maandag 17 februari 2014

How the Humanities Changed the World


Here's a short essay on unexpected uses of the humanities on OUPblog:

"Have insights from the humanities ever led to breakthroughs, or is any interpretation of a text, painting, musical piece, or historical event as good as any other? I have long been fascinated with this question. To be sure, insights from the humanities have had an impact on society. Yet even this observation may come as a surprise, since humanities disciplines like philology, art history, musicology, literary studies, and theatre studies are usually seen as a luxury pastime which is of little use to society and even less to the economy. Arguments in favour of the humanities usually emphasize their importance for critical thinking, historical consciousness and for creating competent democratic citizens. While these arguments may all be true, a quick glance at the history of the humanities shows a rather different picture. In all periods, humanists have made discoveries that literally changed our world, for better and worse. As if humanities scholars have no clue of their own history, these discoveries have even been attributed to the sciences. [...]"

Click here for reading the full essay.

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