Series: “The Importance of the Humanities” Post #4: Science vs. the Humanities, Round III

In today’s installment of our ongoing series, The Importance of the Humanities, Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker and former literary editor for the New Republic Leon Wieseltier, go head to head against each other. Their article originally appeared in the New Republic and is reproduced here in its entirety. Steven Pinker: In his commentary on my essay “Science is Not your Enemy,” Leon Wieseltier writes, “It is not for science to say whether science belongs in morality and…

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Series: “The Importance of the Humanities” Post #3: Crimes Against Humanities

The third post in our ongoing series on The Importance of the Humanities opens a debate between The New Republic‘s literary editor, Leon Wieseltier, and Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Wieseltier’s position is that science is wonderful, but it plays within certain boundaries of knowledge. Pinker’s position is that we must not fear science because, after all, the sciences and the humanities are inextricably linked. Wieseltier’s article appears in…

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Series: “The Importance of the Humanities” Post #2: Why History Matters

I’m reminded today of a post that appeared in Inside Higher Ed in November of 2012. This post, titled “Why History Matters,” written by Professor Amy Lewis (at the time a colleague of ours at Drury University) is as poignant today as it was then. It appears below in its entirety.   Why History Matters It’s advising season on my campus. My management students will want guidance selecting their spring classes. Their major classes are…

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Series: “The Importance of the Humanities” Post #1: Why Teach English?

Today introduces the first post in what will be a 5-part series reproducing a very important discussion going on recently in some of America’s most important and widely-read publications. The topic is “the importance of the humanities,” and the authors are some of the most esteemed benefactors and purveyors of the humanities, but the opinions of these writers appear alongside those who write from a different perspective, and who wish to urge caution to readers…

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