Arts and Humanities in Progress

A Manifesto of Numanities

  • Dario Martinelli

Part of the Numanities - Arts and Humanities in Progress book series (NAHP, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Dario Martinelli
    Pages 1-9
  3. Dario Martinelli
    Pages 11-83
  4. Dario Martinelli
    Pages 85-201
  5. Dario Martinelli
    Pages 203-240
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 241-254

About this book


The book aims to introduce a research concept called "Numanities", as one possible attempt to overcome the current scientific, social and institutional crisis of the humanities.

Such crisis involves their impact on, and role within, society; their popularity among students and scholars; and their identity as producers and promoters of knowledge. The modern western world and its economic policies have been identified as the strongest cause of such a crisis. Creating the conditions for, but in fact encouraging it.

However, a self-critical assessment of the situation is called for. Our primary fault as humanists was that of stubbornly thinking that the world’s changes could never really affect us, as – we felt – our identity was sacred.

In the light of these approaches, the main strengths of humanities have been identified in the ability to: promote critical thinking and analytical reasoning; provide knowledge and understanding of democracy and social justice; develop leadership, cultural and ethical values. The main problems of humanities are the lack economic relevance; the socio-institutional perception of them as “impractical” and unemployable; the fact that they do not match with technological development. Finally, the resulting crisis consists mainly in the absence (or radical reduction) of funding from institutions; a decrease in student numbers a decrease in interest; a loss of centrality in society.

A Numanities (New Humanities) project should consider all these aspects, with self-critical assessment on the first line. The goal is to unify the various fields, approaches and also potentials of the humanities in the context, dynamics and problems of current societies, and in an attempt to overcome the above-described crisis. Numanities are introduced not as a theoretical paradigm, but in terms of an “umbrella-concept” that has no specific scientific content in it: that particularly means that the many existing new fields and research trends that are addressing the same problems (post-humanism, transhumanism, transformational humanities, etc.) are not competitors of Numanities, but rather possible ways to them.


Numanities Appropriate technology Post-humanism Interdisciplinarity Digital humanities Semiotics Creativity Social change Progress Quality of life

Authors and affiliations

  • Dario Martinelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Kaunas University of TechnologyInternational Semiotics Institute Kaunas University of TechnologyVilniusLithuania

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-45552-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-45553-2
  • Series Print ISSN 2510-442X
  • Series Online ISSN 2510-4438
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