Do the Humanities still matter?

With the study of Humanities coming under fire, a leading academic rises to the subject’s defense. 

A rising number of parents, legislators and administrators are pushing , chair of the board of the American Council of Learned Sciences and philosophy professor at Princeton University, contends that we need the Humanities now more than ever.

  • contemplate our purpose
  • understand where we should focus our attention, often difficult in the mountain of information offered in this digital age
  • develop an understanding of what it means to be free, and
  • learn from our past, so we don’t repeat mistakes in the present.

Although the Humanities are best studied in a formal education setting, Appiah says the subjects benefit everyone, and avoiding them is a mistake. As growing adults, students should engage in the arts of their time read a novel, watch a movie, anything. By participating in the culture, students can understand where they fit into human heritage.

In other words, people who study the humanities prepare to live their lives, not their work.

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