American Council of Learned Societies
WHAT ARE THE HUMANITIES?
In our discussion we speak broadly of the humanities. We mean to include those areas normally understood as the arts, the humanities, and the social sciences. While the arts connote the arena of active creation or performance of works of human expression, the humanities comprise those areas of intellectual investigation that focus on the preservation, transmission, and interpretation of the human record. Their cousins, the social sciences, focus on the analysis of social forces and the modeling of laws underlying the formation of society and of the individual's relationship to society. The social scienceseconomics, political science, sociology, psychologyrely more on observation of current social forces and analysis of data than on historical document and cultural object.
One might broadly categorize the humanities as follows:
I. Introduction and Background
II. Toward a Common Language: Methods and Context
III. Software and Standards Development
IV. Economic and Institutional Issues
V. Next Steps: Talk First to Select Actions Better
Notes | APPENDICES