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Introduction to “Darwin’s Tea Party” Humanities 345-101-MQ Knowledge By Gabriel Tordjman Dawson College Fall 2019
What are Humanities? Humanities = plural of humanity So, what is “humanity”?
What are Humanities? Humanities = plural of humanity So, what is “humanity”? From Latin, “humanitasfor ‘human nature’, kindness” 1. humanity (singular) = human race, humankind, human beings, humans, mankind, man -- (all of the inhabitants of the earth). • Example: “All humanity will suffer if we use up our natural resources today” 2. humanity -- the quality of being humane (compassionate, kind) • Example: “Sarah showed George humanity in his hour of need.” • Example: “Toni Morrison wrote to us again and again, exhorting our beauty, making us grapple with our pain, reaffirming our humanity” (New York Times, 6 August, 2019).
What are Humanities? Humanities = plural of humanity So, what is “humanity”? From Latin, humanitasfor ‘human nature’, kindness” “[Humanity] …is also a word for the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love and have compassion, be creative, and not be a robot or alien. ... When people ask for money to help feed starving children, they're appealing to your sense of humanity.” (https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/humanity)
What are Humanities? Thus, two distinct meanings of humanity: 1. The human race and 2. Kindness and compassion Does this mean that: • to be truly be human (a member of the human race) means also to be human or humane (kind and compassionate)? • the real essence of “human nature” is kindness and compassion? “The milk of human kindness” (Wm Shakespeare)
What are Humanities? Not everyone agrees that “human” = kindness and compassion!
Source uncertain: https://www.yourquote.in/himanshi-b1zl/quotes/i-see-humans-no-humanity-relations-no-love-god-no-faith-no-cpasu
L. “Homo Homini Lupus” (“Man is a wolf to man”) Latin adage borrowed most famously from Thomas Hobbes (British 16th century philosopher) and Sigmund Freud (20th century psychologist). Graphic by Iranian born FarrzadSaeedi , https://retroavangarda.com/gallery-of-friends/albums/Farzad_Saeedi/?img=2926
“And GOD saw that the wickedess of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen 6:5). “"I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done” (Gen 8:21).
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). and:“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gen 1:31) So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27) and: God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (Gen 1:31)
What are Humanities? Not everyone agrees that “human” = kindness and compassion! BUT • Though humans are naturally part of humanity in the biological sense, they may or may not be naturally born with humanity in the moral sense (kind, good or compassionate) • Many believe “humanity” in the moral sense is something that needs to be learned: • Requires “intentional activity” (Xunzi) • Love (or hate) can be learned (Mandela) • Wisdom can be learned (Lincoln)
What are Humanities? What course(s) focus and teach about humanity in both senses?
What are Humanities? Humanities: “the branches of learning (as philosophy, arts, or languages) that investigate human constructs and concerns as opposed to natural processes (as in physics or chemistry [or biology]) and social relations (as in anthropology or economics) [and technical or vocational training]”. Merriam-Webster OnLinehttp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humanities
Types of Education or Fields of Knowledge 1. Humanities: Investigates human constructs & concerns, the human condition or human nature 2. Natural Science Investigates natural processes 3. Social Science Investigates human society using scientific methods 4. Vocational/Tech. Training for specific skills linked to career/occupation 5. Religious Investigates supernatural, including interpretation of sacred texts (theology) What are Humanities?
What are Humanities? Humanities: “the branches of learning (as philosophy, arts, or languages) that investigate human constructs and concerns as opposed to natural processes (as in physics or chemistry [or biology]) and social relations (as in anthropology or economics) [and technical or vocational training]”. Merriam-Webster OnLinehttp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/humanities • Humanities studies “human constructs and concerns” whereas: • Natural science studies nature • Religious education studies supernatural (i.e., sacred texts and traditions • Technical/vocational training focusses on acquiring specific skills, not knowledge of “human constructs and concerns”.
What are Humanities? Also, unlike social sciences and natural sciences which tend to specialize in specific fields, sub-fields and sub-sub-fields, humanities are multidisciplinary, crossing the boundaries between fields of knowledge and using a variety of approaches.
What are Humanities? Also, unlike vocational and technical training which tend to teach specific skills, useful to get a job humanities focuses on acquiring general skills, useful in all occupations and in all aspects of life.
What are Humanities? Such knowledge, it is claimed, • Develops the full intellectual and moral potential of the individual (i.e., make a human humane and encourage humanity in humanity). • Makes informed citizens, able to participate and make wise judgements about themselves and the world they live in.
What are Humanities? Recap: Humanities • Studies humanity or “human constructs and concerns” and “human nature” as opposed to natural science (studies nature) or religion (studies supernatural) • Is multidisciplinary • Focuses on acquiring general knowledge and general skills as opposed to vocational education (to acquire specific skills for a specific job). • Seeks to develop the full intellectual and moral potential of each person (i.e., make a human humane, develop humanity’s humanity).
Humanities at Dawson • Introduce students to “wide range of cultural experience” • Three Humanities courses required to achieve DEC • “Sequenced” from 101 (Knowledge), 102 (Worldviews) and BXH (Ethics)
Darwin’s Tea Party Course(Knowledge) • This class is in the Knowledge (101) category of Humanities at Dawson • The knowledge we focus on is “biological knowledge”, and its growth, use, misuse and role in shaping human society, our ideas about what who we are and what it means to be human. Questions: • What does “Darwin” refer to in the title of this class? • Why “tea party”?