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Which clippings match 'Polymath' keyword pg.1 of 1
26 JULY 2010

Drawing study: Head of a Girl

"The eminent art expert Bernhard Berenson called this sheet 'the most beautiful drawing in the world.' It is thought to be a study for the angel in the Virgin of the Rocks in the Musée du Louvre, Paris."

(Web Gallery of Art)

Fig.1 Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1483. Silverpoint and white highlights on prepared paper, 181 x 159 mm, Biblioteca Reale, Turin.

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TAGS

1483 • angelartistic practice • Bernhard Berenson • conceptualisationcreative practicedesign processdrawingdrawing studyfine art • Head of a Girl • Leonardo da Vinci • Musee du Louvre • polymathsketchsketchbook • Virgin of the Rocks • visual artsvisual depiction

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 OCTOBER 2009

The Hedgehog and The Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History

"There is a line among the fragments of the Greek poet Archilochus which says: 'The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.' Scholars have differed about the correct interpretation of these dark words, which may mean no more than that the fox, for all his cunning, is defeated by the hedgehog's one defence. But, taken figuratively, the words can be made to yield a sense in which they mark one of the deepest differences which divide writers and thinkers, and, it may be, human beings in general. For there exists a great chasm between those, on one side, who relate everything to a single central vision, one system, less or more coherent or articulate, in terms of which they understand, think and feel – a single, universal, organising principle in terms of which alone all that they are and say has significance – and, on the other side, those who pursue many ends, often unrelated and even contradictory, connected, if at all, only in some de facto way, for some psychological or physiological cause, related to no moral or aesthetic principle. These last lead lives, perform acts and entertain ideas that are centrifugal rather than centripetal; their thought is scattered or diffused, moving on many levels, seizing upon the essence of a vast variety of experiences and objects for what they are in themselves, without, consciously or unconsciously, seeking to fit them into, or exclude them from, any one unchanging, all embracing, sometimes self–contradictory and incomplete, at times fanatical, unitary inner vision. The first kind of intellectual and artistic personality belongs to the hedgehogs, the second to the foxes; and without insisting on a rigid classification, we may, without too much fear of contradiction, say that, in this sense, Dante belongs to the first category, Shakespeare to the second; Plato, Lucretius, Pascal, Hegel, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Ibsen, Proust are, in varying degrees, hedgehogs; Herodotus, Aristotle, Montaigne, Erasmus, Molière, Goethe, Pushkin, Balzac, Joyce are foxes."

(Isaiah Berlin)

Isaiah Berlin, 1953. The Hedgehog and the Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History UK: Phoenix, 978–0–75380–867–2

TAGS

ad-hoc • Aleksandr Pushkin • Archilochus • AristotleBlaise Pascal • centrifugal • centripetal • Dante Alighieri • de facto • Desiderius Erasmus • fox • Friedrich Nietzsche • Fyodor DostoyevskyGeorg Hegel • hedgehog • Henrik Ibsen • Herodotus • Honoré de Balzac • Isaiah Berlin • James JoyceJean-Baptiste PoquelinJohann Wolfgang von GoetheLeo Tolstoy • Lucretius • Marcel Proust • Michel de Montaigne • Molière • Platopolymathsingle-mindedWilliam Shakespeare

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 MARCH 2009

Seymour warns of split in profession

"Seymourpowell co–founder Richard Seymour is warning that an increasing level of specialisation is splitting design into two different professions. He suggests that a polarisation will lead to more generalist solution providers – what he calls 'polymath interpolators' – on the one hand, and specialist executors on the other."

(Design Week, 7 September 2006)

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TAGS

2006bifurcationdesign knowledge • design pipeline • design practitionersdesign professionalsdesign specialistdesign teamsDesign Weekdesign workdisciplinary specialisationexpertise • generalism • generalistimprovisationinventorknowledge integrationmulti-skilled creatorsmultidisciplinarity • polarisation • polymath • polymath interpolator • Richard Seymour • Seymourpowell (consultancy) • solution providers • solution-spacespecialisation • specialists • strategic thinkingthinking stylestransdisciplinarityworking practices

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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