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The philosopher Plato by Silanion

The humanities are academic disciplines which study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytic, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural and social sciences.

Examples of the disciplines of the humanities are ancient and modern languages, literature, law, history, philosophy, religion, and visual and performing arts (including music). Additional subjects sometimes included in the humanities are technology, anthropology, area studies, communication studies, cultural studies, and linguistics, although these are often regarded as social sciences. Scholars working in the humanities are sometimes described as "humanists". However, that term also describes the philosophical position of humanism, which some "antihumanist" scholars in the humanities reject.

Contents

Humanities fields

Classics

Bust of Homer, a Greek poet

The classics, in the Western academic tradition, refer to cultures of classical antiquity, namely the Ancient Greek and Roman cultures. The classics are considered one of the cornerstones of the Humanities, however their popularity declined during the 20th century. Nevertheless, the influence of classical ideas in humanities such as philosophy and literature remains strong.

Outside of it's traditional and academic meaning, the "classics" can be understood as including foundational writings from other major cultures. In other traditions, classics would refer to the Hammurabi Code and the Gilgamesh Epic from Mesopotamia, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Vedas and Upanishads in India and various writings attributed to Confucius, Lao-tse and Chuang-tzu in China.

History

History is systematically collected information about the past. When used as the name of a field of study, history refers to the study and interpretation of the record of humans, societies, institutions, and any topic that has changed over time. Knowledge of history is often said to encompass both knowledge of past events and historical thinking skills.

Edward Gibbon's well-respected work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is as much a literary work of art as it is a historical survey.

Traditionally, the study of history has been considered a part of the humanities. In modern academia, history is occasionally classified as a social science.

Languages

The study of individual modern and classical languages forms the backbone of modern study of the humanities.

While the scientific study of language is known as linguistics and is a social science, the study of languages is still central to the humanities. A good deal of twentieth-century and twenty-first-century philosophy has been devoted to the analysis of language and to the question of whether, as Wittgenstein claimed, many of our philosophical confusions derive from the vocabulary we use; literary theory has explored the rhetorical, associative, and ordering features of language; and historians have studied the development of languages across time. Literature, covering a variety of uses of language including prose forms (such as the novel), poetry and drama, also lies at the heart of the modern humanities curriculum. College-level programs in a foreign language usually include study of important works of the literature in that language, as well as the language itself.

Law

A trial at a criminal court, the Old Bailey in London

In common parlance, law means a rule which (unlike a rule of ethics) is capable of enforcement through institutions.[1] The study of law crosses the boundaries between the social sciences and humanities, depending on one's view of research into its objectives and effects. Law is not always enforceable, especially in the international relations context. It has been defined as a "system of rules",[2] as an "interpretive concept"[3] to achieve justice, as an "authority"[4] to mediate people's interests, and even as "the command of a sovereign, backed by the threat of a sanction".[5] However one likes to think of law, it is a completely central social institution. Legal policy incorporates the practical manifestation of thinking from almost every social science and discipline of the humanities. Laws are politics, because politicians create them. Law is philosophy, because moral and ethical persuasions shape their ideas. Law tells many of history's stories, because statutes, case law and codifications build up over time. And law is economics, because any rule about contract, tort, property law, labour law, company law and many more can have long lasting effects on the distribution of wealth. The noun law derives from the late Old English lagu, meaning something laid down or fixed[6] and the adjective legal comes from the Latin word lex.[7]

Literature

Shakespeare wrote some of the greatest works in English literature

"Literature" is a highly ambiguous term: at its broadest, it can mean any sequence of words that has been preserved for transmission in some form or other (including oral transmission); more narrowly, it is often used to designate imaginative works such as stories, poems, and plays; more narrowly still, it is used as an honorific and applied only to those works which are considered to have particular merit.

Performing arts

The performing arts differ from the plastic arts insofar as the former uses the artist's own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal, or paint, which can be molded or transformed to create some art object. Performing arts include acrobatics, busking, comedy, dance, magic, music, opera, film, juggling, marching arts, such as brass bands, and theatre.

Artists who participate in these arts in front of an audience are called performers, including actors, comedians, dancers, musicians, and singers. Performing arts are also supported by workers in related fields, such as songwriting and stagecraft. Performers often adapt their appearance, such as with costumes and stage makeup, etc. There is also a specialized form of fine art in which the artists perform their work live to an audience. This is called Performance art. Most performance art also involves some form of plastic art, perhaps in the creation of props. Dance was often referred to as a plastic art during the Modern dance era.

Music

Concert in the Mozarteum, Salzburg

Music as an academic discipline can take a number of different paths, including music performance, music education (training music teachers), musicology, music theory and composition. Undergraduate music majors generally take courses in all of these areas, while graduate students focus on a particular path. In the liberal arts tradition, music is also used to broaden skills of non-musicians by teaching skills such as concentration and listening.

Theatre

Theatre (or theater) (Greek "theatron", θέατρον) is the branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle — indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts. In addition to the standard narrative dialogue style, theatre takes such forms as opera, ballet, mime, kabuki, classical Indian dance, Chinese opera, mummers' plays, and pantomime.

Dance

Dance (from Old French dancier, perhaps from Frankish) generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting. Dance is also used to describe methods of non-verbal communication (see body language) between humans or animals (bee dance, mating dance), motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind), and certain musical forms or genres. Choreography is the art of making dances, and the person who does this is called a choreographer.

Media and Geography are nowadadys also considered as a part of Humanities Section.

Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic artistic and moral constraints and range from functional movement (such as Folk dance) to codified, virtuoso techniques such as ballet. In sports, gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are dance disciplines while Martial arts 'kata' are often compared to dances.

Philosophy

The works of Søren Kierkegaard overlap into many fields of the humanities, such as philosophy, literature, theology, psychology, music, and classical studies.

Philosophy--etymologically, the "love of wisdom"--is generally the study of problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, justification, truth, justice, right and wrong, beauty, validity, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing these issues by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on reasoned argument, rather than experiments (for example).[8]

Philosophy used to be a very comprehensive term, including what have subsequently become separate disciplines, such as physics. (As Immanuel Kant noted, "Ancient Greek philosophy was divided into three sciences: physics, ethics, and logic.")[9] Today, the main fields of philosophy are logic, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Still, there continues to be plenty of overlap with other disciplines; the field of semantics, for example, brings philosophy into contact with linguistics.

Since the early twentieth century, the philosophy done in universities (especially in the English-speaking parts of the world) has become much more "analytic." Analytic philosophy is marked by a clear, rigorous method of inquiry that emphasizes the use of logic and more formal methods of reasoning.[10] This method of inquiry is largely indebted to the work of philosophers such as Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, G.E. Moore, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Religion

The compass in this 13th century manuscript is a symbol of God's act of creation.

Most historians trace the beginnings of religious belief to the Neolithic Period.[citation needed] Most religious belief during this time period consisted of worship of a Mother Goddess, a Sky Father, and also worship of the Sun and the Moon as deities. (see also Sun worship)[citation needed]

New philosophies and religions arose in both east and west, particularly around the 6th century BC. Over time, a great variety of religions developed around the world, with Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism in India, Zoroastrianism in Persia being some of the earliest major faiths. In the east, three schools of thought were to dominate Chinese thinking until the modern day. These were Taoism, Legalism, and Confucianism. The Confucian tradition, which would attain predominance, looked not to the force of law, but to the power and example of tradition for political morality. In the west, the Greek philosophical tradition, represented by the works of Plato and Aristotle, was diffused throughout Europe and the Middle East by the conquests of Alexander of Macedon in the 4th century BC.

Abrahamic religions are those religions deriving from a common ancient Semitic tradition and traced by their adherents to Abraham (circa 1900 BCE), a patriarch whose life is narrated in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, and as a prophet in the Quran and also called a prophet in Genesis 20:7. This forms a large group of related largely monotheistic religions, generally held to include Judaism, Christianity, and Islam comprises over half of the world's religious adherents.

Visual arts

History of visual arts

Quatrain on Heavenly Mountain by Emperor Gaozong (1107–1187) of Song Dynasty; fan mounted as album leaf on silk, four columns in cursive script.

The great traditions in art have a foundation in the art of one of the ancient civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, China, India, Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica.

Ancient Greek art saw a veneration of the human physical form and the development of equivalent skills to show musculature, poise, beauty and anatomically correct proportions. Ancient Roman art depicted gods as idealized humans, shown with characteristic distinguishing features (e.g., Zeus' thunderbolt).

In Byzantine and Gothic art of the Middle Ages, the dominance of the church insisted on the expression of biblical and not material truths. The Renaissance saw the return to valuation of the material world, and this shift is reflected in art forms, which show the corporeality of the human body, and the three-dimensional reality of landscape.

Eastern art has generally worked in a style akin to Western medieval art, namely a concentration on surface patterning and local colour (meaning the plain colour of an object, such as basic red for a red robe, rather than the modulations of that colour brought about by light, shade and reflection). A characteristic of this style is that the local colour is often defined by an outline (a contemporary equivalent is the cartoon). This is evident in, for example, the art of India, Tibet and Japan.

An artist's palette

Religious Islamic art forbids iconography, and expresses religious ideas through geometry instead. The physical and rational certainties depicted by the 19th-century Enlightenment were shattered not only by new discoveries of relativity by Einstein[11] and of unseen psychology by Freud,[12] but also by unprecedented technological development. Increasing global interaction during this time saw an equivalent influence of other cultures into Western art.

Media types

Drawing is a means of making an image, using any of a wide variety of tools and techniques. It generally involves making marks on a surface by applying pressure from a tool, or moving a tool across a surface. Common tools are graphite pencils, pen and ink, inked brushes, wax color pencils, crayons, charcoals, pastels, and markers. Digital tools which simulate the effects of these are also used. The main techniques used in drawing are: line drawing, hatching, crosshatching, random hatching, scribbling, stippling, and blending. An artist who excels in drawing is referred to as a draftsman or draughtsman.

Painting

The Mona Lisa is one of the most recognizable artistic paintings in the Western world.

Painting taken literally is the practice of applying pigment suspended in a carrier (or medium) and a binding agent (a glue) to a surface (support) such as paper, canvas or a wall. However, when used in an artistic sense it means the use of this activity in combination with drawing, composition and other aesthetic considerations in order to manifest the expressive and conceptual intention of the practitioner. Painting is also used to express spiritual motifs and ideas; sites of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery to The Sistine Chapel to the human body itself.

Colour is the essence of painting as sound is of music. Colour is highly subjective, but has observable psychological effects, although these can differ from one culture to the next. Black is associated with mourning in the West, but elsewhere white may be. Some painters, theoreticians, writers and scientists, including Goethe, Kandinsky, Isaac Newton, have written their own colour theory. Moreover the use of language is only a generalisation for a colour equivalent. The word "red", for example, can cover a wide range of variations on the pure red of the spectrum. There is not a formalised register of different colours in the way that there is agreement on different notes in music, such as C or C# in music, although the Pantone system is widely used in the printing and design industry for this purpose.

Modern artists have extended the practice of painting considerably to include, for example, collage. This began with cubism and is not painting in strict sense. Some modern painters incorporate different materials such as sand, cement, straw or wood for their texture. Examples of this are the works of Jean Dubuffet or Anselm Kiefer. Modern and contemporary art has moved away from the historic value of craft in favour of concept; this has led some to say that painting, as a serious art form, is dead, although this has not deterred the majority of artists from continuing to practise it either as whole or part of their work.

History of the humanities

In the West, the study of the humanities can be traced to ancient Greece, as the basis of a broad education for citizens. During Roman times, the concept of the seven liberal arts evolved, involving grammar, rhetoric and logic (the trivium), along with arithmetic, geometry, astronomia and music (the quadrivium).[13] These subjects formed the bulk of medieval education, with the emphasis being on the humanities as skills or "ways of doing."

A major shift occurred during the Renaissance, when the humanities began to be regarded as subjects to be studied rather than practised, with a corresponding shift away from the traditional fields into areas such as literature and history. In the 20th century, this view was in turn challenged by the postmodernist movement, which sought to redefine the humanities in more egalitarian terms suitable for a democratic society.[14]

Humanities today

In the United States

Many American colleges and universities believe in the notion of a broad "liberal arts education", which requires all college students to study the humanities in addition to their specific area of study. The University of Chicago and Columbia University were among the first schools to require an extensive Curriculum#Core_curriculum core curriculum in philosophy, literature, and the arts for all students. Other colleges with nationally-recognized, required two year programs in the liberal arts are St. John's College, Saint Anselm College and Providence College. Prominent proponents of liberal arts in the United States have included Mortimer J. Adler[15] and E.D. Hirsch.

The 1980 United States Rockefeller Commission on the Humanities described the humanities in its report, The Humanities in American Life:

Through the humanities we reflect on the fundamental question: What does it mean to be human? The humanities offer clues but never a complete answer. They reveal how people have tried to make moral, spiritual, and intellectual sense of a world in which irrationality, despair, loneliness, and death are as conspicuous as birth, friendship, hope, and reason.

"Increasing numbers of critics view education in the liberal arts as irrelevant" [16] or "learning more and more about less and less" [17] which no longer prepares the students for the American job market in the face of increased competition due to more graduates [18]. After World War II, many millions of veterans took advantage of the GI Bill. Further expansion of federal education grants and loans have expanded the number of adults in the United States that have attended a college.[19] In 2003, roughly 53% of the population had some college education with 27.2% having graduated with a Bachelor's degree or higher, including 8% who graduated with a graduate degree.[20] The counter view is that "A familiarity with the body of knowledge and methods of inquiry and discovery of the arts and sciences and a capacity to integrate knowledge across experience and discipline may have far more lasting value in such a changing world than specialized techniques and training, which can quickly become outmoded." [21]

In the digital age

Researchers in the humanities have developed numerous large and small scale digital corpora, such as digitized collections of historical texts, along with the digital tools and methods to analyse them. Their aim is both to uncover new knowledge about corpora and to visualize research data in new and revealing ways. The field where much of this activity occurs is called the Digital Humanities.

Legitimation of the humanities

Compared to the growing numbers of undergraduates enrolled in private and public post-secondary institutions, the percentage of enrollments and majors in the humanities is shrinking, although overall enrollment in the humanities expressed in actual numbers has not significantly changed (and by some measurements has actually increased slightly).[22]

The modern "crisis" facing humanities scholars in the university is multifaceted: universities in the United States in particular have adopted corporate guidelines requiring profit both from undergraduate education and from academic scholarship and research, resulting in an increased demand for academic disciplines to justify their existence based on the applicability of their disciplines to the world outside of the university. Increasing corporate emphasis on "life-long learning" has also impacted the university’s role as educator and researcher.[23] Responses to those changing institutional norms, and to changing emphasis on what constitutes "useful skills" in an increasingly technological world, have varied greatly both inside and outside of the university system.

Citizenship, self-reflection, and the humanities

Since the late nineteenth century, a central justification for the Humanities has been that it aids and encourages self-reflection, a self-reflection which in turn helps develop personal consciousness and/or an active sense of civic duty.

Wilhelm Dilthey and Hans-Georg Gadamer centered the humanities’ attempt to distinguish itself from the natural sciences in humankind’s urge to understand its own experiences. This understanding, they claimed, ties like-minded people from similar cultural backgrounds together and provides a sense of cultural continuity with the philosophical past.[24]

Scholars in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries extended that “narrative imagination”[25] to the ability to understand the records of lived experiences outside of one’s own individual social and cultural context. Through that narrative imagination, it is claimed, humanities scholars and students develop a conscience more suited to the multicultural world in which we live.[26] That conscience might take the form of a passive one that allows more effective self-reflection[27] or extend into active empathy which facilitates the dispensation of civic duties in which a responsible world citizen must engage.[26] There is disagreement, however, on the level of impact humanities study can have on an individual and whether or not the understanding produced in humanistic enterprise can guarantee an “identifiable positive effect on people.”[28]

Truth, meaning, and the humanities

The divide between humanistic study and natural sciences informs arguments of meaning in humanities as well. What distinguishes the humanities from the natural sciences is not a certain subject matter, but rather the mode of approach to any question. Humanities focuses on understanding meaning, purpose, and goals and furthers the appreciation of singular historical and social phenomena—an interpretive method of finding “truth”—rather than explaining the causality of events or uncovering the truth of the natural world.[29] Apart from its societal application, narrative imagination is an important tool in the (re)production of understood meaning in history, culture and literature.

Imagination, as part of the tool kit of artists or scholars, serves as vehicle to create meaning which invokes a response from an audience. Since a humanities scholar is always within the nexus of lived experiences, no "absolute" knowledge is theoretically possible; knowledge is instead a ceaseless procedure of inventing and reinventing the context in which a text is read. Poststructuralism has problematized an approach to the humanistic study based on questions of meaning, intentionality, and authorship. In the wake of the death of the author proclaimed by Roland Barthes, various theoretical currents such as deconstruction and discourse analysis seek to expose the ideologies and rhetoric operative in producing both the purportedly meaningful objects and the hermeneutic subjects of humanistic study. This exposure has opened up the interpretive structures of the humanities to criticism humanities scholarship is “unscientific” and therefore unfit for inclusion in modern university curricula because of the very nature of its changing contextual meaning.

Pleasure, the pursuit of knowledge, and humanities scholarship

Some, like Stanley Fish, have claimed that the humanities can defend themselves best by refusing to make any claims of utility.[30] (Fish may well be thinking primarily of literary study, rather than history and philosophy.) Any attempt to justify the humanities in terms of outside benefits such as social usefulness (say increased productivity) or in terms of ennobling effects on the individual (such as greater wisdom or diminished prejudice) is ungrounded, according to Fish, and simply places impossible demands on the relevant academic departments. Furthermore, critical thinking, while arguably a result of humanistic training, can be acquired in other contexts.[23] And the humanities do not even provide any more the kind of social cachet (what sociologists sometimes call "cultural capital") that was helpful to succeed in Western society before the age of mass education following World War II.

Instead, scholars like Fish suggest that the humanities offer a unique kind of pleasure, a pleasure based on the common pursuit of knowledge (even if it is only disciplinary knowledge). Such pleasure contrasts with the increasing privatization of leisure and instant gratification characteristic of Western culture; it thus meets Jürgen Habermas’ requirements for the disregard of social status and rational problematization of previously unquestioned areas necessary for an endeavor which takes place in the bourgeois public sphere. In this argument, then, only the academic pursuit of pleasure can provide a link between the private and the public realm in modern Western consumer society and strengthen that public sphere which, according to many theorists, is the foundation for modern democracy.

Romanticization and rejection of the humanities

Implicit in many of these arguments supporting the humanities are the makings of arguments against public support of the humanities. Joseph Carroll asserts that we live in a changing world, a world in which "cultural capital" is being replaced with "scientific literacy" and in which the romantic notion of a Renaissance humanities scholar is obsolete. Such arguments appeal to judgments and anxieties about the essential uselessness of the humanities, especially in an age when it is seemingly vitally important for scholars of literature, history and the arts to engage in "collaborative work with experimental scientists" or even simply to make "intelligent use of the findings from empirical science."[31] The notion that 'in today's day and age,' with its focus on the ideals of efficiency and practical utility, scholars of the humanities are becoming obsolete was perhaps summed up most powerfully in a remark that has been attributed to the artificial intelligence specialist Marvin Minsky: “With all the money that we are throwing away on humanities and art - give me that money and I will build you a better student."[32]

Minsky's faith in the superiority of technical knowledge and his reduction of the humanities scholar of today to an obsolete relic of the past supported by the tax dollars of romantics fondly recalling the days of the G.I. Bill echoes arguments put forth by scholars and cultural commentators that call themselves "post-humanists" or "transhumanists." The idea is that current trends in the scientific understanding of human beings are calling the basic category of "the human" into question. Examples of these trends are assertions by cognitive scientists that the mind is simply a computing device, by geneticists that human beings are no more than ephemeral husks used by self-propagating genes (or even memes, according to some postmodern linguists), or by bioengineers who claim that one day it may be both possible and desirable to create human-animal hybrids. Rather than engage with old-style humanist scholarship, transhumanists in particular tend to be more concerned with testing and altering the limits of our mental and physical capacities in fields such as cognitive science and bioengineering in order to transcend the essentially bodily limitations that have bounded humanity. Despite the criticism of humanities scholarship as obsolete, however, many of the most influential post-humanist works are profoundly engaged with film and literary criticism, history, and cultural studies as can be seen in the writings of Donna Haraway and N. Katherine Hayles. And in recent years there has been a spate of books and articles re-articulating the importance of humanistic study. Examples include: Harold Bloom, How to Read and Why (2001), Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Production of Presence (2004), Frank B. Farrell, Why Does Literature Matter? (2004), John Carey, What Good Are the Arts? (2006), Lisa Zunshine, Why We Read Fiction (2006), Alexander Nehamas, Only A Promise Of Happiness (2007), Rita Felski, Uses of Literature (2008).

See also

References

  1. ^ Robertson, Geoffrey (2006). Crimes Against Humanity. Penguin. pp. 90. ISBN 9780141024639. 
  2. ^ Hart, H.L.A. (1961). The Concept of Law. Oxford University Press. ISBN ISBN 0-19-876122-8. 
  3. ^ Dworkin, Ronald (1986). Law's Empire. Harvard University Press. ISBN ISBN 0-674-51836-5. 
  4. ^ Raz, Joseph (1979). The Authority of Law. Oxford University Press. 
  5. ^ Austin, John (1831). The Providence of Jurisprudence Determined. 
  6. ^ see Etymonline Dictionary
  7. ^ see Mirriam-Webster's Dictionary
  8. ^ Thomas Nagel (1987). What Does It All Mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy. Oxford University Press, pp. 4-5.
  9. ^ Kant, Immanuel (1785). Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, the first line.
  10. ^ See, e.g., Brian Leiter [1] "'Analytic' philosophy today names a style of doing philosophy, not a philosophical program or a set of substantive views. Analytic philosophers, crudely speaking, aim for argumentative clarity and precision; draw freely on the tools of logic; and often identify, professionally and intellectually, more closely with the sciences and mathematics than with the humanities."
  11. ^ "Does time fly?". guardian.co.uk. http://books.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1035752,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  12. ^ "Internet Modern History Sourcebook: Darwin, Freud, Einstein, Dada". www.fordham.edu. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/modsbook36.html. Retrieved 2008-05-01. 
  13. ^ Levi, Albert W.; The Humanities Today, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1970.
  14. ^ Walling, Donovan R.; Under Construction: The Role of the Arts and Humanities in Postmodern Schooling Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, Indiana, 1997.
  15. ^ Adler, Mortimer J.; "A Guidebook to Learning: For the Lifelong Pursuit of Wisdom"
  16. ^ Learning to learn from experience By Edward Cell 1984 page XI
  17. ^ XI [2] Liz Coleman talk at Ted discusses what is wrong with the "integrity of liberal education" http://www.ted.com/talks/liz_coleman_s_call_to_reinvent_liberal_arts_education.html
  18. ^ Liberal Arts Education for a Global Society by Carol M. Barker Carnegie Corporation http://www.carnegie.org/sub/pubs/libarts.pdf
  19. ^ Liberal Arts Education for a Global Society by Carol M. Barker Carnegie Corporation http://www.carnegie.org/sub/pubs/libarts.pdf
  20. ^ "US Census Bureau, educational attainment in 2003" (PDF). http://www.census.gov/prod/2oib;jobbjjbjb004pubs/p20-550.pdf. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  21. ^ Liberal Arts Education for a Global Society by Carol M. Barker Carnegie Corporation http://www.carnegie.org/sub/pubs/libarts.pdf
  22. ^ According to the National Center for Education Statistics, total enrollment at accredited colleges and universities rose from 7.3 million to 14.7 mill undergraduates from 1970 to 2004 (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=98). In that time, business graduates have risen from 115K to 311K. History and the social sciences together (grouped by the NCES) have barely increased from 155K to 156K. English has fallen from 67K to 54K, foreign languages have declined from 21K to 18K, and philosophy has increased from 8K to 11K, although the remaining liberal arts (which are unclassified) have risen from 7K to 43K.
  23. ^ a b Liu, Alan. Laws of Cool, 2004.
  24. ^ Dilthey, Wilhelm. The Formation of the Historical World in the Human Sciences, 103.
  25. ^ von Wright, Moira. "Narrative imagination and taking the perspective of others," Studies in Philosophy and Education 21, 4-5 (July, 2002), 407-416.
  26. ^ a b Nussbaum, Martha. Cultivating Humanity.
  27. ^ Harpham, Geoffrey. “Beneath and Beyond the Crisis of the Humanities,” New Literary History 36 (2005), 21-36.
  28. ^ Harpham, 31.
  29. ^ Dilthey, Wilhelm. The Formation of the Historical World in the Human Sciences, 103.
  30. ^ Fish, Stanley, http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/will-the-humanities-save-us/#more-81
  31. ^ ""Theory," Anti-Theory, and Empirical Criticism," Biopoetics: Evolutionary Explorations in the Arts, Brett Cooke and Frederick Turner, eds., Lexington, Kentucky: ICUS Books, 1999, pp. 144-145. 152.
  32. ^ Alan Liu, “The Future of Humanities in the Digital Age” with Roundtable Discussion « History in the Digital Age

External links


Simple English

The humanities include languages, literature, music, philosophy, history, media, the classics, religion, and the visual and performing arts. Additional subjects sometimes included in the humanities are anthropology, area studies, communications and cultural studies, although these are often regarded as social sciences. It was popular in the Renaissance ages.

The arts are usually considered as part of the humanities. These include visual arts such as painting and sculpture, as well as performing arts such as theatre and dance, and literature. Other humanities such as language are sometimes considered to be part of the arts, for example as the language arts.

The humanities study the human condition and mostly use methods that are analytic, critical, or speculative and not as empirical as natural and social sciences.

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