Students of the humanities confront two fundamental questions: How valid and rigorous is the type of knowledge attained in these disciplines? And what good is it? In The Humanities in the Age of Technology, Ciriaco MorÃ³n Arroyo offers a systematic inquiry into these questions and outlines the ongoing crisis of the humanities. He speaks to the low value society places on such disciplines as linguistics, literature, history, philosophy, and theology. His study is theoretical.
The author begins with a definition of the humanities, and, since the social and the natural sciences have humanistic aspects, he pays attention to the disciplines of literature, history, philosophy, and theology. The plural term "disciplines" points to the unifying nucleus of the interdisciplinary; the interdisciplinary is rooted in the human being as the focus from which all questions in the humanities and sciences emerge. Subsequent chapters are devoted to the phenomena of reading, understanding texts, and knowledge of reality. The final chapters are concerned with the usefulness of these disciplines in our society. The author argues that the humanities are the most useful disciplines, as they are the "sciences" that deal with human concerns such as personal identity, collective identity, communication, creativity, and the ultimate sense of life.
"It is hypocritical or naÃ¯ve to defend the humanities as a bulwark against science
and technology. The humanities, far from opposing them, are the halo that showers
them with meaning and which receives meaning from their efforts."--from the book
Ciriaco MorÃ³n Arroyo, professor of Hispanic studies and comparative literature at Cornell University, is the author, editor, or translator of numerous works. This book was first published as Las humanidades en la era technolÃ³gica by Ediciones Nobel, 1998.
"A substantial scholarly work dealing with the humanities, with their meaning and mission in our time and in contemporary civilization.... This study is anchored in judicious thought and reflection, in sound judgment, and in a thorough knowledge and command of the subject. Arroyo's scholarship is invariably impressive both in latitude and in depth."--Prof. George A. Panichas, Editor, Modern Age
"A timely exposition of the role and importance of the humanities in the modern world. The book serves simultaneously the dual role of survey and illustrative method. From the early humanists and their world to the post modernist milieu, every significant topic is studied, discussed, and integrated into a cogent whole. An immense belief in value and truth-so unfortunately out of favor these days-underpins every page. With systematic and almost relentless determination, Moron-Arroyo's book argues his defense of the humanities and their methodologies, displaying in the process extraordinary erudition and common sense. For the Hispanic reader the book is also a treasure trove of connections between Spanish thought and mainstream Humanism. Because it is so rare to find such references in English texts, this is a most welcome addition to the current literature. This is an indispensable book; it is a book to learn from."--Luis F. Costa, Dean, College of Arts and Humanities, California State University, Fresno
"This book is a 'must-read' for anyone teaching the humanities. Briefly reviewing external and internal challenges to the humanities today, Ciriaco Moron Arroyo theorizes the nature of humanistic study, its disciplinary means and ends, and its greater relevance to the contemporary world. Proposing (and demonstrating) the value of the phenomenological method for humanities research and teaching, he offers a lucid, self-reflexive approach that is both reproducible and open to dialogue, debate, and refinement, keeping the reader mindful along the way of the traps of relativism and subjectivism. The heart of his bril
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