Are the humanities being cast aside just when we need them most? New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd makes this argument:
"Trustees at Marymount University in Virginia voted unanimously in February to phase out majors such as English, history, art, philosophy and sociology. How can students focus on slowly unspooling novels when they have disappeared inside the kinetic world of their phones, lured by wacky videos and filtered FOMO photos? Why should they delve into hermeneutics and epistemology when they can simply exchange flippant, shorthand tweets and texts? In a world where brevity is the soul of social media, what practical use can come from all that voluminous, ponderous reading? ... Strangely enough, the humanities are faltering just at the moment when we’ve never needed them more. Americans are starting to wrestle with colossal and dangerous issues about technology, as A.I. begins to take over the world. ... 'There is no time in our history in which the humanities, philosophy, ethics and art are more urgently necessary than in this time of technology’s triumph,' said Leon Wieseltier, the editor of Liberties, a humanistic journal. 'Because we need to be able to think in nontechnological terms if we’re going to figure out the good and the evil in all the technological innovations. Given society’s craven worship of technology, are we going to trust the engineers and the capitalists to tell us what is right and wrong?'"
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