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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

It must be abstract

 The language of humanities bureaucrats is abstract. There is never to be any mention of actual works of art, literature, or philosophy. What takes center stage is the cliché: what it means to live "the good life," for example. Humanities help us to find the meaning of life. Yay!  Humanities skills, as defined in this sort of think piece, are likewise vague, such that they are no longer specifically humanistic. You would want every scientist and social scientist to master "critical thinking," for example. It is arrogant to claim that only humanists know how to think correctly. In my experience, some people in the humanities cannot actually think very well at all. 

So I don't really like the concept of the "humanities" or "the arts" at all. Once you lump these things together the actual content of them seems to dissipate. I love "art" but "the arts" is a term of abstract bureaucracy. 

1 comment:

Leslie B. said...

Quite right. I say it's all Wissenschaft, science.

I liked the school title and department titles of my faculdade at USP.

It was the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters, and Human Sciences (FFLCH).

It has Anthropology, Classical and Vernacular Letters, Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, Geography, History, Modern Letters, Oriental Letters, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology.

NOTE that Psychology isn't in there, or Criminal Justice, or Communication, or Communicative Disorders, or Child and Family Studies, all of which are in my local College of Liberal Arts. And good riddance, notice how much more humanistic the USP is but without trying to invoke the humanities as a descriptor at all.

However, I now notice that USP has now gotten some satellite campuses that from what I gather, aren't as hard to get into and cater to a different public. Those DO have "Humanities" and "Arts" as well as weak "interdisciplinary" teas and allegedly practical majors. C'est intéressant.