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Humanities 102


Submitted By Mkc425
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Humanities Today Paper
Marlon Chambers
Jan 22, 2015
Nancy Erickson

Humanities Today Paper

In this paper, I will discuss humanities. I will differentiate between the humanities and other modes of human inquiry and expression. I shall list types of humanities and explain why each one gives reflects current developments in politics, socioeconomics, and technology.

Colorado State University defines humanities as, “The branches of learning (such as philosophy or languages) that investigate human constructs and concerns, as opposed to natural processes. The humanities, such as classical and modern languages, literature, history, and philosophy, have the overall goal of the exploration and explanation of human experience.”

Art has long been a means of expressing social or political ideas. Anselm Kiefer took art and

brought it to an entirely new level by using his art to bring attention to national identity and

collective memory. In the process his art began evolving to include occult symbolism, theology,

and mysticism. All of his work shares a common theme of the trauma experienced by entire

societies and the continual rebirth and renewal in life.

Music defines periods of history as well as generations. It evolves with societies/cultures

and tends to give people their identity. Music has a strong connection through celebration,

remembrance, expression of emotions, and ministering to others. It allows the human race to

connect to their own humanity not only as individuals, but as a collective society. Music has

been a way of human expression since the beginning of time. It is argued that music is not only

listened to but felt throughout the soul. It evokes feelings of love, anger, contentment, and

happiness. The most important thing about music in connection with the humanities is that it is a

concept outside of the human psyche that can be felt within.

Architectural works have been praised for centuries. Styles of architecture lend their names to

eras. One of the most famous feats of architecture is the Parthenon, which began construction in

447 B.C. and was completed in 432 B.C. by the Greeks. Study of this magnificent feat of

architectural accomplishment has given historians a great understanding of the Greek culture.

Surviving architectural accomplishments have helped to identify many historical civilizations

much in the same way as the Parthenon has with the Ancient Greeks.

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as existence, knowledge,

values, reason, mind, and language. It is distinguished from other ways of addressing such

problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.

Philosophy means love of wisdom and was originally used to refer to the special way of life of

early Greek philosophers.

The following branches are the main areas of study: Metaphysics, the study of the nature of

being and the world; Epistemology, the nature and scope of knowledge; Ethics, moral

philosophy; Political Philosophy, the study of government in relationship to individuals and

communities; Aesthetics, which deals with beauty, art, enjoyment, and matters of taste and

sentiment; Logic, the study of valid argument forms; Philosophies of mind, language, and

religion which are inquiries into the state of each in the human perspective.

Great philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, are known for their contributions in the

foundation of Western Philosophy. Questions about art, music, and child rearing were tackled by

most philosophers in order to gain a better understanding of the human condition. One of

Socrates famous studies was done on the different relationships between fathers and sons should

the son prove either successful or unsuccessful in life. Studies of this nature are still being done

today with the results being compared to the studies done so very long ago.

Literature is the art of written works. However, not all written works are considered to be

literature. The Epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest known literary works. Different historical

periods have emphasized various characteristics of literature. Genres of literature can be tied to

different historical periods. For example, Romance is considered the gene of the Middle Ages

while the 19th century gave birth to the Naturalism and Realism genres.

Literature is not tied only to books or written stories, but also to poetry, essays, and even some

oral representations such as plays. Literature is constantly evolving. The present century will be

known for electronic literature, films, comic books, and graphic novels. Literature has always

played a large role on the evolution of society and has even given rise to cult sects that separate

themselves from the masses based on the beliefs they created from a particular piece of literature.

Religions have even been known to rise from the pages of books. The humanities will always be

important in the studying the evolution of cultures and individuals. The humanities allow the

present to look into the past through art, music, architecture, philosophy, and literature and

determine what happened, why it happened, and how it happened.


Writing@CSU. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Weber State's College of Arts & Humanities. (2014). Retrieved from

University of Phoenix. (2014). The Humanistic Tradition. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, HUM102 website.

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