The mythos, ethos, and pathos of the humanities

Hunter, Ian (2014) The mythos, ethos, and pathos of the humanities. History of European Ideas, 40 1: 11-36. doi:10.1080/01916599.2013.784030

Author Hunter, Ian
Title The mythos, ethos, and pathos of the humanities
Journal name History of European Ideas   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0191-6599
Publication date 2014-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/01916599.2013.784030
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 40
Issue 1
Start page 11
End page 36
Total pages 26
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Language eng
Subject 1202 Building
3312 Sociology and Political Science
1211 Philosophy
Abstract Justifications of the humanities often employ a mythos that exceeds their historical dispositions and reach. This applies to justifications that appeal to an 'idea' of the humanities grounded in the cultivation of reason for its own sake. But the same problem affects more recent accounts that seek to shatter this idea by admitting an 'event' capable of dissolving and refounding the humanities in 'being'. In offering a sketch of the emergence of the modern humanities from early modern humanism, the paper argues that these twin philosophical justifications fail to capture both the array of intellectual arts that have informed the humanities disciplines and the variety of uses to which these arts have been put. Nonetheless, the two philosophical constructions have had a concrete impact on the disposition of the modern humanities, seen in the respective structuralist and poststructuralist reconfigurations of the disciplines that began to take place under the banner of 'theory' during the 1960s. In discussing the effects of theory on the humanities in Australia, the paper focuses on the unforeseeable consequences of attempts to provide arts-based disciplines with a foundation either in cognitive structures or in an 'event' that shatters them.
Keyword Disciplines
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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