The Humanities: An Appraisal

The Humanities: An Appraisal

The Humanities: An Appraisal

The Humanities: An Appraisal

Excerpt

Within the last three or four years, a number of symposia on the humanities have been held in this country, and others are being projected. Books and many papers on the subject are continually being published. Therefore it occurs to me that the public may well wonder why such meetings are held and why the papers should be brought out in book form. Of course when a symposium on enzymes or on nuclear fission is announced, everyone knows at once that its purpose is to bring together the specialists who can add to the sum total of knowledge on the subject; and everyone also knows that the papers will be comprehensible and significant to only a relatively small group of scientists. But neither the raison d'être nor the clientele of a symposium on the humanities is so clearcut.

In planning the symposium on the Humanities in American Society, the Executive Committee of the Division of Humanities hoped not so much to add to our knowledge of the role or function of the humanistic studies as to call to the attention of the larger public the existence of the humanities and, so to speak, to present them in action. In order to give due importance to the fine arts and music the meetings were scheduled to coincide with the exhibition of masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum at the University of Wisconsin, and the final session of the . . .

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