Naval, C. y Cárceles, C. (2012). «Vital Humanities. Their educational Potential». Synergeia, 4 (1), 133-153.
In Classical Greece, conversation was considered the supreme form of
human expression, in that it was the most human way that a person uses
his/her body. Learning to speak properly—as H.I. Marrou asserts—
meant thinking and living properly. Eloquence was what differentiated
civilized human beings from barbarians.1 It is from these beginnings
that the importance and meaning of the Humanities were understood in
the most generic sense of the word.
The aim of this paper is to reexamine the Humanities insofar as
they have a genuine educational dimension. The first part contemplates
the Humanities from a classical perspective and its situation in
present day knowledge-based society. The second part examines what
happened to the Humanities in the nineteenth-century Western world,
and compares that to what happened later. In the third part, some lines of
argument are presented, which show how vital the Humanities are to
education. This paper concludes that the Humanities are necessary to
modern-day goals, both in the educational and social contexts.