4 comments on “Timmy Elsewhere

  1. It’s an interesting question. I suspect that — originally at least, whenever that was — Arts really had to do with arts (literature or music or whatever), and Humanities were things like philosophy or history or theology. But then such subjects as Politics or Economics or Sociology or Linguistics came along and were often dumped into Humanities because they weren’t exactly Science (crudely, because you didn’t, at least in those days, need arithmetic to do them), and weren’t visibly anything else.
    However, I am only guessing, and I’m not sure that the distinction I’ve proposed is clearly made these days, when it often seems that an Arts course is just one that teaches you to mouth or scribble fashionable nonsense, whereas Humanities subjects generally do have some serious content (maybe fairly dilute).

  2. But Philosophy and whatnot were taught in the Arts Faculty when I was at university. We had a separate Music Faculty, and daubing and such weren’t taught in the University at all but in the neighbouring Art College.

  3. Yes, I agree that *in practice* the distinction I suggested doesn’t seem to work too well; I propose it only as a sort of explanation why administrators use the words “arts” and “humanities” with some implication of a difference. Obviously the only “arts” that “faculties of arts” (as such) deal with tend to be literary, because they are the only ones that can be presented as having no stain of the banausic. And presumably my status as Baccalaureus in Artibus means only that I know *something* — if I do; the Artes in the mediaeval sense were another matter.

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