Home About Subscribe Search Member Area

Humanist Discussion Group

< Back to Volume 32

Humanist Archives: Dec. 21, 2018, 8:54 a.m. Humanist 32.282 - 'humanities' or 'human sciences'

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 32, No. 282.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                   Hosted by King's Digital Lab
                Submit to: humanist@dhhumanist.org

        Date: 2018-12-20 18:25:36+00:00
        From: Peter Jones 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 32.280: 'humanities' or 'human sciences'?

Your question Willard adds support to my belief that there is a place for a
generic conceptual framework to integrate what are often considered disparate
contexts, situations and the many academic (and folk-!!) disciplines that have
evolved and continue to do so.

Your closing sentence says a great deal - incidental as it may be (to me as a
non-DH bystander) as 'caring' is a 'humanistic' quality whereas
an 'allergic reaction' can be defined in 'scientific' terms.

Just an observation here -Reading a book on Critical Mental Health Nursing, the
status of psychiatry as a 'science' is questioned. Psychology is also subject to
this debate, even though research methods, methodologies, data, stats are its
'bread and butter'?

In mental health disciplines of course 'terminology' is central and subject to
often vociferous debate as in diagnosis: both in having a diagnosis or not.
Terminology hurts humanstically :|: Things hurt mechanistically [Sticks &

I can relate to 'Human Sciences' too, as I constantly traverse the 'divide'
between HUMANISTIC and MECHANISTIC concepts, contexts, explanations ...
'Digital Humanities' reverses this to MECHANISTIC - HUMANISTIC.
The aim for me is to integrate - synthesize.

Perhaps you are right in "caring less" - as it is the end-point - the main
purpose - not how we arrive? (Usually the 'journey' is emphasized?)

Next year I hope to have more time to revisit Goethe and his approach to the
sciences - and in particular 'Ways of **Seeing**' and whole - part distinctions.

Sorry I'm not embedded within DH but it is of great interest 'informationally'
(which is another theoretical-practical-management route?).
I look f/w to following other comments.

All the Best,

Peter Jones
Community Mental Health Nurse & Researcher
CMHT Brookside
Aughton Street
Ormskirk L39 3BH, UK
+44 01695 684700
Blogging at "Welcome to the QUAD"

> Date: 2018-12-20 10:05:05+00:00
> From: Willard McCarty 
> Subject: humanities or human sciences?

This is a question about terminology, but I think not just that.

In the interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations I have these
days, I find that the term 'humanities', esp in a European context, is
not quite right for accomplishing the reach I want to achieve to
colleagues in anthropology, the interpretative social sciences and
history, for example. So I've found myself using the term 'human
sciences' (like Geisteswissenschaften, sciences humaines), at the same
time aware that for those who break out in spots when in proximity to
the natural sciences, this term may work against me. But I find that
there's so much in common with all the scientiae, so much that we in or
around or near digital humanities need to know about, that I also find
myself caring less and less about causing allergic reactions.

What do others do? I very much hope not strengthen the barricades in
view of the elders who rule within the fortifications.


Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/),
Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London;
Adjunct Professor, Western Sydney University; Editor, Interdisciplinary
Science Reviews (www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist

Unsubscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted
List posts to: humanist@dhhumanist.org
List info and archives at at: http://dhhumanist.org
Listmember interface at: http://dhhumanist.org/Restricted/
Subscribe at: http://dhhumanist.org/membership_form.php

Editor: Willard McCarty (King's College London, U.K.; Western Sydney University, Australia)
Software designer: Malgosia Askanas (Mind-Crafts)

This site is maintained under a service level agreement by King's Digital Lab.