The humanities represent a type of knowledge distinct from, and yet encompassing, scientific knowledge. Drawing on philosophical hermeneutics in the tradition of the Geisteswissenschaften
, as well as on the Latin rhetorical tradition and on Greek paideia
, this essay presents humanities knowledge as “involved knowing”. Science, in principle, abstracts from the subjective, psychological conditions of knowing, including its emotional and willful determinants, as introducing personal biases, and it attempts also to neutralize historical and cultural contingencies. Humanities knowledge, in contrast, focuses attention on precisely these subjective and historical factors as intrinsic to any knowledge in its full human purport. In particular, poetry, which historically is the matrix of knowledge in all fields, including science, deliberately explores and amply expresses these specifically human registers of significance. The poetic underpinnings of knowledge actually remain crucial to human knowing and key to interpreting its significance in all domains, including the whole range of scientific fields, throughout the course of its development and not least in the modern age so dominated by science and technology.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited