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Humanities- Assinment - Assignment Example

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Epistemology refers to the study of knowledge. It seeks to differentiate true from false knowledge. In the article “Art and Epistemology,” Worth (2005) explored…
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The humanities: Shaping creative, critical-thinking, and communication-savvy citizens for the 21st century 21 August Contrary to what some empiricists claim, the humanities is not dead because it does contribute to epistemology. Epistemology refers to the study of knowledge. It seeks to differentiate true from false knowledge. In the article “Art and Epistemology,” Worth (2005) explored the discourse on the relationship, or the lack thereof, between the arts and epistemology. She criticized the lack of propositional arguments of artworks, although she considered possible means of learning that occurs because of consuming the arts. This essay studies the role of the arts and humanities in seeing the world in new or diverse ways. The humanities and the arts contribute to epistemology because their works have elements that help people achieve a deeper understanding of the world, and they stimulate imagination that produces knowledge; therefore, students should still take humanities courses, because they promote creative thinking, critical analysis, and communication skills that are essential to succeeding in numerous fields.
People can learn knowledge from the arts because they have elements that help people see the world or themselves, or both, in a new light. Worth (2005) considered that art can inspire certain “emotions or activities that are able to facilitate or produce knowledge” by tapping into something that cannot be stated in words. Consumers of the arts and literature can gain new insight and awareness through their interpretations of the latter. Stolnitz (1992), however, argued that the arts do not produce knowledge because they do not offer any kind of truth (cited in Worth, 2005). Plato, however, contended that knowledge can be attained through artwork that represents it (cited in Worth, 2005). He gave the examples of poets, who can talk about courage and beauty, even when they lack complete knowledge of what they mean (cited in Worth, 2005). In other words, it is possible to produce knowledge without using the traditional ways of knowing and learning. Moreover, people can justify knowledge gained from the arts through using its own elements. For example, literature analysis proposes arguments that are based on evidence from the text or artwork. The arts can offer knowledge through non-conventional processes that lead their audience to new ways of seeing their world and lives, while it can also use argumentation methods to justify gained knowledge.
The arts also stimulate imagination that generates knowledge. Romantic epistemology argued that imagination is also a valid source of knowledge (cited in Worth, 2005). This form of epistemology stressed that art and literature can describe the world in many ways, and these ways can produce transcendental knowledge. It is the kind of knowledge that goes beyond conventional methods of thinking and learning, and it is no way inferior to knowledge that came from traditional empiricist methods. Some students, for instance, claim to be “transformed,” after consuming an artwork or book. These are people, who see the world in a new or different way, after their personal consumption of the arts. Hence, art kindles their imagination, which changes their perceptions and behaviors in the process.
Despite some beliefs that the humanities are no longer relevant to the modern world, people should take humanities courses because they study art and literature that develop creative thinking, critical analysis, and communication skills. Donoghue (2010), Jones (2010) and Moon (2012) argued that the humanities have broad applications in different fields. Jones (2010) stressed that the humanities’ academic programs tend to be too narrow, in that graduate students are prepared to be faculty professors only. Instead, she believed that these programs should and can develop graduate students, who can use their expertise in “solving real-world problems and improving the lives of others,” because their humanities education can also be applied in “business, government, performance, public policy, and public service.” Moon (2012) interviewed Julie Gibert, professor of history at Canisius College, and a member of the Tuning Project. The Tuning Project seeks to express the role of history degrees in the modern world. Gibert underscored that numerous science and engineering jobs are “perfect for humanities majors whose interests, aptitudes, and training concentrate on interpreting and communicating information and ideas” (Moon, 2012). Donoghue (2010) agreed with Jones (2010) and Moon (2012) that the humanities have far broader applications beyond the Ivory Tower of the academe. These authors explain that the humanities develop epistemological and communication skills that are critical to scientific, technological, and business fields. It only depends on the humanities programs on how they integrate the arts and literature into practical and workplace concerns.
The arts produce knowledge, but not in the conventional sense. They may lack direct propositions, but their consumers can make arguments about it and use its elements to support these claims. Moreover, the humanities hone creativity, critical thinking, and communication skills that are not only useful inside classrooms, but also in different workplaces. Thus, the humanities, in one form or another, should be embedded in everything that universities and colleges teach, because they contribute to diverse skills that are critical to many fields. Art is not dead. Humanities provide the foundation that shapes creative, critical-thinking, and communication-savvy citizens for the 21st century.
References
Donoghue, F. (2010, September 5). Can the humanities survive the 21st century? The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/Can-the-Humanities-Survive-/124222/
Jones, D.A. (2010, April 9). Are the humanities dead, or are academic programs just too narrow? The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blogs/brainstorm/are-the-humanities-dead-or-are-academic-programs-just-too-narrow/22454
Moon, N. (2012, July 29). Are the humanities dead in today’s world? The Post Journal. Retrieved from http://post-journal.com/page/content.detail/id/607746/Are-The-Humanities-Dead-In-Today-s-World-.html?nav=5192
Worth, S. (2005, July 25). Art and epistemology. Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy. Retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/art-ep/ Read More
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