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Sciences and the irksome controversy surrounding humanities

Mar 01,2018 - Last updated at Mar 01,2018

For a certainty, science and humanities cannot be the same disciplines. That we know. Though the methods they follow are similar, the areas of specialisation are not. Science is constrained by the physical matters it examines.  Unlike science, which often endeavours to reach one tangible answer, humanities offer sheer disparities in insight. The features that science enjoy may not always be reliable, and, on the contrary, the different perceptions that the humanities accept can ironically be more concrete at one point.

The two fields, however, often pose a question eventually followed by a sequential cluster of actions to test out numerous theoretical and practicable assumptions. Although this process is not as obvious in humanities, it is most certainly utilised. In science, basic data is elucidated to answer a given question. But, in humanities, the diverse components of a text, the words on the page, can conclude what its writer suggests. Humanists are never content with given answers, and always attempt to find further answers. A single answer is never sufficient. To scientists, although one answer may be convincing momentarily, new research always leads to new premises and reconsiderations. 

Sciences and humanities complexly merge observation, perception, insight and experimentalism. For that, both are interrelated. In a weave with the same manners of inquiry, these characteristics have come to define the exercises of science and humanities alike. Indeed, in contradiction of popular belief, there is much commonality between the two. In fact, if such commonality can be more properly accepted, more can emerge out of this hypothesis.

Scientists are often comfortable with a single answer until something new and different prove it wrong. They tend to be uncritical of their work, because, in their view, science is definite, indisputable and conclusive. The opposite is true for humanists. Where scientists are content with a single answer, humanists include way too many critics and never enough practitioners. They always try to come up with the utmost new ideas and new solutions to a common problem. But, at the end of the day, both disciplines are needed to arrive at a better understanding of human knowledge.

To be sure, it is already recognised that the two fields employ observations and assessments, and they use the same methods of investigation. The only thing that may split them apart is their subject matters. If, for example, chemistry deals with the composition, structure and properties of substances and with the transformations that they undergo, it cannot be classified as a science in any way whatsoever. For that reason, it should be situated somewhere between science and humanities!

In order to have a sound perception of it, we must consider the external physical nature, that of chemical structures which make the external composition, as well as the internal, inner world of the being that comprises human chemistry, including emotions, feelings, sentiments, passions, sensations thought and imagination.

In the end, both disciplines are inseparable as fields of human knowledge. Both present new answers to the always stimulating novel questions we raise. The assumption that sciences must always be on top of universities’ priorities, shoving humanities to the bottom, must be scrupulously reassessed!

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