Alexander the great
Alexander the great
?The humanities are academic disciplines that study human culture, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, and having a significant historical element, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences. The humanities include ancient and modern languages, literature, philosophy, religion, andvisual and performing arts such as music and theatre. The humanities that are also sometimes regarded as social sciences include history, anthropology, area studies,communication studies, cultural studies, law and linguistics.
Scholars working in the humanities are sometimes described as “humanists”.  However, that term also describes the philosophical position of humanism, which some “antihumanist” scholars in the humanities reject. Some secondary schools offer humanities classes, usually consisting of Englishliterature, global studies, and art. Human disciplines like history, cultural anthropology and psychoanalysis study subject matters to which the experimental method does not apply, and they have access instead to the comparative method and comparative research.
The classics, in the Western academic tradition, refer to cultures of classical antiquity, namely the Ancient Greek and Roman cultures. The study of the classics is considered one of the cornerstones of the humanities; however, its popularity declined during the 20th century. Nevertheless, the influence of classical ideas in many humanities disciplines, such as philosophy and literature, remains strong; for example, the Gilgamesh Epic from Mesopotamia, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Vedas and Upanishads in India and various writings attributed to Confucius, Lao-tse and Chuang-tzu in China.
History is systematically collected information about the past. When used as the name of a field of study, history refers to the study and interpretation of the record of humans, societies, institutions, and any topic that has changed over time. Traditionally, the study of history has been considered a part of the humanities. In modern academia, history is occasionally classified as a social science. Languages while the scientific study of language is known as linguistics and is generally considered a social science or a cognitive science, the study of languages is still central to the humanities.
A good deal of twentieth-century and twenty-first-century philosophy has been devoted to the analysis of language and to the question of whether, as Wittgenstein claimed, many of our philosophical confusions derive from the vocabulary we use; literary theory has explored the rhetorical, associative, and ordering features of language; and historical linguists have studied the development of languages across time.
Literature, covering a variety of uses of language including prose forms (such as the novel), poetry and drama, also lies at the heart of the modern humanities curriculum. College-level programs in a foreign language usually include study of important works of the literature in that language, as well as the language itself. Law In common parlance, law means a rule which (unlike a rule of ethics) is capable of enforcement through institutions.
The study of law crosses the boundaries between the social sciences and humanities, depending on one’s view of research into its objectives and effects. Law is not always enforceable, especially in the international relations context. It has been defined as a “system of rules”, as an “interpretive concept” to achieve justice, as an “authority” to mediate people’s interests, and even as “the command of a sovereign, backed by the threat of a sanction”. However one likes to think of law, it is a completely central social institution.
Legal policy incorporates the practical manifestation of thinking from almost every social science and discipline of the humanities. Laws are politics, because politicians create them. Law is philosophy, because moral and ethical persuasions shape their ideas. Law tells many of history’s stories, because statutes, case law and codifications build up over time. And law is economics, because any rule about contract, tort, property law, labour law, company law and many more can have long lasting effects.
The noun law derives from the late Old English lagu, meaning something laid down or fixed and the adjective legal comes from the Latin word lex. “Literature” is a highly ambiguous term: at its broadest, it can mean any sequence of words that has been preserved for transmission in some form or other (including oral transmission); more narrowly, it is often used to designate imaginative works such as stories, poems, and plays; more narrowly still, it is used as an honorific and applied only to those works which are considered to have particular merit.
The performing arts differ from the plastic arts in so far as the former uses the artist’s own body, face, and presence as a medium, and the latter uses materials such as clay, metal, or paint, which can be molded or transformed to create some art object. Performing arts include acrobatics, busking, comedy, dance, magic, music, opera, film, juggling, marching arts, such as brass bands, and theatre. Artists who participate in these arts in front of an audience are called performers, including actors, comedians, dancers, musicians, and singers.
Performing arts are also supported by workers in related fields, such as songwriting and stagecraft. Performers often adapt their appearance, such as with costumes and stage makeup, etc. There is also a specialized form of fine art in which the artists perform their work live to an audience. This is called Performance art. Most performance art also involves some form of plastic art, perhaps in the creation of props. Dance was often referred to as a plastic art during the Modern dance era.
Music as an academic discipline can take a number of different paths, including music performance, music education (training music teachers), musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory and composition. Undergraduate music majors generally take courses in all of these areas, while graduate students focus on a particular path. In the liberal arts tradition, music is also used to broaden skills of non-musicians by teaching skills such as concentration and listening.
Theater (or theatre) (Greek “theatron”, ???????) is the branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle — indeed any one or more elements of the other performing arts. In addition to the standard narrative dialogue style, theatre takes such forms as opera, ballet, mime, kabuki, classical Indian dance, Chinese opera, mummers’ plays, and pantomime.
Dance (from Old French dancier, perhaps from Frankish) generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting.
Dance is also used to describe methods of non-verbal communication (see body language) between humans or animals (bee dance, mating dance), and motion in inanimate objects (the leaves danced in the wind). Choreography is the art of making dances, and the person who does this is called a choreographer. Definitions of what constitutes dance are dependent on social, cultural, aesthetic, artistic, and moral constraints and range from functional movement (such as Folk dance) to codified, virtuoso techniques such as ballet.
In sports, gymnastics, figure skating and synchronized swimming are dance disciplines while Martial arts ‘kata’ are often compared to dances. Philosophy — etymologically, the “love of wisdom” — is generally the study of problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, justification, truth, justice, right and wrong, beauty, validity, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing these issues by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on reasoned argument, rather than experiments (experimental philosophy being an exception).
Philosophy used to be a very comprehensive term, including what have subsequently become separate disciplines, such as physics. (As Immanuel Kant noted, “Ancient Greek philosophy was divided into three sciences: physics, ethics, and logic. “) Today, the main fields of philosophy are logic, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Still, there continues to be much overlap with other disciplines; the field of semantics, for example, brings philosophy into contact with linguistics.
Since the early twentieth century, the philosophy done in English-speaking universities has become much more analytic. Analytic philosophy is marked by emphasis on the use of logic and formal methods of reasoning, conceptual analysis, and the use of symbolic and/or mathematical logic), as contrasted with the Continental style of philosophy.  This method of inquiry is largely indebted to the work of philosophers such as Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Religion New philosophies and religions arose in both east and west, particularly around the 6th century BC. Over time, a great variety of religions developed around the world, with Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism in India, Zoroastrianism in Persia being some of the earliest major faiths. In the east, three schools of thought were to dominate Chinese thinking until the modern day. These were Taoism, Legalism, and Confucianism. The Confucian tradition, which would attain predominance, looked not to the force of law, but to the power and example of tradition for political morality.
In the west, the Greek philosophical tradition, represented by the works of Plato and Aristotle, was diffused throughout Europe and the Middle East by the conquests of Alexander of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Abrahamic religions are those religions deriving from a common ancient Semitic tradition and traced by their adherents to Abraham (circa 1900 BCE), a patriarch whose life is narrated in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, where he is described as a prophet (Genesis 20:7), and in the Quran, where he also appears as a prophet.
This forms a large group of related largely monotheistic religions, generally held to include Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and comprises over half of the world’s religious adherents. History of Humanities In the West, the study of the humanities can be traced to ancient Greece, as the basis of a broad education for citizens. During Roman times, the concept of the seven liberal arts evolved, involving grammar, rhetoric and logic (the trivium), along with arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music (the quadrivium).
 These subjects formed the bulk of medieval education, with the emphasis being on the humanities as skills or “ways of doing. A major shift occurred with the Renaissance humanism of the fifteenth century, when the humanities began to be regarded as subjects to be studied rather than practiced, with a corresponding shift away from the traditional fields into areas such as literature and history. In the 20th century, this view was in turn challenged by the postmodernist movement, which sought to redefine the humanities in more egalitarian terms suitable for a democratic society.
Humanities – the humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical,critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences. The Humanities a branch of academic disciplines – an academic discipline is a field of knowledge that is taught and researched at the college or university level. Disciplines are defined (in part), and recognized by the academic journals in which research is published, and the learned societies and academic departments or faculties to which their practitioners belong.
study of the human condition – unique and inescapable features of being human in a social, cultural, and personal context. The study of the humanities (history, philosophy, literature, the arts, etc. ) all help understand the nature of the human condition and the broader cultural and social arrangements that make up human lives. Sub-categories of Humanities Classics (outline) – study of the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and all other cultural elements of the ancient Mediterranean world (Bronze Age ca. BC 3000 to Late Antiquity ca.
AD 300–600); especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. Digital classics – application of the tools of digital humanities to the field of classics, or more broadly to the study of the ancient world. History (outline) – study of the past. Digital history – use of digital media and tools for historical practice, presentation, analysis, and research. It is a branch of the Digital Humanities and an outgrowth of Quantitative history, Cliometrics, and History and Computing. Languages – study of individual languages (Italian language, Mandarin language) or groups of related languages (Romance languages,Slavic languages).
Not to be confused with Linguistics, the study of the structure and function of language. Literature (outline) – the art of written work, and is not confined to published sources (although, under some circumstances, unpublished sources can also be exempt). Comparative literature comparative research into literature from more than one language, working with the original language(s) in which the texts were written Philosophy (outline) – study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.
 Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument.  Religion (outline) – a religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.  Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe.
They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. Visual arts (outline) – art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature. Examples of visual arts include: Architecture (outline) – The art and science of designing and erecting buildings and other physical structures. Classical architecture (outline) – architecture of classical antiquity and later architectural styles influenced by it.
Arts and crafts (outline) – recreational activities and hobbies that involve making things with one’s hands and skill. Drawing (outline) – visual art that makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium. Film (outline) – moving pictures. Painting (outline) – practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface with a brush or other object. Art history Photography (outline) – art, science, and practice of creating pictures by recording radiation on a radiation-sensitive medium, such as a photographic film, or electronic image sensors.
Sculpture (outline) – three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials – typically stone such as marble – or metal, glass, or wood. Performing arts (outline) – those forms of art that use the artist’s own body, face, and presence as a medium. Examples of performing arts include: Dance (outline) – art form of movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction, or presented in a spiritual or performance setting.
Drama study of regional, global, and/or historical theatre, as well as techniques for acting, directing and choreographing plays Film (outline) – moving pictures, the art form that records performances visually. Installation art – the merging of multiple genres into a coherent three-dimensional, multi-sensory work. Theatre (outline) – collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. Music (outline) – art form the medium of which is sound and silence.
Opera (outline) – art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text (called a libretto) and musical score.  Stagecraft (outline) – technical aspects of theatrical, film, and video production. It includes, but is not limited to, constructing and rigging scenery, hanging and focusing of lighting, design and procurement of costumes, makeup, procurement of props, stage management, and recording and mixing of sound. 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 4 October 2016
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