Why Do the Humanities Matter?

The Humanities can be described as the study of how people process and document the human experience. Since humans have been able to, we have used philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history, and language to understand and record our world, providing a sense of connection to those who have come before us, as well as to our contemporaries

The Heart of the Human Experience

Insights Into Everything

Through exploration of the humanities we learn how to think creatively and critically, to reason, and to ask questions. Because these skills allow us to gain new insights into everything from poetry and paintings to business models and politics, humanistic subjects have been at the heart of a liberal arts education since the ancient Greeks first used them to educate their citizens.

Understanding Our World

Research into the human experience adds to our knowledge about our world. Through the work of humanities scholars, we learn about the values of different cultures, what goes into making a work of art, and how history is made. Their efforts preserve the great accomplishments of the past, help us understand the world we live in, and give us tools to imagine the future.

Bringing Clarity to the Future

Today, humanistic knowledge continues to provide the ideal foundation for exploring and understanding the human experience. Investigating a branch of philosophy might get you thinking about ethical questions. Learning another language might help you gain an appreciation for the similarities in different cultures. Contemplating a sculpture might make you think about how an artist's life affected her creative decisions. Reading a book from another region of the world, might help you think about the meaning of democracy. Listening to a history lecture might help you better understand the social situations that have shaped the past. All of these insights into other people and their personal and political histories allows us to gain a better sense of how societies work and how our future can be shaped.