How (and How Not) to Distinguish the Humanities from Social Science

By Rick Szostak.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper argues that the Humanities should be distinguished from the Social Sciences in terms of primary subject matter alone, and not in terms of theory, method, epistemology, or style of presentation. Some implications for how research should proceed in the Humanities are explored.

Keywords: Humanities, Social Science, Subject Matter, Phenomena, Theory, Method, Clarity, Postmodernism, Interdisciplinarity

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.69-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 585.167KB).

Prof. Rick Szostak

Professor, Economics Department, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

My recent research has focused on the development of classifications -- primarily of the phenomena scholars study, and the strengths and weaknesses of the theories and methods they use (see my 2004 book Classifying Science: Phenomena, Data, Theory., Method, Practice). I have also developed a 12-step process for interdisciplinary analysis which incorporates the use of these classifications. My classification of phenomena was applied to the study of culture in A Schema For Unifying Human Science: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Culture (2003). More recently, in both a paper and book under review, I have examined the relationship between postmodernism and interdisciplinarity.

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