The Teleology of the Humanities
The concept of the humanities as studies of human phenomena would be too broad. It would implausibly subsume even physics, chemistry, biology and physiology. It can be narrowed to apply to descriptions, explanations, interpretations and criticisms of human experiences, beliefs, values, activates, deeds, products and institutions. Humanistic inquiries must generate portions of theoretical, practical and productive knowledge. For Aristotle who is responsible for the division of knowledge, practical knowledge constitutes moral virtue, which in turn constitutes happiness. It is of interest to inquire what practical knowledge the humanities produce, what human virtue such knowledge promotes, in what manner, and how the happiness that the virtue constitutes should be envisioned. This presentation will thus address old questions in search for new answers.
Prof. Chin-Tai Kim
Professor of Philosophy, College of Arts and Sciences, Case Western Reserve University