Best 24 of Humanities quotes - MyQuotes
The position of an art in the scale of human knowledge is, perhaps, the most eloquent symptom of the gulf between man's progress in the physical sciences and his stagnation (or, today, his retrogression) in the humanities.
Might not too much investment in teaching Shelley mean falling behind our economic competitors? But there is no university without humane inquiry, which means that universities and advanced capitalism are fundamentally incompatible. And the political implications of that run far deeper than the question of student fees.
The universities are an absolute wreck right now, because for decades, any graduate student in the humanities who had independent thinking was driven out. There was no way to survive without memorizing all these stupid bromides with this referential bowing to these over-inflated figures like Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, and so on. Basically, it's been a tyranny in the humanities, because the professors who are now my age – who are the baby boomer professors, who made their careers on the back of Foucault and so on – are determined that that survive. So you have a kind of vampirism going on. So I've been getting letters for 25 years since Sexual Personae was released in 1990, from refugees from the graduate schools. It's been a terrible loss. One of my favorite letters was early on: a woman wrote to me, she was painting houses in St. Louis, she said that she had wanted a career as a literature professor and had gone into the graduate program in comparative literature at Berkeley. And finally, she was forced to drop out because, she said, every time she would express enthusiasm for a work they were studying in the seminar, everyone would look at her as if she had in some way created a terrible error of taste. I thought, 'Oh my God', see that's what's been going on – a pretentious style of superiority to the text. [When asked what can change this]: Rebellion! Rebellion by the grad students. This is what I'm trying to foment. We absolutely need someone to stand up and start criticizing authority figures. But no; this generation of young people have been trained throughout middle school and high school and college to be subservient to authority.
There's very little authentic study of the humanities remaining. My research assistant came to me two years ago saying she'd been in a seminar in which the teacher spent two hours saying that Walt Whitman was a racist. This isn't even good nonsense. It's insufferable.
I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did. On the other hand, novels which are works of the imagination, though not of a very high order, have been for years a wonderful relief and pleasure to me, and I often bless all novelists. A surprising number have been read aloud to me, and I like all if moderately good, and if they do not end unhappily–against which a law ought to be passed. A novel, according to my taste, does not come into the first class unless it contains some person whom one can thoroughly love, and if a pretty woman all the better. This curious and lamentable loss of the higher aesthetic tastes is all the odder, as books on history, biographies, and travels (independently of any scientific facts which they may contain), and essays on all sorts of subjects interest me as much as ever they did. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. A man with a mind more highly organised or better constituted than mine, would not, I suppose, have thus suffered; and if I had to live my life again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week; for perhaps the parts of my brain now atrophied would thus have been kept active through use. The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.
It is a convenient truth: You go into the humanities to pursue your intellectual passion; and it just so happens, as a by-product, that you emerge as a desired commodity for industry.
But what is the use of the humanities as such? Admittedly they are not practical, and admittedly they concern themselves with the past. Why, it may be asked, should we engage in impractical investigations, and why should we be interested in the past? The answer to the first question is: because we are interested in reality. Both the humanities and the natural sciences, as well as mathematics and philosophy, have the impractical outlook of what the ancients called vita contemplativa as opposed to vita activa. But is the contemplative life less real or, to be more precise, is its contribution to what we call reality less important, than that of the active life? The man who takes a paper dollar in exchange for twenty-five apples commits an act of faith, and subjects himself to a theoretical doctrine, as did the mediaeval man who paid for indulgence. The man who is run over by an automobile is run over by mathematics, physics and chemistry. For he who leads the contemplative life cannot help influencing the active, just as he cannot prevent the active life from influencing his thought. Philosophical and psychological theories, historical doctrines and all sorts of speculations and discoveries, have changed, and keep changing, the lives of countless millions. Even he who merely transmits knowledge or learning participates, in his modest way, in the process of shaping reality - of which fact the enemies of humanism are perhaps more keenly aware than its friends. It is impossible to conceive of our world in terms of action alone. Only in God is there a "Coincidence of Act and Thought" as the scholastics put it. Our reality can only be understood as an interpenetration of these two.
In grammar, as in war, there is strength in numbers.
Captive Greece captured her rude conqueror
It must be admitted that scientists today take little interest in philosophy of science.... It is not an indication that philosophical issues are no longer relevant. Rather, it is a consequence of the increasingly specialized nature of science, and of the polarization between the sciences and humanities that characterizes the modern education system.
A different voice may be particularly effective in disturbing the existing participants into re-examining matters they had come to take for granted.
I believe there no surer path to leaping dramatically forward in your career than to earn a Ph.D. in the humanities. Because the thought leaders in our industry are not the ones who plodded dully, step by step, up the career ladder. The leaders are the ones who took chances and developed unique perspectives.
In my parents' day and age, it used to be the person who fell short. Now it's the discipline. Reading the classics is too difficult, therefore it's the classics that are to blame. Today the student asserts his incapacity as a privilege. I can't learn it, so there is something wrong with it. And there is something especially wrong with the bad teacher who wants to teach it. There are no more criteria, Mr. Zuckerman, only opinions.
The case for the humanities is not hard to make, though it can be difficult--to such an extent have we been marginalized, so long have we acceded to that marginalization--not to sound either defensive or naive. The humanities, done right, are the crucible in which our evolving notions of what it means to be fully human are put to the test; they teach us, incrementally, endlessly, not what to do, but how to be. Their method is confrontational, their domain unlimited, their "product" not truth but the reasoned search for truth, their "success" something very much like Frost's momentary stay against confusion.
However they arrive, asylum seekers, immigrants, and refugees reach with outstretched hands toward safer, more promising shores. Welcoming these wayfarers rekindles our humanity and heals our broken parts. Only within the cords that bind us together do we find answers to age-old questions about despair and enmity, fear and alienation, justice and hope.
What we have witnessed in our own time is the death of universities as centres of critique. Since Margaret Thatcher, the role of academia has been to service the status quo, not challenge it in the name of justice, tradition, imagination, human welfare, the free play of the mind or alternative visions of the future. We will not change this simply by increasing state funding of the humanities as opposed to slashing it to nothing. We will change it by insisting that a critical reflection on human values and principles should be central to everything that goes on in universities, not just to the study of Rembrandt or Rimbaud.
Todos creemos que la iluminación nos dará placer. Pero ninguno se atreve a mirar directamente el sol del mediodía.
From this state of bewildered scepticism the student may take a leap of faith. And the leap is never backwards into the old curriculum, the old canon, the old belief in objective standards and settled ways of life. It is always a leap forward, into the world of free choice and free opinion, in which nothing has authority and nothing is objectively right or wrong. In this postmodern world there is no such things as adverse judgement – unless it be judgement of the adverse judge. It is a playground world, in which all are equally entitled tot their culture, their lifestyle and their opinions. And that is why, paradoxically, the postmodern curriculum is so censorious – in just the way that liberalism is censorious. When everything is permitted, it is vital to forbid the forbidder. All serious cultures are founded on the distinctions between right and wrong, true and false, good and bad taste, knowledge and ignorance. It was to the perpetuation of those distinctions that the humanities, in the past were devoted. Hence the assault on the curriculum, and the attempt to impose a standard of 'political correctness' – which means, in effect, a standard of non-exclusion and non-judgement – is also designed to authorise a vehement kind of judgement, against all those authorities that question the orthodoxy of the left.
The method of science is logical and rational; the method of the humanities is one of imagination, sympathetic understanding, ‘indwelling.
Anthropology is the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities." - Alfred L. Kroeber
The ecological crisis we face is so obvious that it becomes easy -- for some, strangely or frighteningly easy -- to join the dots and see that everything is interconnected. This is the ecological thought. And the more we consider it, the more our world opens up.
There is a Revolution, it’s a human and technological revolution
When they first emerged in their present shape around the turn of the 18th century, the so-called humane disciplines had a crucial social role. It was to foster and protect the kind of values for which a philistine social order had precious little time. The modern humanities and industrial capitalism were more or less twinned at birth. To preserve a set of values and ideas under siege, you needed among other things institutions known as universities set somewhat apart from everyday social life. This remoteness meant that humane study could be lamentably ineffectual. But it also allowed the humanities to launch a critique of conventional wisdom.
WONDERLAND It is a person's unquenchable thirst for wonder That sets them on their initial quest for truth. The more doors you open, the smaller you become. The more places you see and the more people you meet, The greater your curiosity grows. The greater your curiosity, the more you will wander. The more you wander, the greater the wonder. The more you quench your thirst for wonder, The more you drink from the cup of life. The more you see and experience, the closer to truth you become. The more languages you learn, the more truths you can unravel. And the more countries you travel, the greater your understanding. And the greater your understanding, the less you see differences. And the more knowledge you gain, the wider your perspective, And the wider your perspective, the lesser your ignorance. Hence, the more wisdom you gain, the smaller you feel. And the smaller you feel, the greater you become. The more you see, the more you love -- The more you love, the less walls you see. The more doors you are willing to open, The less close-minded you will be. The more open-minded you are, The more open your heart. And the more open your heart, The more you will be able to Send and receive -- Truth and TRUE Unconditional LOVE.