humanities

The humanities are studies about human culture, such as literature, philosophy, and history. Studying the humanities gives you general knowledge, but not a practical trade — you probably wouldn’t study humanities at beauty school.

If you're studying to be a dentist or a blacksmith, you're learning to be something in particular. Studying the humanities is different. The humanities provide general knowledge about the best accomplishments of human beings throughout history. Learning the works of Shakespeare, Plato, and Beethoven is part of the humanities. The humanities make a person educated, but not necessarily for a specific profession. Most people require a more specific area of study beyond the humanities.

Definitions of humanities
1

n studies intended to provide general knowledge and intellectual skills (rather than occupational or professional skills)

Synonyms:
arts, humanistic discipline, liberal arts
Types:
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neoclassicism
revival of a classical style (in art or literature or architecture or music) but from a new perspective or with a new motivation
classicalism, classicism
a movement in literature and art during the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe that favored rationality and restraint and strict forms
Romantic Movement, Romanticism
a movement in literature and art during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that celebrated nature rather than civilization
English
the discipline that studies the English language and literature
history
the discipline that records and interprets past events involving human beings
art history
the academic discipline that studies the development of painting and sculpture
chronology
the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events
beaux arts, fine arts
the study and creation of visual works of art
performing arts
arts or skills that require public performance
Occidentalism
the scholarly knowledge of western cultures and languages and people
Oriental Studies, Orientalism
the scholarly knowledge of Asian cultures and languages and people
philosophy
the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
literary study
the humanistic study of literature
library science
the study of the principles and practices of library administration
linguistics, philology
the humanistic study of language and literature
musicology
the scholarly and scientific study of music
Sinology
the study of Chinese history and language and culture
stemmatics, stemmatology
the humanistic discipline that attempts to reconstruct the transmission of a text (especially a text in manuscript form) on the basis of relations between the various surviving manuscripts (sometimes using cladistic analysis)
trivium
(Middle Ages) an introductory curriculum at a medieval university involving grammar and logic and rhetoric; considered to be a triple way to eloquence
quadrivium
(Middle Ages) a higher division of the curriculum in a medieval university involving arithmetic and music and geometry and astronomy
musical performance
the act of performing music
dance, dancing, saltation, terpsichore
taking a series of rhythmical steps (and movements) in time to music
acting, performing, playacting, playing
the performance of a part or role in a drama
painting
creating a picture with paints
carving, sculpture
creating figures or designs in three dimensions
architecture
the discipline dealing with the principles of design and construction and ornamentation of fine buildings
iconology
the branch of art history that studies visual images and their symbolic meaning (especially in social or political terms)
glottochronology
the determination of how long ago different languages evolved from a common source language
ethics, moral philosophy
the philosophical study of moral values and rules
aetiology, etiology
the philosophical study of causation
aesthetics, esthetics
(art) the branch of philosophy dealing with beauty and taste (emphasizing the evaluative criteria that are applied to art)
axiology
the study of values and value judgments
jurisprudence, law, legal philosophy
the branch of philosophy concerned with the law and the principles that lead courts to make the decisions they do
metaphysics
the philosophical study of being and knowing
dialectic
any formal system of reasoning that arrives at the truth by the exchange of logical arguments
logic
the branch of philosophy that analyzes inference
epistemology
the philosophical theory of knowledge
lit, literature
the humanistic study of a body of literature
comparative literature
study of literary works from different cultures (often in translation)
lit crit, literary criticism
the informed analysis and evaluation of literature
poetics
study of poetic works
classics
study of the literary works of ancient Greece and Rome
rhetoric
study of the technique and rules for using language effectively (especially in public speaking)
dialectology
the branch of philology that is devoted to the study of dialects
lexicology
the branch of linguistics that studies the lexical component of language
transcendental philosophy, transcendentalism
any system of philosophy emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical and material
Type of:
bailiwick, discipline, field, field of study, study, subject, subject area, subject field
a branch of knowledge

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