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Cents and Sensibility: What Economics Can Learn from the Humanities. Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017.
 
The crisis of the humanities has been well-covered with a decline in students enrolling in its programs, an oversupply of doctorates who cannot find an academic position, and a diminishment of respect for these subjects because there are no jobs…

A New History of the Humanities: The Search for Principles and Patterns from Antiquity to the Present. Rens Bod. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.
 
A New History of the Humanities traces the origins and evolution of the disciplines of linguistics, historiography, philology, music, art theory, logic, rhetoric, and poetics from antiquity to today. The common thread among these disciplines and through…

Why The Humanities Matter Today: In Defense of Liberal Education. Lee Trepanier, ed. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2017.
 
This book promises to tell the reader why the humanities matter today and moreover why a new approach to the defense of the humanities is needed. Lee Trepanier, editor and author of both the Introduction and the final chapter, includes political science within the…

Commenting in 1940 about the perspective that had given modern education its fundamentally secular character, the sociologist Florian Znankecki spoke of “the deeply stimulating conviction that man, the individual man, this ephemeral being dependent on his natural milieu for his bodily life and on his social milieu for his spiritual life, can alone and unaided by any divine grace or…

In my essay, "The Place of the Humanities in the University Today," I reviewed some of the major critiques of the humanities and its subsequent failed strategies to make itself relevant to students, the university, and the public.[1] The traditional appeal of the humanities' intrinsic value, the claim that it fosters a certain skill set, and the embracement of popular…

The decline of the humanities in American higher education – literature, history, philosophy, classical studies, linguistics, and foreign languages – is most recently evident in the drop in enrollments from 17.2% of degrees in 1967 to 6.5% in 2013.[1] Further proof of this decline is the decreasing number of academic positions available in these disciplines. For instance, in the 2013-14…

I am not happy these days. I teach in the humanities at a Canadian University. And – unlike my more Protestant-minded, less eudemonistical colleagues – I think persistent, intractable unhappiness is a clear sign that something is wrong. The following remarks are therefore a hybrid of personal therapy and scholarly analysis. My suspicion is that the state of post-secondary humanities…