A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Enjoy our special posts in the fields of Earth & Planetary Sciences (EPS Blog) and Social Sciences & Arts (SSA Blog)

A Special Place for Blog Lovers with a Touch of Science!

Blog of Social Sciences & Arts SSA blog gives you the opportunity to participate in discussions concerning the human spirit in all of its aspects and applications. The discourse crosses the imaginary border between Science and Art in order to obtain a new level of understanding the cultural phenomena. From Political Sciences, Economics and...

Blog of Social Sciences & Arts SSA blog gives you the opportunity to participate in discussions concerning the human spirit in all of its aspects and applications. The discourse crosses the imaginary border between Science and Art in order to obtain a new level of understanding the cultural phenomena. From Political Sciences, Economics and Psychology to Medieval & Renaissance Studies, Philosophy, Literature and Visual Art, here is the place to extend the scope of your own knowledge or to share your expert opinion.

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What is New Criticism?

Credit: Getty images

The New Criticism movement

New Criticism is a post-World War I Anglo-American literary critical theory and movement. The main assumption of it is the intrinsic value and meaning of the work of art itself. Instead of surveying the historical context, the social implications, the other works of the author, or his personality, the New Criticism stressed the independent and internal qualities of a given text. The leading figures of the movement were I.A. Richards (Practical Criticism, 1929), William Empson (Seven Types of Ambiguity, 1930), and also the English poet T.S. Eliot who made contributions, with his critical essays "Tradition and the Individual Talent" (1917) and "Hamlet and His Problems" (1919).


The movement did not have a name, however, until the appearance of John Crowe Ransom's The New Criticism (1941), in which he criticized the critics.

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Editor’s pick: James Joyce

Excerpts from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)

1. "I will tell you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it calls itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use -- silence, exile, and cunning."

2. "You made me confess the fears that I have. But I will tell you also what I do not fear. I do not fear to be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave whatever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake and perhaps as long as eternity too."

3. "The object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What the beautiful is is another question."

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Psychedelics paired with therapy could treat chronic mental health conditions

Credit: Preparing micro doses of psilocybin, a derivative from of magic mushrooms; Getty images

Psychedelic drugs are mostly banned in Europe, but new research suggests they may be beneficial to some when taken in a controlled setting

Scientists across the world are attempting to unravel the neuroscience of psychedelic 'trips' and the therapeutic potential of psychoactive substances. Image credit: Raimond Klavins via Unsplash

Mind-bending drugs and psychedelics are generally stigmatised and illegal in EU member states, due to concerns about their possible harmful effects. However, in other parts of the world, some psychedelic compounds are exalted for their healing properties and have been consumed in spiritual and cultural ceremonies for millennia.

Now scientists in Europe and the USA are starting to wake up to what shamans have been saying for years. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest some psychoactive substances have immense therapeutic potential, especially when it comes to tackling serious, hard-to-manage mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, alcoholism and eating disorders.

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How can infants learn about sounds in their native language?

Credit: Getty images

Research shows that contexts in which sounds occur may shape ability to interpret acoustic differences

Infants can differentiate most sounds soon after birth, and over the following months, they become language-specific listeners. But researchers are still trying to understand how babies recognize "contrastive" sounds, a linguistics term that describes differences between speech sounds that can change meaning. For example, changing the "b" sound in "ball" to a "d" sound makes the word "doll."

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Ancient world's multicultural secrets revealed by handwriting analysis of scrolls

Credit: Greek Gospel (c. 10th century); Getty images

Advanced techniques to analyse the Dead Sea Scrolls and Eastern papyri are revealing vibrant secrets about daily life in the ancient world.

Around 2 100 years ago, a Judaean scribe deftly swirled a stylus to dab the final strokes of black ink onto a piece of parchment.

His work, a copy of the biblical Book of Isaiah from the Old Testament, would soon be complete in the form of a seven-metre-long scroll. But was he finishing his own work – or someone else's?

Though the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered more than 70 years ago, sophisticated computing techniques are now revealing the invisible hands that wrote the famous texts and Professor Mladen Popović at the University of Groningen thinks he knows the answer.

'My simple idea was to use palaeography – their handwriting,' he said.

Palaeography is the scientific study of ancient handwritten texts. The goal of the palaeographer is to identify the location and time of writing. Texts come on parchment but also pottery, metal, cloth and even casual graffiti as discovered on the walls of Pompeii.

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