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The Humanities Are Unjustifiable, Ergo, the Humanities are Justified

posted by dru Geography: USA Topics: education

January 7, 2008

The Humanities Are Unjustifiable, Ergo, the Humanities are Justified

Stanley Fish: Will the Humanities Save Us?

To the question “of what use are the humanities?”, the only honest answer is none whatsoever. And it is an answer that brings honor to its subject. Justification, after all, confers value on an activity from a perspective outside its performance. An activity that cannot be justified is an activity that refuses to regard itself as instrumental to some larger good. The humanities are their own good. There is nothing more to say, and anything that is said – even when it takes the form of Kronman’s inspiring cadences – diminishes the object of its supposed praise.


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