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'What is it the Humanities has to offer?

'Training in what the world of late antiquity and the Middle Ages called "the language arts," that is, in the modes of grammatical, rhetorical and logical inquiry essential to understanding written texts, in the modes of reasoning needed to make crucial distinctions and to formulate concise thought, and in the precise modes of expression necessary to articulate and communicate new ideas, regardless of the field. Language is not a transparent vessel through which thought merely passes unimpeded. It is the very stuff of thinking. And it is the sine qua non for the effective transformation of ideas, no matter how good, into action. Humanities courses, reading and writing intensive courses, and foreign language courses are where many students learn the verbal skills necessary to whatever career path they may eventually choose.'

(Story via Liam Riordan)

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Written by jonippolito (#2)
2146 days ago
Of course I agree with the author that the Humanities have value, but like all university units today I think humanities education needs an overhaul to remain relevant to a perilous and rapidly changing globe. I got the sense that Mr. Bloch would be content if Yale eminences such as Harold Bloom kept teaching their humanities classes the way they always have. As someone who has sat in on Professor Bloom's courses, I find this brand of erudition without worldly engagement increasingly superfluous in a world on the brink.



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