The Humanities in the World at Large
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Through the last half-century — a very short time — the humanities have come to be held in lower and lower esteem in the eyes of the public and of the official representatives of the people; as though the humanities can now be seen to be ineffectual, obsolescent, of slight relevance to modern circumstances. Since by tradition the humanities are the heart of a university, the universities have also come to be regarded with quizzical contempt, except as far as they provide training for ‘practical’ or lucrative professions. The respect — the almost superstitious veneration — for the humanities that propelled me as a child into classical studies, even at a time when Greek had vanished from the schools and Latin was rapidly disappearing — that regard has turned into an attitude of condescension, the mild compassion we feel for a dying species. The earlier respect was generated by persons of incorruptible conviction; often people of some cultivation, but by no means all of them.
KeywordsHuman Mind Liberal Education Pure Science Official Representative Bare Finger
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