diary entry

Humanities Lecture

What is the humanities center?

increasing the power of empathy and the ability to enjoy pleasures, these are the purposes of the humanities. 

What are the humanities? and what is the purpose of them?

When the humanities are under attack, man and humans as a whole are under attack. Because the humanities are an extention of man, if you attack man’s extension, you will attack him as well.

The artist is a humanist. 

What discipline owns this painting? (Art history) but there is an argument that this painting is being used by all disciplines. Thus: Humanist understanding is contextual and there is no end to context. 

What is the subject matter of philosophy? There is no end to the subject matter. Subject matter cannot be contained to one field. Even those who study medicine and the human body are required to understand it through understanding other things: literature, biology, chemistry, etc.

“Garbage is garbage, but the study of garbage is scholarship.”

True scholarship involves transcending the limits of your discipline. 

One must adopt a fierce “anti-specialization” because, “There were no two aspects of being human that were not related to one another.” Thus Bach is related to Keats and so on. 

The humanities help us understand the capacity of men.

Democracy demands wisdom and the humanities provide that wisdom, just look at the trivium and quadrivium goals.

The humanities have no inherent political bias, but perhaps it is the interpretations of these that are, the interpretation of humanity.

The humanities are not reducable to facts, but it speaks of quality not quantity. It qualifies man rather than quantifies him. 

The foundation of governance is self-governance. Thus the focus of education is to teach man to govern himself. 

“There are no plain facts in the history of anything, only degrees of plausibility. Every statement, no matter how fully documented, is subject to doubt and remains a fact so long as nobody questions it.” H. W. Janson

Recovering a mind from an object. That is the point of reading past scholars. It is to obtain their mind through the objects that they have left behind. Also, we can obtain the mind of God, and he encourages us to do so, by pulling out his mind from his objects that he has giving us. 

“There is always a going on within us a process of formulation and interpretation whose subject matter is our own self.” Erich Auerbach

The object never provides the path or evidence of its own understanding.

The act of composition for the scienctist is not important because the facts wish to stand on their own. The humanist must rely on the composition because it is linked directly to his identity.

(I don’t enjoy the tone in this speakers voice that causes a division between humanists and scientists with his jokes, but I understand his sentiment. I have felt this myself and spoken this way myself).

The scientist would say that the presence of desire contaminates the study, but the humanist relies on the desire, completely depends on the realization of the desires. 

There is a crisis in the humanities. 

What are the digital humanities? Perhaps it is the cyborg-ness of the humanities, since the minds of man are relient on technology, that the internet and the computers are an extension of the human mind.