ERIC Number: ED251012
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
What Are the Humanities?
A working definition of the humanities and characteristics of a liberally educated person are specified. The humanities embrace areas of human knowledge that possess these elements: central concern for human beings rather than for the processes of nature or the structures of society; primary focus on the individual rather than on the group; awareness of how we know what we know; attention to moral values, whether drawn from God, man, or nature; and insistence that the process of intellectual growth calls for forthright moral judgments as an equal partner with accurate descriptive knowledge. Study of the humanities yields a liberally educated person who: remains an active independent learner; stands on a system of values that demands the application of ethical concerns to action and that accepts the presence of alternate value systems in others; understands the cultural milieu of modern society; possesses skills in analysis and synthesis, critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking; and welcomes productive work that calls for continually developing capacities and for flexibility in changing the direction of careers over a lifetime of work. Fields of study included in the humanities, as defined by the National Endowment for the Humanities, are identified. (SW)
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Educational Objectives, Ethics, Higher Education, Humanities, Intellectual Development, Moral Issues, Moral Values, Student Development
Office of National Affairs, Association of American Colleges, 1818 R Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20009.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.; Association of American Colleges, Washington, DC.
Note: Paper presented at a conference sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and the National Endowment for the Humanities (Princeton, NJ, April 27-29, 1983). For related documents, see HE 017 872-879.