6
Apr

Hamlet, or the eternal doubt

Written on April 6, 2015 by Administrador de IE Blogs in Literature


susanaSusana Torres Prieto. Associate Professor of Humanities at IE University and IE Business School

To be or not to be” is, indisputably, the metaphysical doubt most often repeated in Western Culture. And probably one of those phrases commonly used out of context, at least out of the context Shakespeare had written it for. About Hamlet, probably the only theatre play that has been uninterruptedly on stage since its first version was acclaimed in 1602, have written extensively Goethe, Coleridge, Mallarmé, Freud or Lampedusa, just to mention a few.

“To be or not to be” is not only the doubt expressed by a young and cultivated prince between the anguish of being, and the liberation that suicide would bring, after the cruel disappointment of witnessing the shameful behaviour of his parents (we have all been through that in adolescence), but also the elucidation of a rather more thorny issue. If we remain in this world, Hamlet states, despite the many unsavoury moments we have to get through, is only because we fear the unknown, whatever might come after death, and such fear is greater than our repugnance for the present. And it is what paralyses us, depriving us of the required courage to take our lives and put an end to present sufferings. Indeed, for Hamlet, who is unable of closing his eyes to the heartbreaking evidence described by his father’s ghost –how his own brother poisoned him in order to obtain both crown and wife at one blow– his moral duty poses him a problem to be resolved only with the weapons at his disposal, which, in this case, is a theatre company with whom he plans the public revealing of the crime. Because for Hamlet being in this world without obeying one’s own conscience and, in this case, responding to his father’s request, is a possibility he does not even contemplate. And if all this was not enough, a public incrimination would imply not only accusing his own stepfather, whom his capricious mother has chosen as husband, but, more importantly, accusing the current king of regicide, and this, for Shakespeare’s time, was going a little bit too far. It was believed that the health and well-being of all the subjects of a given kingdom depended on the health and fortune of their king. John of Salisbury had already discussed the relevance of the head in the “body politic”, and the author himself leaves no doubt when he puts in Laertes’ mouth the words “His greatness weigh’d, his will is not his own, for he himself is subject to his birth: he may not, as unvalued persons do, carve for himself, for on his choice depends the safety and health of this whole state”. Moral doubt and political doubt are, therefore, mingled in this everlasting phrase from this Shakespearean tragedy in which, as in many others, almost all characters die (Hamlet, Claudius, the King, Gertrude, the Queen, Laertes, Polonius, Ophelia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern), leaving behind only poor Horatio to tell the story. What a role to play!

Shakespeare, who analysed as few others either before or after him the consequences of the use and abuse of power (unfortunately better known of late for his Romeo and Juliet, a romance which lasted three days and killed six people, let’s not forget that), wrote about the misfortunes of the young dutiful prince overcome with grief at the peak of his career, when his pen has already been sharpened in a few Henrys and some Richards, and having coined other memorable phrases such as the famous “A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!” in Richard III. To that list, we could certainly add, beyond “To be or not to be”, the also often-quoted “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, that so little justice has done to such a generous people, so much so that H.C. Andersen himself used the beginning of Hamlet’s monologue to entitle one of his serious novels, which, by the way, in the lips of Hamlet, in Danish, would have sounded something similar to At være eller ikke være.

2
Apr

Carlos Garcia Gual en IE Humanities Center

Written on April 2, 2015 by Fernando Dameto Zaforteza in Video

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30
Mar

4+1 ó 3+2

Written on March 30, 2015 by Rafael Puyol in Arts & Cultures & Societies

INSTITUTO DE EMPRESA.  PROFESORESPor Rafael Puyol, Vicepresidente de Fundación IE

No pretendo proponerles ningún acertijo ni que resuelvan ningún sudoku y no sucumban ustedes ante este aparente galimatías. Las cifras se refieren a dos posibles combinaciones de los estudios universitarios ante los que los campus andan revueltos. Ahora el modelo predominante es de cuatro años de grado que dan una formación más general y uno de máster que permite una cierta especialización. Y lo que el Real Decreto, recientemente publicado, ofrece es, además del esquema anterior, uno nuevo de tres años de grado y dos de máster. Simplificando diríamos que los estudios pueden tener dos grandes patrones: el 4+1 y el 3+2. No es exactamente así por que caben modelos intermedios, pero esos son los patrones prioritarios. La Conferencia de Rectores, sin oponerse frontalmente a la propuesta ha recomendado aplazarlo hasta el 2017 para estudiar si el plan actual ha funcionado. Algunos sindicatos de estudiantes se oponen a cualquier cambio por considerar que incrementa las tasas que un alumno debe pagar por su formación (las de máster son más caras). El Ministerio defiende que el 3+2 nos acerca a países de nuestro entorno europeo y favorece la internacionalización del sistema.

Permítanme entrar en el debate. Yo creo, ante todo que los dos modelos pueden convivir y que uno convendrá más para algunas titulaciones y el segundo para otras. Piénsese que ya tuvimos títulos de tres años en el pasado (Diplomatura). Además, cada universidad podría elegir su modelo en función de su proyecto formativo, introduciendo diversidad en una estructura demasiado homogénea y rígida.

Con todo, lo que a mí me parece más importante es que, independientemente de la duración, sepamos aprovechar la ocasión para hacer mejores planes de estudio. Con contenidos más actualizados, con nuevas capacitaciones en herramientas, destrezas o habilidades, con enseñanzas que favorezcan la empleabilidad de los estudiantes y faciliten su incorporación al mercado laboral. Si no lo hacemos mantener el 4+1 o cambiar al 3+2 será un asunto meramente cosmético.

25
Mar

El florecimiento humano

Written on March 25, 2015 by Arantza de Areilza in Arts & Cultures & Societies

arPor Arantza de Areilza, Decana de Humanidades de IE Business School

Hace unos días releía la famosa novela de William Golding “El Señor de las moscas” recordando algunas de las ideas que me empujaron a proponer lo que luego se convertiría en el primer programa de Humanidades en una Escuela de Negocios.

La novela de Golding narra la historia de un grupo de jóvenes que, tras un accidente aéreo, se encuentran aislados en una isla desierta donde se ven forzados a crear un orden de convivencia social. Esta alegoría trata el conflicto entre los impulsos civilizatorios y la voluntad de poder, entre el Grupo y el Individuo.

La conquista de la Justicia y la Libertad han sido ideas permanentes a la largo de la historia de la Humanidad. El Hombre ha ido conquistado parcelas de libertad ganadas a distintas formas de intolerancia e injusticia según las épocas. Hoy en día, creencias tan valiosas como la igualdad moral de los hombres, la igualdad de oportunidades o la igualdad ante la justicia son globalmente aceptadas y compartidas. Sin embargo, muchas de estas ideas y creencias que explican nuestro mundo y que nos permitieron llegar hasta aquí, están poco presentes en la enseñanza del siglo XXI. ¿Hemos olvidado nuestro propio legado histórico? ¿No son acaso las Humanidades las disciplinas que recogen el legado del Hombre en su vertiente histórica, filosófica, artística, y en definitiva, civilizatoria?

El filósofo polaco Zigmunt Bauman nos alerta de cómo en los últimos cuarenta años, el orden de funcionamiento del mundo y su concepción ha ido variando de un cambio de instituciones y personas “sólidas”, características de la Modernidad, hacia otras cada vez más “líquidas”, propias de nuestro presente, en donde las pautas y configuraciones de actuación y comprensión acerca del mundo y acerca de nosotros mismos ya no están determinadas. En este mundo efímero, de incertidumbre y cambios acelerados, carente de grandes discursos o ideologías que integren las distintas esferas de nuestras vidas, el Hombre se encuentra con escasos códigos y conductas por las que guiarse. El Hombre contemporáneo necesita, a mi juicio, más que nunca, conocer quién es y cuáles fueron las grandes Ideas que conformaron las civilizaciones y las culturas que conviven en el planeta globalizado, así como aprender a desarrollar un pensamiento propio que le guíe en sus elecciones, le proteja de gregarismos y preserve su Libertad. Read more…

23
Mar

TOPSHOTS-EGYPT-POLITICS-DEMOThe revolutionary movements and protests that raged through the Middle-East and North Africa in 2010-2011 and came collectively to be known as the ‘Arab Spring’ have seriously reshaped the political landscape of the region.  Decades old dictatorships in Tunisia and Egypt were wiped away in a matter of days and months, and other authoritarian regimes in the neighborhood either followed in their wake or have been shaken to their foundations.  It was a truly hopeful moment in which the peoples of the Middle-East and North Africa put their bodies and lives on the line to confront and cause head-aches for all the ‘experts’ and naysayers, not to mention the world at large, who had come to associate the region only with dictatorship, terrorism, fundamentalism.  The ‘experts’, sitting generally in Western contexts, were still busy arguing about whether all of this authoritarianism, terrorism and fundamentalism in the region had something to do with Islam or whether it was in fact a legacy of Western imperialism and the conflicts sponsored and engaged in by Western powers themselves (the latest, the US occupation of Iraq in 2003).  Meanwhile, the peoples of the Middle-East and North Africa began to write a brand new chapter in their history.  Five years down the line, the picture confronting us is a much darker one: military rule has returned to Egypt, Syria is in the midst of an ongoing, horrendously bloody civil war and ISIS, an al-Qaeda offshoot, has for the moment entrenched itself in Iraq and Syria and is conducting a gruesome terror campaign across the region and beyond.  In this discussion, we will be focusing on the origins and trajectories of ‘Arab Spring’ and ask where its promise stands today.   This theme was proposed to us by the new Political Think Tank project on campus, and they will graciously join us and help to orient and frame our discussion on Tuesday; we are excited to be able to introduce their work to the campus community at large…come and learn more about them and add your own voice to the discussion.

The Humanities Discussion will be held on Tuesday, March 24, 7:00 pm at Sala Capitular

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