous
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (French pronunciation: [ʃaʁl kamij sɛ̃sɑ̃s]; 9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French late-Romantic composer, organist, conductor, and pianist. He is known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah, Piano Concerto No. 2, Cello Concerto No. 1, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).
Saint-Saëns was born in Paris, France, on 9 October 1835. His father, a government clerk, died three months after his birth. He was raised by his mother, Clémence, with the assistance of her aunt, Charlotte Masson, who moved in. Masson introduced Saint-Saëns to the piano, and began giving him lessons on the instrument. At about this time, age two, Saint-Saëns was found to possess perfect pitch. His first composition, a little piece for the piano dated 22 March 1839, is now kept in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Saint-Saëns's precocity was not limited to music. He learned to read and write by age three, and had some mastery of Latin by the age of seven. His first public concert appearance occurred when he was five years old, when he accompanied a Beethoven violin sonata. He went on
Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (German: [ˈɡɔtloːp ˈfreːɡə]; 8 November 1848 – 26 July 1925) was a German mathematician, logician and philosopher. He is considered to be one of the founders of modern logic and made major contributions to the foundations of mathematics. He is generally considered to be the father of analytic philosophy, for his writings on the philosophy of language and mathematics. While he was mainly ignored by the intellectual world when he published his writings, Giuseppe Peano (1858–1932) and Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) introduced his work to later generations of logicians and philosophers.
Frege was born in 1848 in Wismar, in the state of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (the modern German federal state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). His father Carl (Karl) Alexander Frege (3 August 1809 – 30 November 1866) was the co-founder and headmaster of a girls' high school until his death. After Carl's death, the school was led by Frege's mother Auguste Wilhelmine Sophie Frege (née Bialloblotzky of Polish descent, 12 January 1815 – 14 October 1898).
In childhood, Frege encountered philosophies that would guide his future scientific career. For example, his father wrote a textbook on the
Harold Bloom (born July 11, 1930) is an American literary critic and Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University. Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more than 20 books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and one novel. He has edited hundreds of anthologies.
Bloom teaches two classes at Yale: one on the plays of William Shakespeare; the other on poetry from Geoffrey Chaucer to Hart Crane. Some of his writing has reflected this teaching, from Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998) to The Anatomy of Influence (2011), which he has called the summa of his career.
At the start of his career, Bloom studied the Romantic and Modernist poets, in particular Percy Bysshe Shelley, W. B. Yeats and Wallace Stevens. From this study, combined with the influence of Freud, Emerson and many others, Bloom developed theories of poetic influence, marked by the publication of The Anxiety of Influence (1973). These theories dominated his writing for a decade, after which he began to focus on what he named "religious criticism", in books such as The Book of J (1990) and The American Religion (1992). Another shift in his career began with
Henri-Louis Bergson (French: [bɛʁksɔn] 18 October 1859 – 4 January 1941) was a major French philosopher, influential especially in the first half of the 20th century. Bergson convinced many thinkers that immediate experience and intuition are more significant than rationalism and science for understanding reality.
He was awarded the 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his rich and vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been presented".
Bergson was born in the Rue Lamartine in Paris, not far from the Palais Garnier (the old Paris opera house) in 1859 (the year in which France emerged as a victor in the Second Italian War of Independence, and in the month before the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species). His father, the pianist Michał Bergson, was of a Polish Jewish family background (originally bearing the name Bereksohn). His mother, Katherine Levison, daughter of a Yorkshire doctor, was from an English and Irish Jewish background. The Bereksohns were a famous Jewish entrepreneurial family of Polish descent. Henri Bergson's great-great-grandfather, Szmul Jakubowicz Sonnenberg, called Zbytkower, was a prominent banker and a
Hermann Minkowski (June 22, 1864 – January 12, 1909) was a mathematician. He created and developed the geometry of numbers and used geometrical methods to solve problems in number theory, mathematical physics, and the theory of relativity.
Minkowski is perhaps best known for his work in relativity, in which he showed in 1907 that his former student Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity (1905), presented algebraically by Einstein, could also be understood geometrically as a theory of four-dimensional space-time. Einstein himself at first viewed Minkowski's treatment as a mere mathematical trick, before eventually realizing that a geometrical view of space-time would be necessary in order to complete his own later work in general relativity (1915).
Hermann Minkowski was born in Aleksota, a village in the Kingdom of Poland, to a family of Lithuanian Jews, Rachel (née Taubmann) and Lewin Minkowski, a businessman. Minkowski later converted to Protestantism, in order to pursue his academic career. Hermann was educated in Germany at the Albertina University of Königsberg, where he achieved his doctorate in 1885 under direction of Ferdinand von Lindemann. While still a student at
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (US /rɛnˈwɑr/ or UK /ˈrɛnwɑr/; French: [pjɛʁ oɡyst ʁənwaʁ]; 1841–1919) was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau."
Pierre-Auguste was the father of actor Pierre Renoir and filmmaker Jean Renoir.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France, the child of a working-class family. As a boy, he worked in a porcelain factory where his drawing talents led to his being chosen to paint designs on fine china. He also painted hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans before he enrolled in art school. During those early years, he often visited the Louvre to study the French master painters.
In 1862, he began studying art under Charles Gleyre in Paris. There he met Alfred Sisley, Frédéric Bazille, and Claude Monet. At times during the 1860s, he did not have enough money to buy paint. Although Renoir first started exhibiting paintings at the Paris Salon in 1864, recognition did not come for another ten years,
Stéphane Mallarmé (French: [stefan malaʁme]; 18 March 1842 – 9 September 1898), whose real name was Étienne Mallarmé, was a French poet and critic. He was a major French symbolist poet, and his work anticipated and inspired several revolutionary artistic schools of the early 20th century, such as Dadaism, Surrealism, and Futurism.
Stéphane Mallarmé was born in Paris. He worked as an English teacher and spent much of his life in relative poverty; but was famed for his salons, occasional gatherings of intellectuals at his house on the rue de Rome for discussions of poetry, art, philosophy. The group became known as les Mardistes, because they met on Tuesdays (in French, mardi), and through it Mallarmé exerted considerable influence on the work of a generation of writers. For many years, those sessions, where Mallarmé held court as judge, jester, and king, were considered the heart of Paris intellectual life. Regular visitors included W.B. Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Valéry, Stefan George, Paul Verlaine, and many others.
On 10 August 1863 he married Maria Christina Gerhard. Their daughter, (Stéphanie Françoise) Geneviève Mallarmé, was born on 19 November 1864. Mallarmé died in
Vincent Willem van Gogh (Dutch: [vɑŋ ˈɣɔχ] ( listen); 30 March 1853 – 29 July 1890) was a Dutch post-Impressionist painter whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. After years of painful anxiety and frequent bouts of mental illness, he died at the age of 37 from a gunshot wound, generally accepted to be self-inflicted (although no gun was ever found). His work was then known to only a handful of people and appreciated by fewer still.
Van Gogh began to draw as a child, and he continued to draw throughout the years that led up to his decision to become an artist. He did not begin painting until his late twenties, completing many of his best-known works during the last two years of his life. In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints. His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lifes of flowers, portraits and paintings of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers.
Van Gogh spent his early adulthood working for a firm of art dealers, traveling between The Hague, London and Paris, after
Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. Famous for his use of the heroic couplet, he is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson.
Pope was born to Alexander Pope Senior (1646–1717), a linen merchant of Plough Court, Lombard Street, London, and his wife Edith (née Turner) (1643–1733), who were both Catholics. Edith's sister Christiana was the wife of the famous miniature painter Samuel Cooper. Pope's education was affected by the recently enacted Test Acts, which upheld the status of the established Church of England and banned Catholics from teaching, attending a university, voting, or holding public office on pain of perpetual imprisonment. Pope was taught to read by his aunt, and went to Twyford School in about 1698/99. He then went to two Catholic schools in London. Such schools, while illegal, were tolerated in some areas.
In 1700, his family moved to a small estate at Popeswood in Binfield, Berkshire, close to the royal Windsor Forest. This was due to strong anti-Catholic sentiment and a statute
Anaïs Nin (Spanish pronunciation: [anaˈiz ˈnin]; born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was a French-Cuban author, based at first in France and later in the United States, who published her journals, which span more than 60 years, beginning when she was 11 years old and ending shortly before her death, her erotic literature, and short stories. A great deal of her work, including Delta of Venus and Little Birds, was published posthumously.
Anaïs Nin was born in Neuilly, France, to artistic parents. Her father, Joaquín Nin, was a Cuban pianist and composer, when he met her mother Rosa Culmell, who was a classically trained singer in Cuba of French and Danish descent. Her father's grandfather had fled France during the Revolution, going first to Saint-Domingue, then New Orleans, and finally to Cuba where he helped build that country's first railway.
Nin was raised a Roman Catholic and spent her childhood and early life in Europe. After her parents separated, her mother moved Anaïs and her two brothers, Thorvald Nin and Joaquin Nin-Culmell, to Barcelona, and then to New York City. According to her diaries, Volume One,
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez (December 8, 1886 – November 24, 1957) better known simply as Diego Rivera was a prominent Mexican painter and husband of Frida Kahlo (1929–1939 and 1940–1954). His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in Mexican art. Between 1922 and 1953, Rivera painted murals among others in Mexico City, Chapingo, Cuernavaca, San Francisco, Detroit, and New York City. In 1931, a retrospective exhibition of his works was held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Diego Rivera was born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico to a well-to-do family. Rivera was descended from Spanish nobility on his father's side. Diego had a twin brother named Carlos, who died two years after they were born. From the age of ten, Rivera studied art at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City. He was sponsored to continue study in Europe by Teodoro A. Dehesa Méndez, the governor of the State of Veracruz. His mother was a Converso, a Jew whose ancestors had been forced to convert to Catholicism. Speaking about himself, Rivera wrote in 1935 "My Jewishness is the dominant element in my
Djuna Barnes (June 12, 1892 – June 18, 1982) was an American writer who played an important part in the development of 20th century English language modernist writing and was one of the key figures in 1920s and 30s bohemian Paris after filling a similar role in the Greenwich Village of the teens. Her novel Nightwood became a cult work of modern fiction, helped by an introduction by T. S. Eliot. It stands out today for its portrayal of lesbian themes and its distinctive writing style. As a roman à clef, the novel features a thinly veiled portrait of Barnes in the character of Nora Flood, whereas Nora’s lover Robin Vote is a composite of Thelma Wood and the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. Since Barnes' death, interest in her work has grown and many of her books are back in print.
Barnes was born in a log cabin on Storm King Mountain, near Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York. Her paternal grandmother, Zadel Turner Barnes, was a writer, journalist, and Women's Suffrage activist who had once hosted an influential literary salon. Her father, Wald Barnes, was an unsuccessful composer, musician, and painter. An advocate of polygamy, he married Barnes's mother Elizabeth in 1889; his
Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967) was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. While he was most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. Both in his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life.
Hopper was born in upper Nyack, New York, a yacht-building center on the Hudson River north of New York City. He was one of two children of a comfortably well-off, middle-class family. His parents, of mostly Dutch ancestry, were Garret Henry Hopper, a dry-goods merchant, and his wife Elizabeth Griffiths Smith. Though not as successful as his forebears, Garrett provided well for his two children with considerable help from his wife’s inheritance. He retired at age forty-nine. Edward and his only sister Marion attended both private and public schools. They were raised in a strict Baptist home. His father had a mild nature, and the household was dominated by women: Hopper's mother, grandmother, sister, and maid. His birthplace and boyhood home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Today the house is
Jacques Rancière (born Algiers, 1940) is a French philosopher, Professor of Philosophy at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris (St. Denis) who came to prominence when he co-authored Reading Capital (1968), with the structural Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser.
Rancière contributed to the influential volume Reading Capital (though his contribution is not contained in the partial English translation) before publicly breaking with Althusser over his attitude toward the May 1968 student uprising in Paris; Rancière felt Althusser's theoretical stance didn't leave enough room for spontaneous popular uprising.
Since then, Rancière has departed from the path set by his teacher and published a series of works probing the concepts that make up our understanding of political discourse, such as ideology and proletariat. He sought to address whether the working class in fact exists, and how the masses of workers that thinkers like Althusser referred to continuously enter into a relationship with knowledge, particularly the limits of philosophers' knowledge with respect to the proletariat. An example of this line of thinking is
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller [ˈjoːhan ˈkʁɪstɔf ˈfʁiːdʁɪç fɔn ˈʃɪlɐ] (10 November 1759 – 9 May 1805) was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life (1788–1805), Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. They frequently discussed issues concerning aesthetics, and Schiller encouraged Goethe to finish works he left as sketches. This relationship and these discussions led to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism. They also worked together on Xenien, a collection of short satirical poems in which both Schiller and Goethe challenge opponents to their philosophical vision.
Friedrich Schiller was born on 10 November 1759, in Marbach, Württemberg as the only son of military doctor Johann Kaspar Schiller (1733–96), and Elisabeth Dorothea Kodweiß (1732–1802). They also had five daughters. His father was away in the Seven Years' War when Friedrich was born. He was named after king Frederick the Great, but he was called Fritz by nearly everyone. Kaspar Schiller was rarely home during the war, but he did manage to visit the family once in a
Influenced By:Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
Novalis (German pronunciation: [noˈvaːlɪs]) was the pseudonym of Georg Philipp Friedrich Freiherr von Hardenberg (May 2, 1772 – March 25, 1801), an author and philosopher of early German Romanticism.
Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg was born in 1772 at Oberwiederstedt manor (now part of Arnstein, Saxony-Anhalt), in the Harz mountains. The family seat was a manorial estate, not simply a stately home. Novalis descended from ancient, Low German nobility. Different lines of the family include such important, influential magistrates and ministry officials as the Prussian chancellor Karl August von Hardenberg (1750–1822). An oil painting and a christening cap commonly assigned to Novalis are his only possessions now extant. In the church in Wiederstedt, he was christened Georg Philipp Friedrich. He spent his childhood on the family estate and used it as the starting point for his travels into the Harz mountains.
Novalis’s father, the estate owner and salt-mine manager Heinrich Ulrich Erasmus Freiherr von Hardenberg (1738–1814), was a strictly pietistic man who had become a member of the Moravian (Herrnhuter) Church. His second marriage was to Auguste Bernhardine von Böltzig
Robert Brandom (born 1950) is an American philosopher who teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. He works primarily in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and philosophical logic, and his work manifests both systematic and historical interests in these topics. He earned his B.A. from Yale University and his Ph.D. from Princeton University, under Richard Rorty and David Kellogg Lewis.
Brandom's work is heavily influenced by that of Wilfrid Sellars, Richard Rorty, Michael Dummett and his Pittsburgh colleague John McDowell. He also draws heavily on the works of Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, Gottlob Frege, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
He is best known for his investigations of linguistic meanings, or semantics. He advocates the view that the meaning of an expression is fixed by how it is used in inferences (see inferential role semantics). This project is developed at length in his influential 1994 book, Making It Explicit, and more briefly in Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism (2000).
Brandom has also published a collection of essays on the history of philosophy, Tales of the Mighty Dead (2002), a critical and historical sketch of what he calls the
Rudolph Michael Schindler (born Rudolf Michael Schindler (1887 Vienna - 1953 Los Angeles) was an American, born in Austria, architect whose most important works were built in or near Los Angeles during the early to mid-twentieth century.
Although he worked and trained with some of its foremost practitioners, he often is associated with the fringes of the modern movement in architecture. His inventive use of complex three-dimensional forms, warm materials, and striking colors, as well as his ability to work successfully within tight budgets, however, have placed him as one of the true mavericks of early twentieth century architecture.
Rudolf Michael Schindler was born on September 10, 1887, to a middle class family in Vienna, Austria. His father was a wood and metal craftsman and an importer; his mother was a dressmaker. He attended the Imperial and Royal High School, from 1899 to 1906, and enrolled in the Wagnersschule of Vienna Polytechnic University, being graduated in 1911 with a degree in architecture.
Schindler was most influenced by professor Carl König, despite the presence of many other famous professors such as Otto Wagner and particularly, Adolf Loos. Most notably, in
Saul Bellow (June 10, 1915 – April 5, 2005) was a Canadian-born American writer. For his literary contributions, Bellow was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the National Medal of Arts. He is the only writer to win the National Book Award for Fiction three times and he received the Foundation's lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters in 1990.
In the words of the Swedish Nobel Committee, his writing exhibited "the mixture of rich picaresque novel and subtle analysis of our culture, of entertaining adventure, drastic and tragic episodes in quick succession interspersed with philosophic conversation, all developed by a commentator with a witty tongue and penetrating insight into the outer and inner complications that drive us to act, or prevent us from acting, and that can be called the dilemma of our age." His best-known works include The Adventures of Augie March, Henderson the Rain King, Herzog, Mr. Sammler's Planet, Seize the Day, Humboldt's Gift and Ravelstein. Widely regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest authors, Bellow has had a "huge literary influence."
Bellow said that of all his characters Eugene Henderson, of
Edmund Wilson (May 8, 1895 – June 12, 1972) was an American writer, literary and social critic, and noted man of letters.
Wilson was born in Red Bank, New Jersey. His parents were Helen Mather (née Kimball) and Edmund Wilson, Sr., a lawyer who served as New Jersey Attorney General. Wilson attended The Hill School, a college preparatory boarding school, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1912. At Hill, Wilson served as the editor-in-chief of the school's literary magazine, The Record. From 1912 to 1916, he was educated at Princeton University. He began his professional writing career as a reporter for the New York Sun, and served in the army during the First World War. His family's summer home at Talcottville, New York, known as Edmund Wilson House, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Wilson was the managing editor of Vanity Fair in 1920 and 1921, and later served as Associate Editor of The New Republic and as a book reviewer for The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books. His works influenced novelists Upton Sinclair, John Dos Passos, Sinclair Lewis, Floyd Dell, and Theodore Dreiser. He wrote plays, poems, and novels, but his greatest
Richard Nathaniel Wright (September 4, 1908 – November 28, 1960) was an African-American author of sometimes controversial novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes, especially those involving the plight of African-Americans during the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. His work helped redefine discussions of race relations in America in the mid-20th century.
Wright lived with his maternal grandmother in Jackson, Mississippi from early 1920 until late 1925. Here he felt stifled by his aunt and grandmother, who tried to force him to pray that he might find God. He later threatened to leave home because Grandmother Wilson refused to permit him to work on Saturdays, the Adventist Sabbath. Early strife with his aunt and grandmother left him with a permanent, uncompromising hostility toward religious solutions to everyday problems.
In 1923, Wright excelled in grade school and was made class valedictorian of Smith Robertson junior high school. Determined not to be called an Uncle Tom, he refused to deliver the principal's carefully prepared valedictory address that would not offend the white school officials and finally convinced the black
Rudolf Carnap (May 18, 1891 – September 14, 1970) was an influential German-born philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle and an advocate of logical positivism.
Carnap was born to a west German family that had been humble until his parents' generation. He began his formal education at the Barmen Gymnasium. From 1910 to 1914, he attended the University of Jena, intending to write a thesis in physics. But he also studied carefully Kant's Critique of Pure Reason during a course taught by Bruno Bauch, and was one of very few students to attend Gottlob Frege's courses in mathematical logic. After serving in the German army during World War I for three years, he was given permission to study physics at the University of Berlin, 1917–18, where Albert Einstein was a newly appointed professor. Carnap then attended the University of Jena, where he wrote a thesis defining an axiomatic theory of space and time. The physics department said it was too philosophical, and Bruno Bauch of the philosophy department said it was pure physics. Carnap then wrote another thesis, with Bauch's supervision, on the theory
Eugene Luther Gore Vidal ( /ˌɡɔr vɨˈdɑːl/;, born Eugene Louis Vidal, October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012) was an American writer known for his essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. He was also known for his patrician manner, Transatlantic accent, and witty aphorisms. Vidal came from a distinguished political lineage; his grandfather was the U.S. Senator Thomas Gore of Oklahoma.
Vidal was a lifelong Democrat; he ran for political office twice and was a longtime political commentator. As well known for his essays as his novels, Vidal wrote for The Nation, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books and Esquire. Through his essays and media appearances, Vidal was a longtime critic of American foreign policy. In addition to this, he characterised the United States as a decaying empire from the 1980s onwards. He was also known for his well-publicized spats with such figures as Norman Mailer, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Truman Capote.
His most widely regarded social novel was Myra Breckinridge; his best known historical novels included Julian, Burr, and Lincoln. His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948), outraged conservative critics as one of the first major American
Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other art objects. Klimt's primary subject was the female body; his works are marked by a frank eroticism.
Gustav Klimt was born in Baumgarten, near Vienna in Austria-Hungary, the second of seven children—three boys and four girls. All three sons displayed artistic talent early on. Klimt's younger brothers were Ernst Klimt and Georg Klimt. His father, Ernst Klimt the Elder, formerly from Bohemia, was a gold engraver. Ernst married Anna Klimt (née Finster), whose unrealized ambition was to be a musical performer.
Klimt lived in poverty while attending the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts (Kunstgewerbeschule), where he studied architectural painting until 1883. He revered the foremost history painter of the time, Hans Makart. Klimt readily accepted the principles of a conservative training; his early work may be classified as academic. In 1877 his brother Ernst, who, like his father, would become an engraver, also enrolled in the school. The two brothers and their friend Franz
Henry James, OM ((1843-04-15)15 April 1843 – 28 February 1916(1916-02-28)) was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr. and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.
James alternated between America and Europe for the first 20 years of his life, after which he settled in England, becoming a British subject in 1915, one year before his death. He is primarily known for the series of novels in which he portrays the encounter of Americans with Europe and Europeans. His method of writing from the point of view of a character within a tale allows him to explore issues related to consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting.
James contributed significantly to literary criticism, particularly in his insistence that writers be allowed the greatest possible freedom in presenting their view of the world. James claimed that a text must first and foremost be realistic and contain a representation of life that is recognisable to its readers. Good novels, to James, show life in action and are, most importantly,
Karl Heinrich Marx (5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist movement. He published various books during his lifetime, with the most notable being The Communist Manifesto (1848) and Capital (1867–1894); some of his works were co-written with his friend and fellow German revolutionary socialist, Friedrich Engels.
Born into a wealthy middle-class family in Trier (formerly in Prussian Rhineland, now called Rhineland-Palatinate), Marx studied at both the University of Bonn and the University of Berlin, where he became interested in the philosophical ideas of the Young Hegelians. In 1836 he became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, marrying her in 1843. After his studies, he wrote for a radical newspaper in Cologne, and began to work out his theory of dialectical materialism. Moving to Paris in 1843, he began writing for other radical newspapers. He met Engels in Paris, and the two men worked together on a series of books. Exiled to Brussels, he became a leading figure of the Communist League, before moving back
Marcel Lajos Breuer (22 May 1902 Pécs, Hungary – 1 July 1981 New York City), was a Hungarian-born modernist, architect and furniture designer of Jewish descent. One of the masters of Modernism, Breuer (German pronunciation: [brɔʏɐ]) displayed interest in modular construction and simple forms.
Known to his friends and associates as Lajkó, Breuer studied and taught at the Bauhaus in the 1920s. The Bauhaus curriculum stressed the simultaneous education of its students in elements of visual art, craft and the technology of industrial production. Breuer was eventually appointed to a teaching position as head of the school's carpentry workshop. He later practiced in Berlin, designing houses and commercial spaces. In the 1920s and 1930s, Breuer pioneered the design of tubular steel furniture. Later in his career he would also turn his attention to the creation of innovative and experimental wooden furniture.
Perhaps the most widely-recognized of Breuer's early designs was the first bent tubular steel chair, later known as the Wassily Chair, designed in 1925 and was inspired, in part, by the curved tubular steel handlebars on Breuer's Adler bicycle. Despite the widespread popular belief
Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965) was a publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and "arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century." Although he was born an American, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.
The poem that made his name, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock—started in 1910 and published in Chicago in 1915—is seen as a masterpiece of the Modernist movement, and was followed by some of the best-known poems in the English language, including Gerontion (1920), The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930), and Four Quartets (1945). He is also known for his seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.
Eliot was born into the Eliot family, a middle class family originally from New England, who had moved to St. Louis, Missouri. His father, Henry Ware Eliot (1843–1919), was a successful businessman, president and treasurer of the Hydraulic-Press Brick Company in St. Louis. His mother, Charlotte Champe Stearns (1843–1929), wrote poetry and was a social
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy and was one of the five Fireside Poets.
Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine, then part of Massachusetts, and studied at Bowdoin College. After spending time in Europe he became a professor at Bowdoin and, later, at Harvard College. His first major poetry collections were Voices of the Night (1839) and Ballads and Other Poems (1841). Longfellow retired from teaching in 1854 to focus on his writing, living the remainder of his life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a former headquarters of George Washington. His first wife Mary Potter died in 1835 after a miscarriage. His second wife Frances Appleton died in 1861 after sustaining burns when her dress caught fire. After her death, Longfellow had difficulty writing poetry for a time and focused on his translation. He died in 1882.
Longfellow wrote predominantly lyric poems, known for their musicality and often presenting stories of mythology and legend. He became the most popular
Marcel Duchamp (28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968; French pronunciation: [maʁsɛl dyˈʃɑ̃]) was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art. He advised modern art collectors, such as Peggy Guggenheim and other prominent figures, thereby helping to shape the tastes of Western art during this period.
Duchamp challenged conventional thought about artistic processes and art marketing, not so much by writing, but through subversive actions. He famously dubbed a urinal art and named it Fountain, though in a 1917 letter to his sister Duchamp indicates that a female friend, possibly the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, conceived of the urinal as sculpture and sent it to him under the pseudonym Richard Mutt. Duchamp produced relatively few artworks, while moving quickly through the avant-garde circles of his time.
Duchamp went on to abandon art and devoted the rest of his life to chess.
Marcel Duchamp was born in Blainville-Crevon Seine-Maritime in the Upper Normandy region of France,
Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987) was an American artist who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, celebrity culture and advertisement that flourished by the 1960s. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became a renowned and sometimes controversial artist. The Andy Warhol Museum in his native city, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, holds an extensive permanent collection of art and archives. It is the largest museum in the United States of America dedicated to a single artist.
Warhol's artwork ranged in many forms of media that include hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1985, just before his death in 1987. He founded Interview Magazine and was the author of numerous books, including The Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Popism: The Warhol Sixties. Andy Warhol is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement. His studio, The Factory, was a famous gathering place that brought
Gregory Nunzio Corso (March 26, 1930 – January 17, 2001) was an American poet, youngest of the inner circle of Beat Generation writers (with Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs).
Corso's first volume of poetry The Vestal Lady on Brattle was published in 1955 (with the assistance of students at Harvard, where he had been auditing classes). Corso was the second of the Beats to be published (after only Kerouac's The Town and the City), despite being the youngest. His poems were first published in the Harvard Advocate. In 1958, Corso had an expanded collection of poems published as number 8 in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series: Gasoline & The Vestal Lady on Brattle. Of his many notable poems are: "Bomb" (a "concrete poem" formatted in typed paper slips of verse, arranged in the shape of a mushroom cloud), "Elegiac Feelings American" of the recently deceased Jack Kerouac, and "Marriage", a humorous meditation on the institution, perhaps his signature poem. And later in life, "The Whole Mess Almost".
Should I get married? Should I be good?
Astound the girl next door with my velvet suit and faustus hood?
Don't take her to movies but to
Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger ( /ˈʃroʊdɪŋər/; German: [ˈɛʁviːn ˈʃʁøːdɪŋɐ]; 12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961), was an Austrian physicist who developed a number of fundamental results in the field of quantum theory, which formed the basis of wave mechanics: he formulated the wave equation (stationary and time-dependent Schrödinger equation) and revealed the identity of his development of the formalism and matrix mechanics. Schrödinger proposed an original interpretation of the physical meaning of the wave function and in subsequent years repeatedly criticized the conventional Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics (using e.g. the paradox of Schrödinger's cat). In addition, he is the author of many works in various fields of physics: statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, physics of dielectrics, color theory, electrodynamics, general relativity and cosmology, and he made several attempts to construct a unified field theory. In his book "What is life?" Schrödinger addressed the problems of genetics, looking at the phenomenon of life from the point of view of physics. He paid great attention to the philosophical aspects of science, ancient and oriental philosophical
Ford Madox Brown (16 April 1821 – 6 October 1893) was an English painter of moral and historical subjects, notable for his distinctively graphic and often Hogarthian version of the Pre-Raphaelite style. Arguably, his most notable painting was Work. Brown spent the latter years of his life painting The Manchester Murals for Manchester Town Hall which depicted Mancunian history.
Brown was born in Calais and studied art in Antwerp under Egide Charles Gustave Wappers. In 1843 he submitted work to the Westminster Cartoon Competition, for compositions to decorate the new Palace of Westminster. He was not successful. His early works were, however, greatly admired by the young Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who asked him to become his tutor. Through Rossetti, Brown came into contact with the artists who went on to form the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB). Though closely linked to them, he was never actually a member of the brotherhood itself. Nevertheless, he remained close to Rossetti, with whom he also joined William Morris's design company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., in 1861. He was a close friend of the landscape artist Henry Mark Anthony. Brown was also the main organiser of the
Bob Dylan ( /ˈdɪlən/; born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and artist. He has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for over five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan's early songs, such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan's six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone" has been described as radically altering the parameters of popular music in 1965. His recordings employing electric instruments attracted denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.
Dylan's lyrics incorporated a variety of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed hugely to the then burgeoning counterculture. Initially inspired by the songs of Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, and the music and performance styles of Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Elvis Presley,
Edmund Burke PC (12 January [NS] 1729– 9 July 1797) was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party.
He is mainly remembered for his support of the cause of the American Revolutionaries, and for his later opposition to the French Revolution. The latter led to his becoming the leading figure within the conservative faction of the Whig party, which he dubbed the "Old Whigs", in opposition to the pro–French Revolution "New Whigs", led by Charles James Fox.
Burke was praised by both conservatives and liberals in the 19th century. Since the 20th century, he has generally been viewed as the philosophical founder of modern conservatism, as well as a representative of classical liberalism.
Burke was born in Dublin, Ireland, to a prosperous solicitor father (Richard; d. 1761) of the Church of Ireland. It is unclear if this is the same Richard Burke who converted from Catholicism. His mother Mary (c. 1702–1770), whose maiden name was Nagle, was a Roman Catholic and came from an impoverished but genteel County Cork family. The Burke dynasty
James Dewey Watson (born April 6, 1928) is an American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist, best known as a co-discoverer of the structure of DNA in 1953 with Francis Crick. Watson, Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material". After studies at the University of Chicago and Indiana University, he worked at the University of Cambridge's Cavendish Laboratory in England, where he first met his future collaborator and friend Francis Crick.
In 1956, Watson became a junior member of Harvard University's Biological Laboratories, holding this position until 1976, promoting research in molecular biology. Between 1988 and 1992, Watson was associated with the National Institutes of Health, helping to establish the Human Genome Project. Watson has written many science books, including the textbook The Molecular Biology of the Gene (1965) and his bestselling book The Double Helix (1968) about the DNA structure discovery.
From 1968 he served as director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) on Long
James Mill (6 April 1773 – 23 June 1836) was a Scottish historian, economist, political theorist, and philosopher. He was a founder of classical economics, together with David Ricardo, and the father of influential philosopher of liberalism, John Stuart Mill.
Mill was born at Northwater Bridge, in the parish of Logie Pert, Angus, Scotland, the son of James Mill, a shoemaker. His mother, Isabel Fenton, of a family that had suffered from connection with the Stuart rising, resolved that he should receive a first-rate education, and sent him first to the parish school and then to the Montrose Academy, where he remained until the unusual age of seventeen and a half. He then entered the University of Edinburgh, where he distinguished himself as a Greek scholar.
In October 1798, he was ordained as a minister of the Church of Scotland, but met with little success. From 1790 to 1802, in addition to holding various tutorships, he occupied himself with historical and philosophical studies. Finding little prospect of a career in Scotland, in 1802 he went to London, in company with Sir John Stuart, then member of parliament for Kincardineshire, and devoted himself to literary work. From 1803 to
Johannes Kepler (German pronunciation: [ˈkʰɛplɐ]; December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630) was a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers, based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy. These works also provided one of the foundations for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation.
During his career, Kepler was a mathematics teacher at a seminary school in Graz, Austria, where he became an associate of Prince Hans Ulrich von Eggenberg. Later he became an assistant to astronomer Tycho Brahe, and eventually the imperial mathematician to Emperor Rudolf II and his two successors Matthias and Ferdinand II. He was also a mathematics teacher in Linz, Austria, and an adviser to General Wallenstein. Additionally, he did fundamental work in the field of optics, invented an improved version of the refracting telescope (the Keplerian Telescope), and mentioned the telescopic discoveries of his contemporary Galileo Galilei.
Kepler lived in an era when there was no clear distinction between
The brothers Arkady (Russian: Арка́дий; August 28, 1925 – October 12, 1991) and Boris (Russian: Бори́с; born April 14, 1933) Strugatsky (Russian: Струга́цкий; alternate spellings: Strugatskiy, Strugatski, Strugatskii) are Soviet-Russian science fiction authors who collaborated on their fiction.
The Strugatsky brothers (Бра́тья Струга́цкие or simply Струга́цкие), as they are usually called, although also known as "Абээ́сы" ("Abeesy", from ABS, Arkadiy and Boris Strugatsky) in Russian, are perhaps the best-known Soviet science fiction writers with a well-developed fan base. Their early work was influenced by Ivan Yefremov. Their famous novel Piknik na obochine has been translated into English as Roadside Picnic in 1977 and was filmed by Andrei Tarkovsky under the title Stalker.
Several other of their works were translated into German, French, English, and Italian but did not receive the same magnitude of the critical acclaim granted them by their Russian audiences. The Strugatsky brothers, however, were and still are popular in many countries, including Poland, Hungary, former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Germany, where most of their works were available in both East and West
Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt (22 June 1767 – 8 April 1835) was a Prussian philosopher, government functionary, diplomat, and founder of the University of Berlin, which was named after him (and his brother, naturalist Alexander von Humboldt) in 1949. He is especially remembered as a linguist who made important contributions to the philosophy of language and to the theory and practice of education. In particular, he is widely recognized as having been the architect of the Prussian education system which was used as a model for education systems in countries such as the United States and Japan.
Humboldt was born in Potsdam, Margraviate of Brandenburg, and died in Tegel, Province of Brandenburg. His younger brother, Alexander von Humboldt, was equally famous, as a geographer.
Humboldt was a philosopher and wrote On the Limits of State Action in 1791-2 (though it was not published until 1850, after Humboldt's death), one of the boldest defences of the liberties of the Enlightenment. It influenced John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty through which von Humboldt's ideas became known in the English-speaking world. Humboldt outlined an early version of what Mill
Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818). She also edited and promoted the works of her husband, the Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. Her father was the political philosopher William Godwin, and her mother was the philosopher and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.
Mary Godwin's mother died when she was eleven days old; afterwards, she and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay, were raised by her father. When Mary was four, Godwin married his neighbour, Mary Jane Clairmont. Godwin provided his daughter with a rich, if informal, education, encouraging her to adhere to his liberal political theories. In 1814, Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers, the married Percy Bysshe Shelley. Together with Mary's stepsister, Claire Clairmont, they left for France and travelled through Europe; upon their return to England, Mary was pregnant with Percy's child. Over the next two years, she and Percy faced ostracism, constant
Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry (French: [pɔl valeʁi]; 30 October 1871 – 20 July 1945) was a French poet, essayist, and philosopher. His interests were sufficiently broad that he can be classified as a polymath. In addition to his poetry and fiction (drama and dialogues) and aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events.
Valéry was born to a Corsican father and Genoese-Istrian mother in Sète, a town on the Mediterranean coast of the Hérault, but he was raised in Montpellier, a larger urban center close by. After a traditional Roman Catholic education, he studied law at university, then resided in Paris for most of the remainder of his life, where he was, for a while, part of the circle of Stéphane Mallarmé.
In 1900, he married Jeannie Gobillard, a friend of Stéphane Mallarmé's family, who was also a niece of the painter, Berthe Morisot. The wedding was a double ceremony in which the bride's cousin, Morisot's daughter, Julie Manet, married the painter, Ernest Rouart. Valéry and Gobillard had three children: Claude, Agathe, and François.
Valéry served as a juror with Florence Meyer Blumenthal in awarding the Prix Blumenthal, a grant given between 1919 and 1954 to
Walter Adolph Georg Gropius (May 18, 1883 – July 5, 1969) was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School who, along with Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern architecture.
Born in Berlin, Walter Gropius was the third child of Walter Adolph Gropius and Manon Auguste Pauline Scharnweber. Gropius married Alma Mahler (1879–1964), widow of Gustav Mahler. Walter and Alma's daughter, named Manon after Walter's mother, was born in 1916. When Manon died of polio at age 18, composer Alban Berg wrote his Violin Concerto in memory of her (it is inscribed "to the memory of an angel"). Gropius and Alma divorced in 1920. (Alma had by that time established a relationship with Franz Werfel, whom she later married.) In 1923, Gropius married Ise (Ilse) Frank (d. 1983), and they remained together until his death. They adopted Beate Gropius, also known as Ati.
Walter Gropius, like his father and his great-uncle Martin Gropius before him, became an architect. Gropius could not draw, and was dependent on collaborators and partner-interpreters throughout his career. In school he hired an assistant to complete his
Willard Van Orman Quine (June 25, 1908 – December 25, 2000) (known to intimates as "Van") was an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition. From 1930 until his death 70 years later, Quine was continually affiliated with Harvard University in one way or another, first as a student, then as a professor of philosophy and a teacher of logic and set theory, and finally as a professor emeritus who published or revised several books in retirement. He filled the Edgar Pierce Chair of Philosophy at Harvard from 1956 to 1978. A recent poll conducted among analytic philosophers named Quine as the fifth most important philosopher of the past two centuries. He won the first Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy in 1993, for "his systematical and penetrating discussions of how learning of language and communication are based on socially available evidence and of the consequences of this for theories on knowledge and linguistic meaning."
Quine falls squarely into the analytic philosophy tradition while also being the main proponent of the view that philosophy is not merely conceptual analysis. His major writings include "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (1951), which attacked the
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (French: [øʒɛn ɑ̃ʁi pol ɡoɡɛ̃]; 7 June 1848 – 8 May 1903) was a leading French Post-Impressionist artist who was not well appreciated until after his death. Gauguin was later recognized for his experimental use of colors and synthetist style that were distinguishably different from Impressionism. His work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse. Gauguin’s art became popular after his death and many of his paintings were in the possession of Russian collector Sergei Shchukin. He was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, print-maker, ceramist, and writer. His bold experimentation with coloring led directly to the Synthetist style of modern art, while his expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was also an influential proponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms.
Gauguin was born in Paris, France, to journalist Clovis Gauguin and Alina Maria Chazal, daughter of the proto-socialist leader Flora Tristan, a feminist
Marvin Lee Minsky (born August 9, 1927) is an American cognitive scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), co-founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's AI laboratory, and author of several texts on AI and philosophy.
Marvin Lee Minsky was born in New York City to a Jewish family, where he attended The Fieldston School and the Bronx High School of Science. He later attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. He served in the US Navy from 1944 to 1945. He holds a BA in Mathematics from Harvard (1950) and a PhD in mathematics from Princeton (1954). He has been on the MIT faculty since 1958. In 1959 he and John McCarthy founded what is now known as the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. He is currently the Toshiba Professor of Media Arts and Sciences, and Professor of electrical engineering and computer science.
Isaac Asimov described Minsky as one of only two people he would admit were more intelligent than he was, the other being Carl Sagan.
Minsky's inventions include the first head-mounted graphical display (1963) and the confocal microscope (1957, a predecessor to today's widely used confocal laser scanning microscope). He
Siméon Denis Poisson (French: [si.me.ɔ̃ də.ni pwa.sɔ̃]; 21 June 1781 – 25 April 1840), was a French mathematician, geometer, and physicist. He obtained many important results, but within the elite Académie des Sciences he also was the final leading opponent of the wave theory of light and was proven wrong on that matter by Augustin-Jean Fresnel.
Poisson was born in Pithiviers, Loiret, the son of soldier Siméon Poisson.
In 1798, he entered the École Polytechnique in Paris as first in his year, and immediately began to attract the notice of the professors of the school, who left him free to make his own decisions as to what he would study. In 1800, less than two years after his entry, he published two memoirs, one on Étienne Bézout's method of elimination, the other on the number of integrals of a finite difference equation. The latter was examined by Sylvestre-François Lacroix and Adrien-Marie Legendre, who recommended that it should be published in the Recueil des savants étrangers, an unprecedented honour for a youth of eighteen. This success at once procured entry for Poisson into scientific circles. Joseph Louis Lagrange, whose lectures on the theory of functions he attended at
Alexandre Kojève (Russian: Алекса́ндр Влади́мирович Коже́вников, Aleksandr Vladimirovič Koževnikov; April 28, 1902 – June 4, 1968) was a Russian-born French philosopher and statesman whose philosophical seminars had an immense influence on twentieth-century French philosophy, particularly via his integration of Hegelian concepts into continental philosophy. As a statesman in the French government, he was instrumental in the creation of the European Union. Kojève was a close friend of, and was in lifelong philosophical dialogue with, Leo Strauss.
Kojève was born in Russia to a wealthy and influential family. His uncle was the abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky, about whose work he would write an influential essay in 1936. He was educated in Berlin and Heidelberg, Germany. He completed his Ph.D., on the Russian religious philosopher Vladimir Soloviev's views on the union of God and man in Christ under the direction of Karl Jaspers. Early influences included the philosopher Martin Heidegger and the historian of science Alexandre Koyré. Kojève spent most of his life in France, and from 1933 to 1939, he delivered in Paris a series of lectures on Georg Hegel's work Phenomenology of
David Herbert Richards Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930) was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter who published as D. H. Lawrence. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.
Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his "savage pilgrimage." At the time of his death, his public reputation was that of a pornographer who had wasted his considerable talents. E. M. Forster, in an obituary notice, challenged this widely held view, describing him as, "The greatest imaginative novelist of our generation." Later, the influential Cambridge critic F. R. Leavis championed both his artistic integrity and his moral seriousness, placing much of Lawrence's fiction within the canonical "great tradition" of the English novel. Lawrence is now valued by many as a visionary thinker and
Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28, 1942) is an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. He is currently the Co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and a University Professor at Tufts University. Dennett is a firm atheist and secularist, a member of the Secular Coalition for America advisory board, as well as an outspoken supporter of the Brights movement. Dennett is referred to as one of the "Four Horsemen of New Atheism", along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Dennett spent part of his childhood in Lebanon, where, during World War II, his father was a covert counter-intelligence agent with the Office of Strategic Services posing as a cultural attaché to the American Embassy in Beirut. When he was five, his mother took him back to Massachusetts after his father died in an unexplained plane crash. Dennett says that he was first introduced to the notion of philosophy
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, Tender Is the Night, and his most famous, The Great Gatsby. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with despair and age.
The Great Gatsby has been the basis for numerous films of the same name, spanning nearly 90 years; 1926, 1949, 1974, 2000, and an upcoming 2013 adaption. In 1958 his life from 1937–1940 was dramatized in Beloved Infidel.
Born in 1896 in Saint Paul, Minnesota to an upper middle class Irish Catholic family, Fitzgerald was named after his famous second cousin, three times removed, Francis Scott Key, but was referred to as "Scott." He was also named after his deceased sister, Louise Scott, one of two sisters who
Frank Lloyd Wright (born Frank Lincoln Wright, June 8, 1867 – April 9, 1959) was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture. This philosophy was best exemplified by his design for Fallingwater (1935), which has been called "the best all-time work of American architecture". Wright was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture and developed the concept of the Usonian home, his unique vision for urban planning in the United States.
His work includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, skyscrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass. Wright authored 20 books and many articles and was a popular lecturer in the United States and in Europe. His colorful personal life often made headlines, most notably for the 1914 fire and murders at his Taliesin studio. Already well known during his
Johanna "Hannah" Arendt (October 14, 1906 – December 4, 1975) was a German American political theorist. She has often been described as a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular." She described herself instead as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact that "men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world." Arendt's work deals with the nature of power, and the subjects of politics, authority, and totalitarianism.
Arendt was born into a family of secular German Jews in the city of Linden (now part of Hanover). She was the daughter of Martha (née Cohn) and Paul Arendt. She grew up in Königsberg (the birthplace of Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant, renamed as Kaliningrad and annexed to the Soviet Union in 1946) and Berlin.
At the University of Marburg, she studied philosophy with Martin Heidegger. According to Hans Jonas, her only German-Jewish classmate, Arendt embarked on a long and stormy romantic relationship with Heidegger, for which she was later criticized because of Heidegger's support for the Nazi party when he was rector of Freiburg University.
In the wake of one of their
Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃ʁi matis]; 31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954) was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter. Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Although he was initially labelled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.
Matisse was born in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord, France, the oldest son of a prosperous grain merchant. He grew up in Bohain-en-Vermandois, Picardie, France. In 1887 he went to Paris to study law, working as a court administrator in Le Cateau-Cambrésis after gaining his qualification. He first started to
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German pronunciation: [ˈjoːhan ˈvɔlfɡaŋ fɔn ˈɡøːtə] ( listen), 28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer, artist, and politician. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, and over 10,000 letters written by him are extant, as are nearly 3,000 drawings.
A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Carl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November of 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement, named for a play by his childhood friend Friedrich Maximilian Klinger. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also
Richard Phillips Feynman ( /ˈfaɪnmən/; May 11, 1918 – February 15, 1988) was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as in particle physics (he proposed the parton model). For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman, jointly with Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. He developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions governing the behavior of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. In a 1999 poll of 130 leading physicists worldwide by the British journal Physics World he was ranked as one of the ten greatest physicists of all time.
He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb and was a member of the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. In addition to his work in theoretical physics, Feynman has been credited with pioneering the field of quantum
Sir Thomas More (/ˈmɔr/; 7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), known to Catholics as Saint Thomas More since 1935, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and was Lord Chancellor from October 1529 to 16 May 1532. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935. He is commemorated by the Church of England as a "Reformation martyr". He was an opponent of the Protestant Reformation and in particular of Martin Luther and William Tyndale.
More coined the word "utopia" – a name he gave to the ideal and imaginary island nation, the political system of which he described in Utopia, published in 1516. He opposed the King's separation from the Catholic Church and refused to accept the king as Supreme Head of the Church of England, a title which had been given by parliament through the Act of Supremacy of 1534. He was imprisoned in 1534 for his refusal to take the oath required by the First Succession Act, because the act disparaged papal power and Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon. In 1535, he was tried for treason, convicted on perjured testimony, and beheaded.
Intellectuals and statesmen
William Butler Yeats ( /ˈjeɪts/ YAYTS; 13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929). Yeats was a very good friend of Indian Bengali poet Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
Yeats was born and educated in Dublin, but spent his childhood in County Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult. Those topics
Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Italian: [dʒoˈvanni ˈpiko della miˈrandola]; 24 February 1463 – 17 November 1494) was an Italian Renaissance philosopher. He is famed for the events of 1486, when at the age of 23, he proposed to defend 900 theses on religion, philosophy, natural philosophy and magic against all comers, for which he wrote the famous Oration on the Dignity of Man, which has been called the "Manifesto of the Renaissance", and a key text of Renaissance humanism and of what has been called the “Hermetic Reformation."
Giovanni was born at Mirandola, near Modena, the youngest son of Francesco I, Lord of Mirandola and Count of Concordia (1415–1467), by his wife Giulia, daughter of Feltrino Boiardo, Count di Scandiano. The family had long dwelt in the Castle of Mirandola (Duchy of Modena), which had become independent in the fourteenth century and had received in 1414 from the Emperor Sigismund the fief of Concordia. Mirandola was a small autonomous county (later, a duchy) in Emilia, near Ferrara. The Pico della Mirandola were closely related to the Sforza, Gonzaga and Este dynasties, and Giovanni's siblings wed the scions of the hereditary rulers of Corsica, Ferrara,
Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (pronounced: [eʁik sati]) (17 May 1866 – Paris, 1 July 1925; signed his name Erik Satie after 1884) was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. His work was a precursor to later artistic movements such as minimalism, repetitive music, and the Theatre of the Absurd.
An eccentric, Satie was introduced as a "gymnopedist" in 1887, shortly before writing his most famous compositions, the Gymnopédies. Later, he also referred to himself as a "phonometrician" (meaning "someone who measures sounds") preferring this designation to that of a "musician", after having been called "a clumsy but subtle technician" in a book on contemporary French composers published in 1911.
In addition to his body of music, Satie also left a remarkable set of writings, having contributed work for a range of publications, from the dadaist 391 to the American culture chronicle Vanity Fair. Although in later life he prided himself on always publishing his work under his own name, in the late nineteenth century he appears to have used pseudonyms such as Virginie Lebeau and François de Paule in some of his published
James Prescott Joule FRS ( /dʒuːl/; 24 December 1818 – 11 October 1889) was an English physicist and brewer, born in Salford, Lancashire. Joule studied the nature of heat, and discovered its relationship to mechanical work (see energy). This led to the theory of conservation of energy, which led to the development of the first law of thermodynamics. The SI derived unit of energy, the joule, is named after him. He worked with Lord Kelvin to develop the absolute scale of temperature, made observations on magnetostriction, and found the relationship between the current through resistance and the heat dissipated, now one of the two laws called Joule's law.
The son of Benjamin Joule (1784–1858), a wealthy brewer, and Alice Prescott Joule, James Prescott Joule was born in the house adjoining the Joule Brewery in New Bailey Street, Salford 24 December 1818. James was tutored at the family home 'Broomhill', Pendlebury, near Salford, until 1834 when he was sent with his elder brother Benjamin, to study with John Dalton at the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. The pair only received two years' education in arithmetic and geometry before Dalton was forced to retire owing to a
Miles Dewey Davis III (May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion.
On October 7, 2008, his 1959 album Kind of Blue received its fourth platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of at least four million copies in the United States. Miles Davis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. Davis was noted as "one of the key figures in the history of jazz". On December 15, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution recognizing and commemorating the album Kind of Blue on its 50th anniversary, "honoring the masterpiece and reaffirming jazz as a national treasure."
Miles Dewey Davis was born on May 26, 1926, to an affluent African American family in Alton, Illinois. His father, Miles Henry Davis, was a dentist. In 1927 the family moved to East St. Louis, Illinois. They also owned a substantial
Paul Watzlawick (July 25, 1921 – March 31, 2007) was an Austrian-American psychologist and philosopher. A theoretician in communication theory and radical constructivism, he has commented in the fields of family therapy and general psychotherapy. He was one of the most influential figures at the Mental Research Institute and lived and worked in Palo Alto, California, until his death at the age of 85.
After he graduated from high school in 1939 in his hometown of Villach, Austria, Watzlawick studied philosophy and philology at the Università Ca' Foscari Venice and earned a doctor of philosophy degree in 1949. He then studied at the Carl Jung Institute in Zurich, where he received a degree in analytical psychotherapy in 1954. In 1957 he continued his researching career at the University of El Salvador.
In 1960, Don. D. Jackson arranged for him to come to Palo Alto to do research at the Mental Research Institute (MRI). In 1967 and thereafter he taught psychiatry at Stanford University.
At the Mental Research Institute in Palo Alto, California Watzlawick followed in the footsteps of Gregory Bateson and the research team (Don D. Jackson, John Weakland, Jay Haley) responsible for
Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.
Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Following this ground-breaking work, he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence".
Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first, then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series, published respectively in 1841 and 1844 – represent the core of his thinking, and include such well-known essays as Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet and Experience. Together with Nature, these essays made the decade from the
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marqués de Dalí de Pubol (May 11, 1904 – January 23, 1989), known as Salvador Dalí (Catalan pronunciation: [səɫβəˈðo ðəˈɫi]), was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Spain.
Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.
Dalí attributed his "love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes" to a self-styled "Arab lineage", claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.
Dalí was highly imaginative, and also enjoyed indulging in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork, to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem, and to the irritation of his critics.
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i
Albert Camus (French: [albɛʁ kamy] ( listen); 7 November 1913 – 4 January 1960) was a French pied-noir author, journalist, and philosopher. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay "The Rebel" that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom. Although often cited as a proponent of existentialism, the philosophy with which Camus was associated during his own lifetime, he rejected this particular label. In an interview in 1945, Camus rejected any ideological associations: "No, I am not an existentialist. Sartre and I are always surprised to see our names linked..."
In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement after his split with Garry Davis' movement Citizens of the World, which the surrealist André Breton was also a member. The formation of this group, according to Camus, was to "denounce two ideologies found in both the USSR and the USA" regarding their idolatry of technology.
Camus was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature "for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted
Charles Babbage, FRS (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English mathematician, philosopher, inventor and mechanical engineer who originated the concept of a programmable computer. Considered a "father of the computer", Babbage is credited with inventing the first mechanical computer that eventually led to more complex designs.
Parts of his uncompleted mechanisms are on display in the London Science Museum. In 1991, a perfectly functioning difference engine was constructed from Babbage's original plans. Built to tolerances achievable in the 19th century, the success of the finished engine indicated that Babbage's machine would have worked. Nine years later, the Science Museum completed the printer Babbage had designed for the difference engine.
Babbage's birthplace is disputed, but he was most likely born at 44 Crosby Row, Walworth Road, London, England. A blue plaque on the junction of Larcom Street and Walworth Road commemorates the event.
His date of birth was given in his obituary in The Times as 26 December 1792. However after the obituary appeared, a nephew wrote to say that Charles Babbage was born one year earlier, in 1791. The parish register of St. Mary's
Claude-Achille Debussy (French pronunciation: [klod aʃil dəbysi]) (22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. In France, he was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903. A crucial figure in the transition to the modern era in Western music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers.
His music is noted for its sensory component and for not often forming around one key or pitch. Often Debussy's work reflected the activities or turbulence in his own life. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Claude Debussy was born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, 22 August 1862, the eldest of five children. His father, Manuel-Achille Debussy, owned a shop where he sold china and crockery; his mother, Victorine Manoury Debussy, was a seamstress. The family moved to Paris in 1867, but in 1870 Debussy's pregnant mother sought
Constantijn Huygens (September 4, 1596 – March 28, 1687), was a Dutch Golden Age poet and composer. He was secretary to two Princes of Orange: Frederick Henry and William II, and the father of the scientist Christiaan Huygens.
Constantijn Huygens was born in The Hague, the second son of Christiaan Huygens (senior), secretary of the Council of State, and Susanna Hoefnagel, niece of the Antwerp painter Joris Hoefnagel.
Constantijn was a gifted child in his youth. His brother Maurits and he were educated partly by their father and partly by carefully instructed governors. When he was five years old, Constantijn and his brother received their first musical education.
They started with singing lessons, and they learned their notes using gold colored buttons on their jackets. It is striking, that Christiaan senior imparted the 'modern' system of 7 note names to the boys, instead of the traditional, but much more complicated hexachord system. Two years later the first lessons on the viol started, followed by the lute and the harpsichord. Constantijn showed a particular acumen for the lute. At the age of eleven he was already asked to play for ensembles, and later — during his diplomatic
David Ricardo (18 April 1772 – 11 September 1823) was a British political economist and stock trader. He was often credited with systematising economics, and was one of the most influential of the classical economists, along with Thomas Malthus, Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill. He was also a member of Parliament, businessman, financier and speculator, who amassed a considerable personal fortune. Perhaps his most important contribution was the law of comparative advantage, a fundamental argument in favour of free trade among countries and of specialisation among individuals. Ricardo argued that there is mutual benefit from trade (or exchange) even if one party (e.g. resource-rich country, highly skilled artisan) is more productive in every possible area than its trading counterpart (e.g. resource-poor country, unskilled labourer), as long as each concentrates on the activities where it has a relative productivity advantage.
Born in London, England, Ricardo was the third of 17 children of a Sephardic Jewish family of Portuguese origin who had recently relocated from the Dutch Republic. His father was a successful stockbroker.
At age 21, Ricardo eloped with a Quaker, Priscilla Anne
Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca (Spanish pronunciation: [feðeˈɾiko ɣarˈθi.a ˈlorka]; 5 June 1898 – 19 August 1936) was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27. He was murdered by fascists forces during the Spanish Civil War. In 2008, a Spanish judge opened an investigation into Lorca's death. The García Lorca family eventually dropped objections to the excavation of a potential gravesite near Alfacar. However, no human remains were found.
García Lorca was born on 5 June 1898, in Fuente Vaqueros, a small town a few miles west of Granada, southern Spain. His father, Federico García Rodríguez, was a landowner with a farm in the fertile vega surrounding Granada and a comfortable villa in the heart of the city. García Rodríguez saw his fortunes rise with a boom in the sugar industry. García Lorca's mother, Vicenta Lorca Romero, was a teacher and gifted pianist. In 1909, when the boy was 11, his family moved to the city of Granada. For the rest of his life, he maintained the importance of living close to the natural world, praising his upbringing in the country. In
Friedrich Engels (German: [ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈɛŋəls]; 28 November 1820 – 5 August 1895) was a German-English industrialist, social scientist, author, political theorist, philosopher, and father of Marxist theory, alongside Karl Marx. In 1845 he published The Condition of the Working Class in England, based on personal observations and research. In 1848 he co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx, and later he supported Marx financially to do research and write Das Kapital. After Marx's death Engels edited the second and third volumes. Additionally, Engels organized Marx's notes on the "Theories of Surplus Value" and this was later published as the "fourth volume" of Capital.
Friedrich (Frederick) Engels was born on November 28, 1820 in Barmen, Prussia (now Wuppertal, Germany). At the time, Barmen was an expanding industrial metropole and Frederick was the eldest son of a wealthy German cotton manufacturer. His father, Friederich, Sr., was an evangelical. Accordingly, Frederick was raised Christian Pietist. As he grew up, his relationship with his parents became strained because of his atheist beliefs. Parental disapproval of his revolutionary activities is recorded in an October,
Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin (German pronunciation: [ˈjoːhan ˈkʁɪsti.aːn ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈhœldɐliːn]; 20 March 1770 – 7 June 1843) was a major German lyric poet, commonly associated with the artistic movement known as Romanticism. Hölderlin was also an important thinker in the development of German Idealism, particularly his early association with and philosophical influence on his seminary roommates and fellow Swabians Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling.
Hölderlin was born in Lauffen am Neckar in the Duchy of Württemberg. His father, the manager of a church estate, died when the boy was two years old. He was brought up by his mother, who in 1774 married the Mayor of Nürtingen and moved there. He had a full sister, born after their father's death, and a half-brother. His stepfather died when he was nine. He went to school in Denkendorf and Maulbronn and then studied theology at the Tübinger Stift, where his fellow-students included Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (who had been a fellow-pupil at his first school) and Isaac von Sinclair.
It has been speculated that it was probably Hölderlin who brought to Hegel's
Herbert George "H. G." Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing textbooks and rules for war games. Together with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback, Wells has been referred to as "The Father of Science Fiction". His most notable science fiction works include The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau.
Wells's earliest specialised training was in biology, and his thinking on ethical matters took place in a specifically and fundamentally Darwinian context. He was also from an early date an outspoken socialist, often (but not always, as the beginning of the First World War) sympathising with pacifist views. His later works became increasingly political and didactic, and he sometimes indicated on official documents that his profession was that of "Journalist." Most of his later novels were not science fiction. Some described lower-middle class life (Kipps; The History of Mr Polly), leading him to be touted as a worthy
Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, becoming a bestseller), and after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.
Herman Melville was born in New York City on August 1, 1819, the third of eight children of Allan and Maria Gansevoort Melvill. After her husband Allan died, between 1832 and 1834, Maria added an "e" to the family surname — seemingly at the behest of her son Gansevoort. Part of a well-established and colorful Boston family, Melville's father spent a good deal of time abroad as a commission merchant and an importer
Imre Lakatos (November 9, 1922 – February 2, 1974) was a Hungarian philosopher of mathematics and science, known for his thesis of the fallibility of mathematics and its 'methodology of proofs and refutations' in its pre-axiomatic stages of development, and also for introducing the concept of the 'research programme' in his methodology of scientific research programmes.
Lakatos was born Imre (Avrum) Lipschitz to a Jewish family in Debrecen, Hungary in 1922. He received a degree in mathematics, physics, and philosophy from the University of Debrecen in 1944. He avoided Nazi persecution of Jews by changing his name to Imre Molnár. His mother and grandmother died in Auschwitz. He became an active communist during the Second World War. He changed his last name once again to Lakatos (Locksmith) in honor of Géza Lakatos.
After the war, from 1947 he worked as a senior official in the Hungarian ministry of education. He also continued his education with a PhD at Debrecen University awarded in 1948, and also attended György Lukács's weekly Wednesday afternoon private seminars. He also studied at the Moscow State University under the supervision of Sofya Yanovskaya in 1949. When he returned,
Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (Russian: Ива́н Серге́евич Турге́нев; IPA: [ɪˈvan sʲɪrˈɡʲeɪvʲɪtɕ tʊrˈɡʲenʲɪf]; November 9 [O.S. October 28] 1818 – September 3, 1883) was a Russian novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. His first major publication, a short-story collection entitled A Sportsman's Sketches(1852), was a milestone of Russian Realism, and his novel Fathers and Sons (1862) is regarded as one of the major works of 19th-century fiction.
Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev was born into a family of Russian land-owners in Oryol, Russia, on November 9, 1818 (October 28 Old Style). His father, Sergei Nikolaevich Turgenev, a colonel in the Russian cavalry, was a chronic philanderer. Ivan's mother, Varvara Petrovna Lutovinova, was a wealthy heiress, who had had an unhappy childhood and suffered in her marriage. Ivan's father died when Ivan was sixteen, leaving him and his brother Nicolas to be brought up by their abusive mother. Ivan's childhood was a lonely one, in constant fear of his mother who beat him often. After the standard schooling for a son of a gentleman, Turgenev studied for one year at the University of Moscow and then moved to the University of Saint Petersburg from 1834 to
Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃ batist lə ʁɔ̃ dalɑ̃bɛːʁ]) (16 November 1717 – 29 October 1783) was a French mathematician, mechanician, physicist, philosopher, and music theorist. He was also co-editor with Denis Diderot of the Encyclopédie. D'Alembert's formula for obtaining solutions to the wave equation is named after him.
Born in Paris, d'Alembert was the illegitimate child of the writer Claudine Guérin de Tencin and the chevalier Louis-Camus Destouches, an artillery officer. Destouches was abroad at the time of d'Alembert's birth, and a couple of days after birth his mother left him on the steps of the Saint-Jean-le-Rond de Paris church. According to custom, he was named after the patron saint of the church. D'Alembert was placed in an orphanage for found children, but was soon adopted by the wife of a glazier. Destouches secretly paid for the education of Jean le Rond, but did not want his paternity officially recognized.
D'Alembert first attended a private school. The chevalier Destouches left d'Alembert an annuity of 1200 livres on his death in 1726. Under the influence of the Destouches family, at the age of twelve d'Alembert entered the
John Dewey (/ˈduːi/; October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology. He was a major representative of progressive education and liberalism.
Although Dewey is known best for his publications concerning education, he also wrote about many other topics, including experience, nature, art, logic, inquiry, democracy, and ethics.
In his advocacy of democracy, Dewey considered two fundamental elements—schools and civil society—as being major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality. Dewey asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but also by ensuring that there exists a fully formed public opinion, accomplished by effective communication among citizens, experts, and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt.
Dewey was born in Burlington, Vermont, to a family of modest means. Like his older brother, Davis Rich Dewey, he
John Stuart Mill, FRSE (20 May 1806 – 8 May 1873) was a British philosopher, political economist and civil servant. He was an influential contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy. He has been called "the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century". Mill's conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. He was a proponent of utilitarianism, an ethical theory developed by Jeremy Bentham. Hoping to remedy the problems found in an inductive approach to science, such as confirmation bias, he clearly set forth the premises of falsification as the key component in the scientific method. Mill was also a Member of Parliament and an important figure in liberal political philosophy.
John Stuart Mill was born on Rodney Street in the Pentonville area of London, the eldest son of the Scottish philosopher, historian and economist James Mill, and Harriet Burrow. John Stuart was educated by his father, with the advice and assistance of Jeremy Bentham and Francis Place. He was given an extremely rigorous upbringing, and was deliberately shielded from association with children his own age
Wilhelm Richard Wagner ( /ˈvɑːɡnər/; German pronunciation: [ˈʁiçaʁt ˈvaːɡnɐ]; 22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and polemicist primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as he later called them). Wagner's compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex texture, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. Unlike most other opera composers, Wagner wrote both the music and libretto for every one of his stage works. Perhaps the two best-known extracts from his works are the Ride of the Valkyries from the opera Die Walküre, and the Wedding March (Bridal Chorus) from the opera Lohengrin.
Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works such as The Flying Dutchman and Tannhäuser, which were broadly in the romantic vein of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner transformed operatic thought through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"). This would achieve the synthesis of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts and was announced in a series of essays between
Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709 [O.S. 7 September] – 13 December 1784), often referred to as Dr Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer. Johnson was a devout Anglican and committed Tory, and has been described as "arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history". He is also the subject of "the most famous single work of biographical art in the whole of literature": James Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson.
Johnson was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and attended Pembroke College, Oxford for just over a year, before his lack of funds forced him to leave. After working as a teacher he moved to London, where he began to write miscellaneous pieces for The Gentleman's Magazine. His early works include the biography The Life of Richard Savage, the poems "London" and "The Vanity of Human Wishes", and the play Irene.
After nine years of work, Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755; it had a far-reaching effect on Modern English and has been described as "one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship."
Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a Canadian-born experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist and popular science author. He is a Harvard College Professor and the Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.
Pinker's academic specializations are visual cognition and psycholinguistics. His experimental subjects include mental imagery, shape recognition, visual attention, children's language development, regular and irregular phenomena in language, the neural bases of words and grammar, and the psychology of innuendo and euphemism. He published two technical books which proposed a general theory of language acquisition and applied it to children's learning of verbs. In his popular books, he has argued that language is an "instinct" or biological adaptation shaped by natural selection. He is the author of six books for a general audience: The Language Instinct (1994), How the Mind Works (1997), Words and Rules (2000), The Blank Slate (2002), The Stuff of Thought (2007), and The Better Angels of Our Nature (2011).
William Seward Burroughs II ( /ˈbʌroʊz/; also known by his pen name William Lee; (1914-02-05)February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997(1997-08-02)) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist and spoken word performer. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century." His influence is considered to have affected a range of popular culture as well as literature. Burroughs wrote 18 novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.
He was born to a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, grandson of the inventor and founder of the Burroughs Corporation, William Seward Burroughs I, and nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence. He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studying English, and anthropology as a postgraduate, and