The humanities in American higher education is in a state of crisis with declining student enrollment, fewer faculty positions, and diminishing public prestige. Instead of recycling old arguments that have lost their appeal, the humanities must discover and articulate new rationales for their value to students, faculty, administrators, and the public. Why the Humanities Matter Today: In Defense of Liberal Education is an attempt to do so by having philosophers, literature and foreign language professors, historians, and political theorists defend the value and explain the worth of their respective disciplines as well as illuminate the importance of liberal education. By setting forth new arguments about the significance of their disciplines, these scholars show how the humanities can reclaim its place of prominence in American higher education.
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About the Author
Lee Trepanier is professor of political science at Saginaw Valley State University.
Table of ContentsContents
Introduction: Why the Humanities Matter
Chapter 1: The Third Era of Education
Chapter 2: Is Philosophy Impractical? Yes and No, but that’s Precisely Why We Need It
Kristopher G. Phillips
Chapter 3: Comparative Literature: From "Crossroads" of the Humanities to “Rhizome"
Chapter 4: The Limits of Language as a Liberal Art and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s “Letter to Lord Chandos”
James W. Harrison
Chapter 5: Ancient History’s Contribution to Liberal Education
Chapter 6: The Relevance of Political Philosophy and Political Science
About the Contributors