Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Humanities are Needed for Knowledge and Meaning

Is science the only discipline that gives us knowledge? Of course not. For knowledge, the humanities are needed. In fact, without the humanities there is no knowledge.

Consider the statement: Only the sciences give us knowledge. This statement is not something science can conclude. It is a philosophical statement, something like a worldview claim. With statements like this we enter the realm of the humanities.Science provides the "how"; the humanities provide the "why."

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has just published a 61-page report entitled "The Heart of the Matter." Richard Brodhead, the president of Duke University and a co-chairman of the commission that produced the report, states: People talk about the humanities and social sciences “as if they are a waste of time. But this facile negativism forgets that many of the country’s most successful and creative people had exactly this kind of education.”  ("Humanities Committee Sounds an Alarm,", 6/18/13)

Here's a video by the AAAS.