History and Philosophy of the Humanities
Amsterdam University Press
The humanities include disciplines as diverse as literary theory, linguistics, history, film studies, theology, and philosophy. Do these various fields of study have anything in common, which distinguishes them from e.g. physics or sociology? The tripartite division between the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities may seem self-evident, but it has arisen only in the course of the 19th century, and has been contested ever since.
History and Philosophy of the Humanities: An Introduction presents a reasoned overview of the conceptual and historical backgrounds of the humanities. In four sections, it discusses:
- The most influential views on scientific knowledge from Aristotle to Thomas Kuhn;
- The birth of the modern humanities;
- The various methodological schools and conceptual issues in the humanities;
- Some themes that set the agenda for current debates in the humanities: critiques of modernity; gender, sexuality and identity; and post-colonialism.
Thus, it provides students in the various disciplines of the humanities with a comprehensive understanding of the backgrounds of their field, its relation with other disciplines, and the state of the art in the humanities at large. Intended readership: advanced undergraduate and graduate students.
Michiel Leezenberg teaches in the Philosophy department and in the MA programme 'Islam in the Modern World' at the University of Amsterdam.