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The Making of the Humanities, vol. III

The Making of the Humanities, vol. III: The Making of the Modern Humanities

Rens Bod
Jaap Maat
Thijs Weststeijn
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 648
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  • Book Info
    The Making of the Humanities, vol. III
    Book Description:

    This book is the long awaited third volume in a series that provides a comprehensive comparative history of the humanities. This installment turns to the modern period, from 1850 to 2000, bringing together specialists in philology, musicology, art history, linguistics, archaeology, and literary theory to explore the intertwining nature of these various disciplines, and how together they make up the broader investigative project of the humanities.

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1844-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-6)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 7-12)
  3. Introduction: The Making of the Modern Humanities
    (pp. 13-24)
    Rens Bod, Jaap Maat and Thijs Weststeijn

    With this third volume of our three-part project on the history of the humanities we have arrived at the modern age. This is the period of discipline formation and academic institutionalization, but it is also the period when the humanities and sciences drew farther apart. While already foreshadowed by Giambattista Vico’s famous eighteenth-century distinction between the ‘science of the human’ and ‘science of the natural’, Wilhelm Dilthey’s distinction betweenGeisteswissenschaftandNaturwissenschaftwas very influential.¹ That is, the humanities are deemed to be predicated on understanding (Verstehen), the sciences on explaining (Erklären). The distinction was adopted by philosophers such as...

  4. I The Humanities and the Sciences

    • 1.1 Objectivity and Impartiality: Epistemic Virtues in the Humanities
      (pp. 27-42)
      Lorraine Daston

      For over a century, the relationships between the humanities and the sciences have been largely defined by opposition:Geistes- versusNaturwissenschaften, ideographic versus nomothetic, interpretative versus explanatory, past- versus future-oriented. These oppositions were hammered out in theFestredenof Dilthey, Windelband, Helmholtz, and other leading lights of bellwether German universities and reflected the rising prestige and power of the natural sciences in the final quarter of the nineteenth century. Since then, the history and philosophy of science in most European traditions has been dominated by inquiries into the natural sciences: a comparable history of the humanities is just beginning to...

    • 1.2 The Natural Sciences and the Humanities in the Seventeenth Century: Not Separate Yet Unequal?
      (pp. 43-52)
      H. Floris Cohen

      When scientists in our day meddle with the humanities, the outcomes are not always uplifting. Sometimes they are, as when art historians and chemists supplement each other’s expertise quite nicely in establishing or disproving the authenticity of some famous painting. In my own discipline, the history of science, the contributions scientists make are rarely so productive, unless (as, for instance, with Thomas Kuhn) they turn themselves into professional historians. Professional scientists with a layman’s interest in history certainly tend to display a deep-seated emotional involvement in past manifestations of their own present-day concerns. But the flip side of their praiseworthy...

    • 1.3 The Interaction between Sciences and Humanities in Nineteenth-Century Scientific Materialism: A Case Study on Jacob Moleschott’s Popularizing Work and Political Activity
      (pp. 53-64)
      Laura Meneghello

      Positivism is normally understood as favoring separation of the humanities and the natural sciences, rather than interaction between them. This is because, around the 1850s, the modern scientific method seemed to provoke a progressive demarcation between the exact sciences and other disciplines. I would like to question this assumption by analyzing the attitude of Jacob Moleschott’s scientific materialism – which has typically been interpreted as one of the most radical movements within Positivism – vis-à-vis the humanities.

      Moleschott was born in ’s-Hertogenbosch in 1822 and died in Rome in 1893. He had a very international, that is to say, European...

    • 1.4 The Best Story of the World: Theology, Geology, and Philip Henry Gosse’s Omphalos
      (pp. 65-78)
      Virginia Richter

      In the first half of the nineteenth century, philological readings of the Scriptures and new approaches in geology – set down, most importantly, in Charles Lyell’sPrinciples of Geology(1830-1833) – uncovered the various strata of the Book of Books and the Book of Nature, respectively. The result of applying the historical-critical method to the Scriptures was precisely the discovery of its historicity: as philologists and – mainly Protestant – theologians such as Friedrich Schleiermacher and David Friedrich Strauss – whoseThe Life of Jesus, Critically Examined(1835-1836) was disseminated in Britain in George Eliot’s influential translation (1849) – could...

  5. II The Science of Language

    • 2.1 The Wolf in Itself: The Uses of Enchantment in the Development of Modern Linguistics
      (pp. 81-96)
      John E. Joseph

      In the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences in which I work, the philosophers have no doubt that they are part of the humanities. The psychologists know that they are not; the borderline that matters for them is between the social sciences and medicine. We linguists straddle the humanities and social sciences. A few of us are comfortable on the fence, while others place themselves firmly on this side or that, and generally try to hide their contempt for those on the other.

      This may be inevitable, given that language is itself so central both to humanistic studies and...

    • 2.2 Soviet Orientalism and Subaltern Linguistics: The Rise and Fall of Marr’s Japhetic Theory
      (pp. 97-112)
      Michiel Leezenberg

      One of the attractions of the park surrounding the Villa Borghese in Rome is a group of statues of national poets. Included among them are such obvious examples as the Persian Abulqasim Firdowsi, author of theShahnâmehorBook of Kings; the Georgian Shota Rustaveli, who wroteThe Man in the Panther Skin(Vepkhistqaosani); and the Montenegran Petar Njegos, writer ofThe Mountain Wreath(Gorski Vijenac). More surprising, however, is the presence of a statue, unveiled in 2012, of the ‘Azerbaijani poet’ Nizami Genjewi. Nizami composed all of his poems in Persian, but now he is claimed as the national...

    • 2.3 Root and Recursive Patterns in the Czuczor-Fogarasi Dictionary of the Hungarian Language
      (pp. 113-126)
      László Marácz

      The first academic Hungarian dictionaryA magyar nyelv szótára(The Dictionary of the Hungarian Language) was a monumental work compiled by two members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences: Gergely Czuczor (1800-1866) and János Fogarasi (1801-1878) that was published in six volumes between 1862 and 1874 [Figs. 2 and 3]. Rather than just being a list of Hungarian words, Czuczor-Fogarasi’s monolingual dictionary (hereafter, the CzF Dictionary) must be considered a linguistic achievement. It contains 110,784 entries and is structured according to the agglutinative nature of the Hungarian language since it distinguishes roots and suffixes while also referring to interconnections within...

  6. III Writing History

    • 3.1 A Domestic Culture: The Mise-en-scène of Modern Historiography
      (pp. 129-144)
      Jo Tollebeek

      At the conclusion of her autobiographical sketch published a few years ago, the Italian historian Ilaria Porciani, living in Florence but working in Bologna, writes:

      Like many Italian historians, I am a commuter. The saying that every Italian academic carries a train timetable could not be truer. The conversations which take place on Eurostars turn out to be a sort of extension of faculty or department meetings and […] this is usually the right time not only to complain about the new reforms and shortage of money but also to discuss a new book or a project. […]

      But I...

    • 3.2 History Made More Scholarly and Also More Popular: A Nineteenth-Century Paradox
      (pp. 145-156)
      Marita Mathijsen

      The Game of the Goose (Ganzenbord) is the name of a traditional game with dice and pawns still played by many a Dutch family. Its popularity goes back to the Dutch Golden Age. You throw dice to get from field 1 to the winning field 63. Along the way you surmount various obstacles – a pit, a thorn bush, or a churchyard may throw you back or get you stuck until somebody else’s pawn lands in the same field, thus setting you free again. Some other fields assist your advance, e.g., you may throw a second time and thus keep...

    • 3.3 The Professionalization of the Historical Discipline: Austrian Scholarly Periodicals, 1840-1900
      (pp. 157-170)
      Christine Ottner

      Scholarly periodicals are important pacemakers and trendsetters in the process of academic professionalization and institutionalization: they not only reflect developments within scientific disciplines or their relationship to other scientific fields, they also influence such developments decisively by way of an active editorial policy.¹ Already in the course of the eighteenth century many journals dealing with ‘historical’ issues had been founded, i.e., treating genealogical, numismatic, and statistical contents.² Most of them were media of education which intended to spread and discuss established ideas within a circle of educated readers.³ At that time and also during the early years of the nineteenth...

    • 3.4 Manuals on Historical Method: A Genre of Polemical Reflection on the Aims of Science
      (pp. 171-182)
      Herman Paul

      Manuals on historical method from around 1900 are like neoscholastic philosophy textbooks: books that are supposed to be so dull and dreary that only few scholars dare venture into them. Although methodology manuals were once a flourishing genre, especially in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when such emerging academic disciplines as history, art history, and church history were in need of methodological signposts and boundary markers, the hundreds of pages that these manuals typically devote to the minutiae of internal and external source criticism now read like neoscholastic meditations on theanalogia entis. At least, that is the...

    • 3.5 The Peculiar Maturation of the History of Science
      (pp. 183-204)
      Bart Karstens

      This paper takes as its topic how the history of science, as a separate field of study, came into being in the early twentieth century and how it developed thereafter. The first signs of the institutionalization of the field as an academic discipline were the first international conference on the history of science held adjacent to the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900, the start of the journalIsisin 1912, and the founding of the History of Science Society in 1924. This journal and the society still occupy a prominent position in the field today. The period also saw...

  7. IV Classical Studies and Philology

    • 4.1 Quellenforschung
      (pp. 207-218)
      Glenn W. Most

      A century ago, one of the most important modes of research in the professional study of Greco-Roman antiquity as well as in a number of other fields was a recently developed specialty called by its admirers (back then it had no opponents) ‘Quellenforschung’. By decomposing the compilatory handbooks produced by the erudition of late antiquity into their various sources and establishing the relations of dependence among them, the adepts of this method sought to trace back reports about a variety of aspects of the ancient world – primarily philosophy and history, but also religion, law, sculpture, and other matters –...

    • 4.2 History of Religions in the Making: Franz Cumont (1868-1947) and the ‘Oriental Religions’
      (pp. 219-232)
      Eline Scheerlinck

      As is the case for many of his colleagues within the humanities, it is hard to pin one label on Franz Cumont (1868-1947). His work moves at the crossroads of history of religions, classical philology, ancient history, archeology and Orientalism. However, Cumont employed this multidisciplinarity in such a way as to make him a pioneer within the developing field of history of religions at the turn of the nineteenth century. In what follows I will focus mainly on Cumont as a historian of religion and on the renewing role which he played in the development of the history of religions...

    • 4.3 ‘Big Science’ in Classics in the Nineteenth Century and the Academicization of Antiquity
      (pp. 233-250)
      Annette M. Baertschi

      The digital revolution of the past years has profoundly changed higher education and the academic world in general. Not only has ‘much of the teaching and learning apparatus moved online’, thus effectuating new forms of classroom instruction, but ‘the computational technologies and methodologies’ available today have also ‘transformed research practices in every discipline’.¹ The digital humanities in particular have created exciting new tools, which have attracted a lot of attention within the scholarly community and received positive media coverage.² This in turn has boosted public interest in humanities research, especially in relation to new technologies that ‘facilitate insights into history,...

    • 4.4 New Philology and Ancient Editors: Some Dynamics of Textual Criticism
      (pp. 251-264)
      Jacqueline Klooster

      This paper discusses the place of New Philology in the history of textual criticism of ancient texts. In particular, I will look at the benefits and drawbacks of applying this approach to the textual edition of ancient Greek poetry, by comparing modern editing techniques with what we know about their ancient transmission and editing techniques.

      In his monograph on textual criticism, Paul Maas makes clear the problem that everyone who seriously wishes to study ancient texts inevitably comes across:

      We have no autograph manuscripts of the Greek and Roman classical writers and no copies which have been collated with the...

    • 4.5 What Books Are Made of: Scholarship and Intertextuality in the History of the Humanities
      (pp. 265-280)
      Floris Solleveld

      In 1866 Alfred Blot, a history teacher at the Collège Stanislas, published a re-edition of Louis de Beaufort’s 1738Dissertation sur l’Incertitude des Cinq Premiers Siècles de l’Histoire Romaine[Fig. 4]. Out of print for more than a century, the main virtue of Beaufort’s work was to show systematically how little we know about the mythical past. The gist of Beaufort’s argument is that most of the early Roman historical record and monuments perished in the sack of the city by the Gauls in 387 or 390 BCE, and that of the two main sources we have today, Dionysius of...

  8. V Literary and Theater Studies

    • 5.1 Furio Jesi and the Culture of the Right
      (pp. 283-298)
      Ingrid D. Rowland

      On the night of June 16, 1980, Furio Jesi, Italian scholar, critic, poet, novelist, actor and political activist, died in his home, suffocated by an accidental gas leak from the water heater.¹ He had turned thirty-nine only a month before, but his curriculum vitae was already long enough for several people twice his age: he had written nearly twenty monographs on subjects including Egyptology, mythology, German literature, and Hebrew mysticism, as well as newspaper articles, novels, translations, poetry, and a spate of unpublished manuscripts. In 1979, typically, he had produced two books,Materiali mitologici(Mythological Materials:Myth and Anthropology in...

    • 5.2 Scientification and Popularization in the Historiography of World Literature, 1850-1950: A Dutch Case Study
      (pp. 299-312)
      Ton van Kalmthout

      In 1827, in one of his best known quotations, Goethe said:

      I am more and more convinced […] that poetry is the universal possession of mankind, revealing itself everywhere, and at all times, in hundreds and hundreds of men. […] National literature is now a rather unmeaning term; the epoch of World literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach.²

      In Europe, interest in other cultures had began to grow in the course of the eighteenth century, a development connected with the expansion of the notion of ‘culture’ at the time. Formerly, it had been used...

    • 5.3 Theater Studies from the Early Twentieth Century to Contemporary Debates: The Scientific Status of Interdisciplinary-Oriented Research
      (pp. 313-326)
      Chiara Maria Buglioni

      No other discipline within the humanities has had to struggle with its own interdisciplinary character as much as theater research in Europe. The fathers of the new-born scholarshipTheaterwissenschaftwere mainly concerned with distinguishing theater from other forms of art and with asserting its right as an independent field of enquiry. The need to define a specific methodological approach, however, was not taken into account. This initial lack in the creation of the scientific discipline has influenced the controversial development of theater studies and has caused frequent identity crises.

      The new challenge within theater studies is called the integrated approach.²...

  9. VI Art History and Archeology

    • 6.1 Embracing World Art: Art History’s Universal History and the Making of Image Studies
      (pp. 329-344)
      Birgit Mersmann

      Within the realm of modernizing the humanities, the aspiration of art history to transform into a universal discipline and modern science manifests itself as a cultural, anthropological, and spatial orientation toward world art and universal history. The ground for this modern shift was prepared by the universalization of art as based on the concept of mutual cultural influences and historical transfers. At the turn from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, art history joined forces with subbranches of history such as universal history and cultural history. Through these interdisciplinary linkages, it also opened to a new self-definition and revaluation as...

    • 6.2 Generic Classification and Habitual Subject Matter
      (pp. 345-358)
      Adi Efal

      One of the operations included in philological inquiries is the restoration of etymologies, built up of linguistic units enduring through ages, languages, meanings, usages and contexts.² The following essay attempts a possible deployment of an etymology of the lingual unit ‘genre’. Our trail will be guided by two stations in the long and extended history of this etymon: First, the Aristotelian origins of the etymon ‘genre’ are reconsidered; second, attention is given to the presence of the same etymon in the vocabulary of modern art criticism. Working within a comparative framework, this essay tries to create a trail between literary...

    • 6.3 The Recognition of Cave Art in the Iberian Peninsula and the Making of Prehistoric Archeology, 1878-1929
      (pp. 359-376)
      José María Lanzarote-Guiral

      In May 1921, theExhibition of Spanish Prehistoric Art(Exposicion de arte prehistorico español) opened its doors in Madrid. Hosted by the National Library and inaugurated by King Alphonse XIII, the exhibition presented prehistoric cave art as the first chapter of the Spanish art tradition, placing the peninsula at the cultural origins of Western civilization. This exhibition was conceived of to showcase the work undertaken by Spanish scholars in this field since 1902, when cave art was recognized as such by the international scientific community. Moreover, the organizers did not miss the chance to highlight that it was ‘foreign’ prehistorians,...

  10. VII Musicology and Aesthetics

    • 7.1 Between Sciences and Humanities: Aesthetics and the Eighteenth-Century ‘Science of Man’
      (pp. 379-390)
      Maria Semi

      The sciences and the humanities have a long tradition of cultural crossings and reciprocal influences; this interwoven history, however, has been first somehow minimized and downplayed during the nineteenth century, and then simply slipped into a far corner of our memories – feeding on contemporary hyperspecialization and high disciplinary boundaries – until recent scholarly work evidenced how our narrow contemporary perspective was compromising a thorough understanding of the modern era. Positivism and the professionalization of academic disciplines brought about a very critical attitude toward the intellectual syncretism of the foregoing centuries. This had several consequences as, as well described by...

    • 7.2 Melting Musics, Fusing Sounds: Stumpf, Hornbostel, and Comparative Musicology in Berlin
      (pp. 391-402)
      Riccardo Martinelli

      Observations on the peculiarities that distinguish the music of various populations always raised the interest of philosophers and musicians. Ancient Greeks used to assign ethnic names such as Doric, Phrygian, Lydian, etc., to their different scales, but curiosity as to the variety of the exotic musical systems remarkably increased in the modern age. Geographic discoveries face the Europeans with puzzling forms of musical otherness, and some attention begins to be paid to the repertory of the domestic barbarians living in the countryside of cultivated Europe.¹ Yet, it is only by the beginning of the twentieth century that a systematic discipline...

    • 7.3 The History of Musical Iconography and the Influence of Art History: Pictures as Sources and Interpreters of Musical History
      (pp. 403-412)
      Alexis Ruccius

      Musical iconography is a prime example of a research field that emerged through the affiliation of two disciplines from the humanities. Over a period of 150 years, musicologists had already turned to art works in search of visual evidence to guide in the reconstruction of musical instruments and historical performance practices. Understood as being fundamentally representational in nature, pictures were used as reliable historical sources, by Julius Rühlmann or Hugo Leichtentritt, for example. In the twentieth century, under the influence of the Warburg School, this field of study expanded into an independent research field known as ‘musical iconography’. Aiming at...

  11. VIII East and West

    • 8.1 The Making of Oriental Studies: Its Transnational and Transatlantic Past
      (pp. 415-430)
      Steffi Marung and Katja Naumann

      While some disciplines of the humanities struggle with a seemingly waning attention, both within academia as well as at the interface with politics and society, the opposite is the case for the fields falling under the rubric of regional studies or Oriental studies. There are increasing efforts to come to terms with its past, including its intellectual shape, its institutional position, and its political baggage. Likewise, new visions of Oriental studies are drafted that better suit the needs of our time. Although much ink has been spilled over the challenges of the latter attempt, less has been done on the...

    • 8.2 The Emergence of East Asian Art History in the 1920s: Karl With (1891-1980) and the Problem of Gandhara
      (pp. 431-448)
      Julia Orell

      Late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Europe saw an increasing interest in non-European art from Africa, Pre-Columbian America, Asia, the Pacific Islands and elsewhere. Private collectors and museums eagerly collected, exhibited, and published such works, often in competition with each other in the context of colonization.¹ In addition to museums and collectors, artists developed a great interest in non-European art and artifacts since at least the mid-nineteenth century, ranging from Japanese woodcut prints to African masks, often summarized under the problematic category of primitivism. The academic discipline of art history, however, was slow in responding to the broadening range of images and objects...

    • 8.3 Cross-Cultural Epistemology: How European Sinology Became the Bridge to China’s Modern Humanities
      (pp. 449-462)
      Perry Johansson

      European sinology since Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), founder of the Jesuit mission in China, was occupied with interpreting the Chinese classics, unpacking the learned worldview of the elite that adhered to them.¹ However, the Swedish explorer Sven Hedin’s late-nineteenth-century rediscovery of ancient hidden cities buried along the Silk Road unleashed a new wave of sinology [Fig. 25]. The magnificent collections of Silk Road material that Paul Pelliot, Aurel Stein, and Albert Grunwedel then plundered provided European scholars with previously unknown source material that the Chinese themselves could not easily consult. Hedin’s find sparked a modern direction in sinology and inspired Western...

  12. IX Information Science and Digital Humanities

    • 9.1 Historical Roots of Information Sciences and the Making of E-Humanities
      (pp. 465-478)
      Charles van den Heuvel

      Information scientist Christine Borgman inScholarship in the Digital Agedistinguishes between data used by natural scientists, social scientists and humanities scholars and discusses the implications hereof for their research practices. The analysis of these practices in combination with information technology must in her view result in an infrastructure for digital scholarship to facilitate distributed, collaborative, multidisciplinary research and learning that relies on large volumes of digital resources.¹ The distinction in data that Borgman mentioned has been used as one of the arguments to explain why scholars in the humanities and social sciences make less use of digital infrastructures and...

    • 9.2 Toward a Humanities of the Digital? Reading Search Engines as a Concordance
      (pp. 479-494)
      Johanna Sprondel

      In their seminal paper ‘The Verbal Concordance to the Scriptures’ from 1974, R.H. and M.A. Rouse characterize concordances to the scriptures to be ‘not only one of the earliest but probably the most important [technical aid], because its system of reference, its method of compilation and its successful application of complete alphabetization were used by generations of later tool-makers’.¹ To what extent this holds true for more recent inventions, such search engines, and more specifically web search engines, is the question I shall address in this paper: Can we consider Google & Co. as concordance?

      I will begin by examining the...

    • 9.3 A Database, Nationalist Scholarship, and Materialist Epistemology in Netherlandish Philology: The Bibliotheca Neerlandica Manuscripta from Paper to OPAC, 1895-1995
      (pp. 495-510)
      Jan Rock

      The history of digital humanities may seem relatively short. The study of culture, history and humanity appears to have been affected by digital culture and networked computers for only about two decades. That is why usually not the past, but the future of digital humanities is discussed, conversation being flavored with possibilities and promises: greater convenience for scholarly labor, and increased speed in the consultation of data, the massive accessibility of which would enable the humanities to deal with their scientific arrears.

      Yet already in 1902, similar ideas incited the Belgian philologist Willem De Vreese to address the Royal Flemish...

    • 9.4 Clio’s Talkative Daughter Goes Digital: The Interplay between Technology and Oral Accounts as Historical Data
      (pp. 511-526)
      Stef Scagliola and Franciska de Jong

      The introduction of the recording device at the beginning of the twentieth century not only marked a major transition in communication technology, but also paved the way for a revaluation of the oral account in Western historiography. With the rise of early civilizations and the introduction of writing tools it had lost its central role in the transfer of meaning and identity. Centuries later, the spread of literacy and the invention of the printing press stimulated the consolidation and appreciation of historical sources in textual form. Given the weight of this strong focus on text, the invention of a device...

    • 9.5 The Humanities’ New Methods: A Reconnaissance Mission
      (pp. 527-540)
      Jan-Willem Romeijn

      In comparison to the natural and social sciences, the humanities have received comparatively little attention from the analytic philosophy of science. This discipline has been concerned primarily with the sciences narrowly construed. In particular confirmation theory, the systematic study of theory evaluation, shows remarkable lacunas when it comes to the methodology of the humanities. But developments in the humanities and in conformation theory invite us to reconsider this situation. First, due to the fast uptake of empirical and computational methods in several humanities disciplines, the humanities are presently very much in flux, and much more amenable to methodological elucidation. Second,...

  13. X Philosophy and the Humanities

    • 10.1 Making the Humanities Scientific: Brentano’s Project of Philosophy as Science
      (pp. 543-554)
      Carlo Ierna

      During the nineteenth century we witness an extraordinary progress and increasing specialization in the natural sciences as well as the growth and professionalization of universities in Germany.¹ At the same time, after the deaths of Goethe and Hegel, the epoch of Romanticism and German Idealism had come to an end.² While the sciences diversified and emancipated from their philosophical past, philosophy itself fragmented into competing schools and currents,³ and in many respects, precipitated into an existential crisis.⁴ For a long time in the mainstream historiography of philosophy the nineteenth century was considered to harbor only epigones or predecessors.⁵ However, there...

    • 10.2 The Weimar Origins of Political Theory: A Humanities Interdiscipline
      (pp. 555-566)
      David L. Marshall

      With a frequency that is quite remarkable, contemporary political theorists in the Anglophone world continue to speak of the Weimar Republic as a decisive point of origin for their field of inquiry. Of course, the field has many sources (some modern, some ancient), but ‘the Weimar origins of political theory’ is a key topos. Thus, in 1988, John Gunnell, perhaps the most relentless scholar on this issue, could write that ‘the contemporary estrangement of political theory from political science is in large measure the product of a quarrel that originated in the challenge to the values of US political science...

  14. XI The Humanities and the Social Sciences

    • 11.1 Explaining Verstehen: Max Weber’s Views on Explanation in the Humanities
      (pp. 569-582)
      Jeroen Bouterse

      Max Weber is, of course, famous as one of the founding fathers of sociology. From the perspective of a threefold division of scholarly activity – natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities – it might seem odd to devote focused attention to him in a discussion of the humanities.

      However, the distinction between social sciences and humanities itself deserves historical attention: there is obviously some overlap both in the object and in the interests of those clusters of disciplines. They are both interested in what people do and have done, broadly speaking. They probably do so differently, constructing their research object...

    • 11.2 Discovering Sexuality: The Status of Literature as Evidence
      (pp. 583-596)
      Robert Deam Tobin

      Today, the study of sexuality brings together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines – history, politics, literature, religion, the arts, psychology, anthropology, medicine, and biology. At its best, this interdisciplinary work promotes critical self-reflection on disciplinary assumptions about sexuality and the data used to test those assumptions: Is there such a thing as a fixed sexuality and how would one prove its existence? Such questions have arisen ever since the emergence of the concept of ‘sexuality’ at the end of the eighteenth century. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, theorists regarded humanistic and literary sources as high quality...

    • 11.3 The Role of Technomorphic and Sociomorphic Imagery in the Long Struggle for a Humanistic Sociology
      (pp. 597-608)
      Marinus Ossewaarde

      Since its inauguration as an academic discipline after the July Revolution, in the 1830s, sociology has had a lasting ambivalent relationship to the humanities. On the one hand, Auguste Comte, who in 1838 had coined the word ‘sociology’ in a footnote to the 47thlesson of hisCourse in Positive Philosophy(1830-1842), introduced the new science as a type of physics, ‘social physics’, patterned on the model of Newtonian physics. For Comte’s contemporary Alexis de Tocqueville, on the other hand, the ‘new science’ belonged to the humanities, in particular to political philosophy, theology, classical studies, rhetoric and history, inspired by...

    • 11.4 Sociology and the Proliferation of Knowledge: La Condition Humaine
      (pp. 609-626)
      Bram Kempers

      Sociology and its companion social sciences, such as cultural anthropology and psychology, enjoy ambivalent relations with one another, and with sections of the humanities, from cultural history to the study of languages. To complicate matters more, the relations with the natural sciences are ambiguous as well and subject to debate. Intellectuals never created a clear-cut and generally accepted classification of the arts and sciences concerned with human behavior. The cognitive quality of literature and the visual arts never disappeared. Literary authors still claim to enlightenla comédie humaine, as Balzac coined the subject of his novels.

      Other professionals have entered...

    • 11.5 Inhumanity in the Humanities: On a Rare Consensus in the Human Sciences
      (pp. 627-638)
      Abram de Swaan

      A broad and strong consensus prevails in the human sciences about the personality traits that distinguish genocidal perpetrators from other human beings: there are none. A small percentage of the killers, roughly the same as in society at large, say five percent, may indeed show psychopathologies that make them impervious to the suffering of others and even cause them to enjoy it. The vast majority, however, displays the same variety of traits and in roughly the same frequencies as the population at large. There is near unanimity among scholars, a rare exception in the human sciences, that nothing in their...

  15. XII The Humanities in Society

    • 12.1 The Making and Persisting of Modern German Humanities: Balancing Acts between Autonomy and Social Relevance
      (pp. 641-654)
      Vincent Gengnagel and Julian Hamann

      The history of the humanities shows a constant struggle for constituting and maintaining their particular logic in relative autonomy from social influences. Understanding their emergence in the nineteenth century requires a sociological examination of how the humanities managed to maintain academic autonomy while at the same time demonstrating social relevance.

      The foundation for the autonomy of the modern humanities’ disciplines was formulated by Kant. He claimed that liberal arts constitute the very core of academic purity precisely because of their autonomy from any societal purpose. Declaring that ‘our age is the age of criticism’,¹ Kant at the same time wants...

    • 12.2 Critique and Theory in the History of the Modern Humanities
      (pp. 655-666)
      Paul Jay

      What role has poststructuralist literary, critical, and cultural theory played in the making of the humanities, particularly in the period between 1968 and the present, and what role should theory have going forward as we come to terms with the corporatization of higher education, with its stress on practical skills, vocational training, and on measuring concrete learning outcomes? Exploring these questions requires confronting – and linking – two key issues currently at the core of sometimes-fierce debates about the humanities in the West, and particularly in the US.

      The first issue has to do with whether or not theory since...

  16. Epilogue Toward a History of Western Knowledges: Sketching Together the Histories of the Humanities and the Natural Sciences
    (pp. 667-686)
    John V. Pickstone

    In my book onWays of Knowing: A New History of Science, Technology and Medicine(2000), I showed how a model developed from the historiography of medicine could be used to elucidate much wider histories. Since then I have published several papers refining my framework and extending its scope.¹ In June 2012, after a lecture in Utrecht, I was asked how my method might be used for the history of the humanities. This paper sketches a response.²

    But why should I presume that I have something to contribute to the ‘history of the humanities’, especially since this category has rarely...

  17. About the Authors
    (pp. 687-698)
  18. List of Figures
    (pp. 699-702)
  19. Index
    (pp. 703-715)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 716-724)