Understanding Genius

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Past Event

Schopenhauer defined genius in relation to the more conventional quality of talent. “Talent hits a target others miss. Genius hits a target no one sees.” Is originality indeed the sine qua non of genius? Is there, following Kant, a radical separation of the aesthetic genius from the brilliant scientific mind? What further distinctions might be made between different types of genius? If “The Child is father of the Man,” why don’t child prodigies always grow up to become adult geniuses?

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Steve Hsu

Vice-President for Research and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Michigan State University

Steve Hsu is Vice-President for Research and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Michigan State University, where he oversees over $500 million in annual research expenditures. Educated at Caltech and Berkeley, he was a Harvard Junior Fellow and held professorships at Yale University and the University of Oregon. Hsu was founder and CEO of SafeWeb, an… read more »

Rex Jung

Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico

Rex Jung received his training in clinical psychology, specializing in neuropsychology, at the University of New Mexico, in Albuquerque. He completed an internship at Baylor College of Medicine in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Behavioral Medicine, and postdoctoral training at the University of New Mexico in Psychiatry Research. He has been on the Neurosurgery faculty… read more »

Darrin McMahon

Mary Brinsmead Wheelock Professor of History, Dartmouth College

Darrin M. McMahon is the Mary Brinsmead Wheelock professor at Dartmouth College, and formerly the Ben Weider Professor and Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University. Born in Carmel, California, and educated at the University of California, Berkeley and Yale, where he received his PhD in 1998, McMahon is the author of Enemies of the… read more »

Joanne Ruthsatz

Assistant Professor of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Mansfield

Joanne Ruthsatz is Assistant Professor of Psychology at The Ohio State University, Mansfield. She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a BA in psychology, receiving Phi Beta Kappa. She completed her PhD in Experimental Psychology at Case Western Reserve University. Training on the Mental Retardation Research Grant, she studied the full range of human cognitive… read more »

Dean Keith Simonton

Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis

Dean Keith Simonton is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, he received his 1975 PhD in Social Psychology from Harvard University. His research program spans various questions associated with genius, creativity, leadership, talent, and aesthetics. Simonton’s curriculum vita lists more than 500 publications, including 13 books, namely: Genius, Creativity, and Leadership;… read more »

One comment on “Understanding Genius

  1. Was Simone Weil a genius or a mad woman? I say genius. Can a pain in the ass be a genius?

    Her elder brother André Weil the famous mathematician in a 1932 letter wrote of Simone:

    “It will now be I think 23 years that you made your entry into the phenomenal world to create the greatest pain in the ass for rectors and school directors.”

    T.S.Eliot described Simone as: “A woman of genius, of a kind of genius akin to that of the saints”

    Albert Camus wrote: “Simone Weil, I still know this now, is the only great mind of our times and I hope that those who realize this have enough modesty to not try to appropriate her overwhelming witnessing.”

    Simone Weil wrote: “Real genius is nothing else but the supernatural virtue of humility in the domain of thought.”

    Did she recognize a quality that is often abandoned in order to give the impression of self importance or genius to others?

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