It is common to hear criticisms of the humanities that are based on the belief that they are useless in the modern world, providing nothing but soft skills for employment which are themselves being increasingly seen as obsolete. Nothing can be farther from the truth as top corporations vie for the cream of the crop that embodies the ancient arts of critical-reasoning and problem-solving – abilities which are developed through methods that are primarily critical, or speculative, and are distinguished from the empirical methods used by natural sciences.
Humanities can be understood as the study and interpretation of language, literature, history, law, philosophy, archaeology, religion, and ethics. There arises a pattern that distinguishes the humanities from the hard sciences; they comprise of academic disciplines that embody humanistic content and methods. Put simply the humanities are disciplines of memory and imagination, telling us where we have been and helping us envision where we are going.
The social sciences aim to transform the way we analyze and interpret information by
engaging us in contemplation and reflection. The age-old adage “Those who do not
remember the past, are condemned to repeat it” is a testament to the power and importance of the social sciences because they allow us insight into society and the relationship between individuals within that society.
If you are able to better understand the basic framework of society and its operations you will inevitably be more adept at analyzing what changes need to be made to drive us forward.
Similarly, humanities provide us with the blueprints for all modes of human thinking and
helps us understand how to make sense of the world around us since we simultaneously shape, and are shaped by it.
Michelle Obama perfectly encapsulated the importance of humanities by stating that “The arts and humanities define who we are as a people. That is their power – to remind us what we each have to offer, and what we all have in common. To help us understand our history and imagine our future. To give us hope in the moments of struggle and to bring us together when nothing else will.”
THE BLOCK BARD
Culture & Humanities Writer | Blogger
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