Humanities Defined - Myers

How do we define "the humanities"?

Dictionary Definition:

The branches of learning (such as philosophy or languages) that investigate human constructs and concerns, as opposed to natural processes.

But what does that mean?

The humanities, such as classical and modern languages, literature, history, and philosophy, have the overall goal of the exploration and explanation of human experience. Some would include the fine arts (music, art, dance, and drama) in the humanities, but others view the arts as a separate category. (We include the interpretation of the fine arts in this course).

In most disciplines in the humanities, written texts are extremely important, especially in history, philosophy, and literature. Historians attempt a systematic documentation and analysis of events related to a particular people, country, or period. Literary authors and artists attempt to capture for others their own human experiences and understanding of the world.

The humanities involve inquiry into consciousness, values, ideas, and ideals as they seek to describe how experiences shape our understanding of the world.