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Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Center for the Study of Interdisicplinarity, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL
Beyond the Great Divide: Toward a Rapprochement of Science and the Humanities
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: Beyond the Great Divide: Toward a Rapprochement of Science and the Humanities
: Kelli Barr
Abstract : A common observation in higher education today is the relative isolation of the disciplines associated with the sciences from disciplines in the humanities. In many instances, they occupy entirely different sections of campuses. Even in a small college such as Eckerd, the separation, sometimes physical but almost always intellectual, between professors and students alike belonging to the different fields is palpable. But this rift is not a new one; indeed, it has been a point of discussion since science rose to the forefront as an intellectual and social occupation many decades ago. The subsequent supremacy of scientific knowledge in our society has spurned an unwarranted judgment of the utility of the humanities in spite of its former glory as a field of desirable intellectual pursuits. I argue that the lack of sufficient emphasis in education on the theoretical goals and philosophical framework of both disciplines is a result of this sociological movement toward a precise account of humanity and the world. The reality of 21st century American higher education and our general education system is that the primacy of scientific, epistemological knowledge is at its peak; the movement toward analytics has influenced every discipline. If this is to be remedied in any way, it can only be from an interdisciplinary approach, one that accentuates the common aims of science and the humanities: to orient ourselves in the world in terms of where we are in relation to other things and what kind of place we are in. Though the fields ask fundamentally different kinds of orientation questions about the world, the vital importance of both to the welfare of humankind cannot be denied.
: Philosophy of Science
: Eckerd College
: Eckerd College Ford Scholars Program
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