Humanities are disciplines that studies human in his spiritual, mental, moral, cultural, and social activities. By the object, subject, and methodology of the study, they are often identified or intersect with the social sciences, contrasting with the natural and physical sciences on the basis of the criteria and method. If in other sciences precision is important, in the humanities, the vastness and complexity of understanding of the subject is important, so that, if possible, every person found in it something of its own, obtaining by that a certain aesthetic and intellectual satisfaction.
It should be noted that, unlike the natural sciences, dominated by the subject-object relationship, in the humanities we are talking about the relationship of subject-subject (and therefore postulated the need for inter-subjective relations, dialogue, and communication with others).
In addition, there is criticism of consciousness as a single consciousness as “monologism.” In this sense, the key thinkers of the philosophical and humanitarian paradigm change in 1917-1923 – Heidegger, Husserl, Rosenzweig, Wittgenstein, M. Buber, O. Rosenstock-Huessy, Bakhtin – continued and radicalized “postidealistic” “change in mindset” of the XIX century, worked out by Feuerbach, Kierkegaard, Marx, and Nietzsche on the clue of negative criticism in the late Schelling to Hegel’s philosophy. The humanities began to take shape in the institutionalized (university) discipline only in the XIX century. At this time, the complex of so-called humanities disciplines united under the name of “moral sciences.” (Geisteswissenschaften). The concept of a “moral sciences” is found in the translation by Shill A System of Logic by John Stuart Mill.
The extensive use of the concept of “moral sciences” gets through Wilhelm Dilthey’s work Introduction to the science of the spirit (Einleitung in die Geisteswissenschaften, 1883), which worked out the methodological principles of justification of the “moral sciences.” In this paper, Dilthey tried to draw a sharp line between the moral sciences and natural sciences, he considered moral sciences those, which study socio-historical reality. The purpose of these sciences, according to Dilthey, is the experience of the manifestations of this reality and their comprehension and understanding.
Karl-Otto Apel in his book The Transformation of Philosophy (1973) argued that such disciplines as various types of philology, simply cannot be part of the neopositivism theory – a circumstance which, of course, may be due to the fact that in the English-speaking Countries «humanities» – «humanitarian sciences” – are still considered through the pre-scientific experience of the “humanistic artes” – in particular, the rhetoric and literature criticism, whereas the concept of ”science” continues to be guided by the ideal of natural-scientific method.
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