Why Study Humanities

September 16, 2016

Thanks to Gary Schoepfel, HMU Tutor, for today's post.

I have spent the greater part of my life swimming in the humanities. With the arrival of the “new school year” comes two perennial and troubling questions I ask myself each September. What good do I get from reading, writing, discussing, and thinking about those many things we pigeonhole under that heading, humanities? And what business do I have “selling” this stuff to anyone? My students, my friends and relatives, acquaintances, strangers on the bus?

In late August, I spent several hours lakeside with a dear friend nursing a G&T doing our best to give satisfying answers to these difficult and important questions. I’ll not share our observations and conclusions, but I will share an unexpected outcome of our tête-à-tête: a YouTube video from the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Ideas Festival. My friend, Ann Kirkland, Founder of Classical Pursuits, sent this link to me:

I encourage you to find a quiet hour to watch and listen carefully. If you have an interest in my two questions, you will hear two very thoughtful people give their views. It may help you formulate an answer for yourself. Enjoy!

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