Free Essay on Humanities and Science

With science as a central component of the human activity, it is useful to divide it into two groups:

  1. Sciences as a set of disciplines exploring nature. The main feature of the sciences is that phenomenal objects of nature are quite simple and stable, they are real and their properties do not depend on human will and action;
  2. Humanities imply the study of the human community, its characteristics and activities.

Humanities are very complex in terms of methodology (many fundamental things may not be checked in practice and are not verifiable at all, as a subject of pseudoscientific and political speculation; humanities study not only phenomenal, but the noumenal things).

However, humanities and sciences do not oppose one another, because in the modern world, they are closely intertwined. It is at the intersection of several disciplines that the most important discovery is made.

It just so happened that the humanities and sciences not only cannot exist together, but are often considered as antipodes. According to the Web of Science database, humanities have a share of (by the most optimistic estimates) up to 8% of publications in the world scientific press. Anyway, their share was small, but in some countries there has been a marked shift towards chemistry and physics, to the detriment of such disciplines as clinical medicine (20.5% of world publications, 4.8% in post-soviet republics), therefore, we cannot talk about a significant emphasis on the humanities in any way.

The fact that non-scientific publications are less focused on humanities researches may be explained by their smaller share compering to the sciences.

However, even among scientists and scientific journalists range of opinions about what should or should there be publications on humanitarian discovery and researches, and if so, how, is very wide. Some of them simply do not realize what new and interesting can be discovered, for example, by modern philosophy, as philosophers and social scientists are becoming more and more like political consultants today. Others consider annoying eternal uncertainty: for example, an article in The New York Times Does Your Language Shape How You Think? that is full of examples of how language affects our perception. However, the approach is far from the depth of, say, Noam Chomsky’s work on universal grammar. The third approach the problem more pragmatically, considering humanitarian publications entertaining reading about psychology, history, archaeology, that is pure infotainment.

Popular science media often unwittingly use the term “science” meaning humanities as well. However, the humanitarian news is actually quite widely reported in scientific press. Simple research tools in sociology, psychology, economics and archaeology have also evolved so that neither journalists nor the readers no longer consider them as purely humanitarian, so it is not surprising to them reported among other scientific studies.

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