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Maybe the Humanities aren't dead?


Runningmom80
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Interesting article. At least in my experience, the vast majority of STEM people I know also took lots of liberal arts classes and often had majors or minors outside of math/science. What seemed more unusual was humanities majors taking rigorous STEM classes, rather than science or math classes designed for non-majors. When my son was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa recently, the majority of students were STEM majors. Since his college required at least two 300 level courses in each of the three main areas (humanities,social sciences, math/science) to even be considered for the honor, it seemed that there were plenty of STEM majors taking upper level humanities and social science classes, but maybe not so many non-STEM majors taking upper level regular science and math classes.

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Interesting article. At least in my experience, the vast majority of STEM people I know also took lots of liberal arts classes and often had majors or minors outside of math/science. What seemed more unusual was humanities majors taking rigorous STEM classes, rather than science or math classes designed for non-majors. When my son was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa recently, the majority of students were STEM majors. Since his college required at least two 300 level courses in each of the three main areas (humanities,social sciences, math/science) to even be considered for the honor, it seemed that there were plenty of STEM majors taking upper level humanities and social science classes, but maybe not so many non-STEM majors taking upper level regular science and math classes.

I think that has add something to do with prerequisites. You can take 300+ level history, English, or Philosophy courses with usually just one 100 level prerequisite, if that. To get to 300+ STEM classes, there are often 3-4 classes of prerequisites for one class. And then if you want to take a second upper level class, it could have its own list of prerequisites that don't necessarily overlap with the ones you took for the other class.

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I think that has add something to do with prerequisites. You can take 300+ level history, English, or Philosophy courses with usually just one 100 level prerequisite, if that. To get to 300+ STEM classes, there are often 3-4 classes of prerequisites for one class. And then if you want to take a second upper level class, it could have its own list of prerequisites that don't necessarily overlap with the ones you took for the other class.

That could have something to do with it. Although for example at my son's school, two quarters of organic chemistry would meet the requirement and require only one year of chemistry prior. And many students would be able to use AP scores to get out of the prerequisites if they desired. But in my undergrad experience, my husband's experience as a college chemistry professor, and my son's honors college experience, most humanities majors didn't even want to take regular 100 major level STEM courses, except for may be statistics. They almost always opted for the math or science for non-majors courses to fulfill distribution requirements. I asked my husband, and he didn't recall one humanities major ever taking his organic chemistry courses in all his years of teaching. He did remember one music major and several economics majors and of course lots of STEM majors who had majors or minors in a non-STEM field.
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https://hbr.org/2017/07/liberal-arts-in-the-data-age

 

Posting for anyone who has the misfortuneof a kid who wants to study Philosophy. ;)

 

 

Pardon me, but you appear to be sorely mistaken. It is not a misfortune, it is an honour. I am very lucky and so proud of her I could splatter mommy brags all over this nice clean homeschooling forum if I didn't respect SWB too much to waste her bandwidth like that.

Edited by Guest
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Pardon me, but you appear to be sorely mistaken. It is not a misfortune, it is an honour. I am very lucky and so proud of her I could splatter mommy brags all over this nice clean homeschooling forum if I didn't respect SWB too much to waste her bandwidth like that.

 

The head of our department is a philosopher. He likes to tell the story of how he told his parents he wanted to get his PhD in philosophy. He said they breathed a sigh of relief because they were afraid he wanted to be a lawyer.  :lol: He would have been a good lawyer, but he's a better philosopher. 

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Sorry for the mommy tantrum; it wasn't just you, Runningmom80, it was all the times I've bitten my tongue raw and bleeding while people say, "I'm so sorry." and, "Cheer up, maybe it's just a phase."

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Sorry for the mommy tantrum; it wasn't just you, Runningmom80, it was all the times I've bitten my tongue raw and bleeding while people say, "I'm so sorry." and, "Cheer up, maybe it's just a phase."

I am sorry, I was being sarcastic! I was trying to convey the ridiculousness of people like you've encountered, because I for one LOVE Philosophy and the Humanities in general. (English and Creative Writing BA here. I got LOTS of those comments.) Philosophy gets picked on a lot which is why I made the comment, I didn't mean to offend, I'm truly sorry.

 

I will add a note to my OP.

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Very interesting.  My oldest dd is majoring in Chemical Engineering and decided to minor in Women and Gender Studies.  She likes the contrast and feels like the two totally different subjects are a good blend.

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Pardon me, but you appear to be sorely mistaken. It is not a misfortune, it is an honour. I am very lucky and so proud of her I could splatter mommy brags all over this nice clean homeschooling forum if I didn't respect SWB too much to waste her bandwidth like that.

I have a philosophy degree. My parents were NOT proud or happy about it, but I've done just fine in life financially and professionally.

 

I'd maybe add a more marketable second major now, but I would do it again.

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