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Historical Development of Humanities What is humanities? A group of extensive disciplines (such as arts, art criticism, literature, film studies, photography, music, history, and philosophy). The humanities is generally considered to include the study of classics, art history and literature.

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Historical Development of Humanities

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Historical development of humanities l.jpg

Historical Development of Humanities


What is humanities l.jpg

What is humanities?

  • A group of extensive disciplines (such as arts, art criticism, literature, film studies, photography, music, history, and philosophy).


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  • The humanities is generally considered to include the study of classics, art history and literature.

  • OED’s definition of humanities: humanities did not appear until 1702 and it is referred to the activity of the humanist


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Our definition:

An institutional tool to gain knowledge that concerns human; this “knowledge” is a rather forceful ideology that has different connotations in different historical eras shaped by various forces yet has the same attempt to humanize man, to make man more man.


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History of humanities

Medieval

  • In the medieval

    (12th and 13th

    century), humanities

    meant primarily

    philosophy and

    theology.

  • Theology was the

    most prestigious

    area of study.


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The late Middle Ages

  • Heresies aroused

    (Beginning of skepticism-

    dissatisfaction with church

    as an institution).

  • The starting point of

    humanism (Protagoras:

    "man is the measure of

    all things).


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Renaissance

  • Humanities in this period included disciplines that would make man’s life richer and more meaningful: the languages and literature of Greece and Rome, fine arts, music, philosophy.


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  • Renaissance man (universal man): acquire all knowledge and all the skills of the various arts. (These arts are those that are unrecognized by the church.)


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  • Universal Man (polymath) : excels in multiple fields, particularly in both arts and sciences

    • Leonardo Da Vinci: archetype of the Renaissance man

    • Desiderius Erasmus


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  • Baldassare Castiglione,

    in his The Book of the

    Courtier (1528), wrote a

    guide to being a polymath,

    describing what makes a

    well rounded person.


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16th century

  • By 1535, humanities, which is the study of literae humaniores (greats), became the head of the arts.


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19th century

  • Humanities is the key to the history, the thoughts, and the mind of civilized man.


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Recent years

  • There is a wave of neglect of the humanities (after the Industrial Revolution, the competition between countries is focused on technology).


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Where does New Humanities come from?

  • Historical trend: new academic disciplines are rising because of new social realties are in place


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New Humanities

  • The field has become richly theoretically pluralist and increasingly interdisciplinary.

  • What are these larger contexts? Who produces them? Who has access to them? How are they circulated? How can they be interpreted? Where are they located? What values do they espouse?


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