Free «The Meaning of Humanities» Essay Sample

Humanities play an important role in development of thinking and analytical skills. The relevance of aesthetics for this discussion does not revolve around philosophical notions of beauty as much as notions of appropriate and established forms and a recognition of differences in style. Educators who work directly with students in the classroom are particularly well-placed to respond to this need. Although this study and others done by developmentalists and communication scholars illustrate that children interpret visual messages differendy from adults, the researchers do not address spatial intelligence in any significant way to explain differences in comprehension. Being competent within die spatial realm of intelligence involves several abilities, which concentrate on perceiving objects and their transformations in space. For instance, a person who has acquired spatial knowledge recognizes qualities of an object, perceives changes in that object, mentally rotates the object in space, and reproduces it by drawings, paintings, and other graphic depictions.

Humanities help people to acquire critical and speculative skills. The methods by which the subject matter is shaped and styled to meet the needs and practices audiences, build upon a history of aesthetics that reaches back to ancient science. Awareness of the possibilities in human history representation encourages human sensitivity to the modes and styles of representation, including news and documentary. The reflexive mode used in humanities integrates some examination of the process of representation itself into the argument. This is a more complicated mode of address and it is the least commonly chosen. Reflexive ideas examine bow we depict and describe the world. Humanities assist us in interpreting the meaning of life and place of a human in the world. As children read and enact their interpretations, they express not only the possible worlds of other characters in time and space but the actual minds and imaginative possibilities of their own reality. Writers use situations to complete both the official work of the classroom and the unofficial work of negotiating their social positions with teachers and peers. Such works as A Man of All Seasons by Robert Bolt and Candide by Voltaire teach people how to behave and interact with the world and people around them. Drama experiences, like children's play, can enable students to construct purposes and audiences for their writing. For instance, using the character of Thomas Moore, Bolt dramatizes the written piece of literature and unveils corruptive nature of other humans and their evils. People read, interpret, and negotiate die enactment of text adhering (more or less) to the characters, dialogue, and plot written on the page (Bishop 45). Beyond encouraging learners to develop critical thinking skills, humanities can also make important contributions to the ongoing task of assessment of aptitudes and achievements in this area. While sophisticated methods have already been developed for the measurement of some forms of thinking skills-most notably, intelligence-there is much less precedent for the assessment of analogical thinking in visual matters. There is a need for context-sensitive evaluation that measures skills as part of students' overall interactions with visual art. Built upon skepticism about the ability of humanities to provide objective representations of real life, they attempt to encourage a heightened critical consciousness among learners. For instance, the main character Candide teaches readers how to behave morally and recognize true friendship and love. Developmental literature points to stages of ethics building, which advance, for the most part, by the experience a child (or adult) has with blocks and not so much by age. The concept of the "whole of life" marks the bounds of rational thinking. It is beyond knowledge as people usually think of knowledge, though a person may quite well have some intuition of its meaning. In a somewhat similar way, the images associated with Humanities represent the limits of our thought, but they give an indication of the meaning of the whole by which, alone, the meaning of the parts can be seen (Bishop 76).

It may be objected that if the pronouncements of an authority have been found to be reliable up to a certain point, this justifies any faith in the balance of the declarations of that authority. But the point at issue is not what one has been able to check in the past, but how he will settle the question at hand. Always a new situation arises in which the authority must be accepted or rejected, but accepted only provisionally until one's own knowledge is adequate to the problem involved. Faith involves one's understanding of the meaning and purpose of life, his attitude toward the world. As one's knowledge grows, his faith should grow, if his faith has been placed in the true reality. Knowledge exposes a false faith: it strengthens rather than displaces a true one. That there is place in religion for accepting the word of an authority is not to be denied, just as its place in science is not to be denied; but this is not the primary meaning of faith. Faith does not supply what is missing in knowledge. It helps us obtain knowledge, not as a method, but as an attitude in which learning is made possible. Humanities, interpreted as thinking of the past, could not be explained scientifically, that brought in the concept of purpose to cover the deficiency in knowledge of temporal cause, led to confusion when human knowledge was expanded by research (Bishop 71).

In sum, Humanities can be characterizes as the attempt to obtain a comprehensive, coherent picture of life in which all aspects of human experience are fitted together in one over-all view.. Humanities use the data of the real world along with aesthetic, moral, and religious experience, appraising them through reason and logic to trace their mutual relations. It seeks to answer such questions as how we know what we do, what life's true values are, and what the nature of reality is.


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