Posts Tagged ‘humanities’

Fish Receives Gift Horse, Looks in Mouth

January 19, 2008

Stanley Fish is at it again, this time writing about the virtual lack of a pragmatic answer to “what is the value of humanities studies?”  Here is his NY Times entry.  While he does raise a few good points and keeps the article on task (and he surprised me by some responses to comments”), I was left with the same feeling many of his pieces elicit.  A bulk of the feeling I’m referring to could be partly a sense of betrayal, or maybe merely an irresponsible shirking of great opportunities in exchange for a clever obfuscation of the values and meanings that are part of studying humanities.  What I mean is, as gifted and well-known figure Stanley Fish is, why would he focus on how little one can come up with – in practical terms – when asked to value the study of humanities; couldn’t he serve the field, and others, so much better by answering the question, rather asking it?