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Why the Humanities Matter Today

In Defense of Liberal Education

Edited by Lee Trepanier - Contributions by Kirk Fitzpatrick; James W. Harrison; Nozomi Irei; David Lunt; Kristopher G. Phillips and Lee Trepanier

The humanities in American higher education is in a state of crisis with declining student enrollment, fewer faculty positions, and diminishing public prestige. Instead of recycling old arguments that have lost their appeal, the humanities must discover and articulate new rationales for their value to students, faculty, administrators, and the public. Why the Humanities Matter Today: In Defense of Liberal Education is an attempt to do so by having philosophers, literature and foreign language professors, historians, and political theorists defend the value and explain the worth of their respective disciplines as well as illuminate the importance of liberal education. By setting forth new arguments about the significance of their disciplines, these scholars show how the humanities can reclaim its place of prominence in American higher education. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 166Size: 6 1/4 x 9 3/4
978-1-4985-3860-2 • Hardback • March 2017 • $90.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4985-3861-9 • eBook • March 2017 • $89.99 • (£60.00)
Lee Trepanier is professor of political science at Saginaw Valley State University.

Introduction: Why the Humanities Matter
Lee Trepanier

Chapter 1: The Third Era of EducationKirk Fitzpatrick
Chapter 2: Is Philosophy Impractical? Yes and No, but that’s Precisely Why We Need It
Kristopher G. Phillips

Chapter 3: Comparative Literature: From "Crossroads" of the Humanities to “Rhizome"
Nozomi Irei

Chapter 4: The Limits of Language as a Liberal Art and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s “Letter to Lord Chandos”
James W. Harrison

Chapter 5: Ancient History’s Contribution to Liberal Education
David Lunt

Chapter 6: The Relevance of Political Philosophy and Political Science
Lee Trepanier

About the Contributors
Essential reading for faculty in these and other disciplines and students deciding on a course of study. It should also be read by policymakers and parents and anyone in need of a crash course on the value of the humanities and liberal arts education.
Steven J. Michels, Sacred Heart University

In a world of increasing complexity and danger, the need for the humanities has never been greater, and yet liberal arts education is in rapid decline everywhere. This excellent collection of essays is an important contribution to this pressing issue. Instead of regurgitating platitudes about the inherent value of the humanities—that they make students more well-rounded, better communicators, and critical thinkers—the authors attempt to defend the humanities by considering new approaches and formulating ground-breaking arguments. This volume is essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of liberal arts education, and looking for fresh ways to articulate the necessity and worth of the humanities.
Paul Corey, Humber College