Branches of Humanities
Sample Term Paper
Disciplines of the humanities offer models and technique for addressing dilemmas and acknowledging ambiguity and paradox. They can assist us face the tension between the concerns of individuals and those of groups and promote civil and educated discussion of conflicts, placing current issues in historical perspective. They also give voice to sentiment and artistic shape to experience, balancing passion and rationality and exploring issues of ethics and importance. The study of the humanities provides a venue in which the expression of interpretations and experiences can be recognized and areas of common interest explored. (White 263)
The humanities develop and ennoble humans, and their pursuit would be worthwhile even if they were not publicly useful. But in fact, the humanities are generally useful. They fulfill vitally key needs for
- critical and imaginative thinking about the concern that confront us as citizens and as human beings;
- reasoned and open-minded discussion of the basic values that are at stake in the different policies and practices that are proposed to address these issues;
- Understanding and appreciating the experiences of others, and the ways in which the issues that confront us now have been understood in other times, places, and cultures.
The humanities concern themselves with the complete record of human knowledge exploring, assessing, interpreting, and refining it, while at the same time adding to it.
We need the humanities. Without them we cannot perhaps govern ourselves wisely or well. As fields of study, the humanities emphasize analysis and exchange of thoughts rather than the creative expression of the arts or the quantitative explanation of the sciences. This paper discusses five branches of humanities:
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