Here are 5 great, brief definitions of the humanities.

These definitions are a sample from a variety of resources and more than one nation–somepoint favor a starter kit on the humanities (and also their overlapping relation with what different countries additionally contact “the liberal arts,” “the arts,” “liberal arts and also arts,” and sometimes additionally the humanistically-oriented “social scientific researches.”




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“The term ‘humanities’ includes, however is not limited to, the study and also interpretation of the following: language, both contemporary and also classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the background, criticism and also theory of the arts; those aspects of social scientific researches which have actually humanistic content and also employ humanistic methods; and the study and also application of the humanities to the humale setting with certain attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, heritages, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the existing problems of nationwide life.”


National Foundation on the Arts and also the Humanities Act, 1965, as amfinished (the U. S. Congressional Act that created the National Endowment for the Humanities)

“The humanities—including the study of languages, literature, background, jurisprudence, viewpoint, comparative religion, values, and also the arts—are disciplines of memory and imagination, telling us wright here we have actually been and also helping us envision wright here we are going.”


The Heart of the Matter (Report of the Amerihave the right to Academy of Arts & Science’s Commission on the Humanities and also Social Sciences to the U. S. Congress in June 2013)

“What are the humanities? It is prefer the notion of ‘time’ in St. Augustine: if you don’t ask, we recognize, yet if you ask, we are left empty handed. Because the nineteenth century the humanities have actually generally been defined as the disciplines that investigate the expressions of the human mind. Such expressions incorporate language, music, art, literature, theatre, and poetry. Thus, philology, grammars, musicology, art history, literary research studies, and also theatre research studies all belengthy to the realm of the liberal arts.”


–Rens Bod, A New History of the Humanities: The Search for Principles and also Patterns from Classical times to the Present (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013)

“Research stemming from a detailed understanding of huguy behaviour, economies, societies and also societies deserve to considerably redefine the crucial decisions we have to make. These decisions may involve the future direction of our economic climate, means of expanding and strengthening education provision at all levels, or just how we address the effects of climate or constitutional change… The liberal arts and also social sciences teach us how human being have developed their civilization, and exactly how they consequently are created by it.”


“The humanities are scholastic disciplines that research humale culture. The humanities usage techniques that are generally important, or speculative, and also have a significant historic element—as distinguiburned from the greatly empirical ideologies of the natural scientific researches. The liberal arts include ancient and also contemporary languperiods, literary works, approach, faith, and visual and also performing arts such as music and also theatre. Areas that are sometimes regarded as social sciences and periodically as humanities encompass history, archaeology, anthropology, area research studies, interaction research studies, classic researches, regulation and linguistics…. The liberal arts and social sciences teach us just how world have produced their civilization, and how they consequently are produced by it.”


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David Wright says:

I am currently a student in a Humanities class and these quotes are excellent perspective. I don’t say definition, bereason I feel that the truest specifying aspect of Humanities is our internalization and also expression of the arts, our imaginative self.




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