Humanities Classes at TMCC
Often, the humanities are defined as a group of academic areas that constitute part of the liberal arts. When the National Endowment for the Humanities was established by the U.S. Congress in 1964, their definition of the humanities included philosophy, ethics, foreign languages and culture, comparative religion and the history, theory and criticism of the arts.
While many students attend college to focus on learning for a particular career, the study of the humanities is intended to enrich, inspire and ennoble us as humans for the rest of our lives. But the humanities are also practical. Studying the humanities makes us more critical and imaginative thinkers about issues that confront us everyday. It also allows us to understand and appreciate the experience of others and gives us a context for the problems of our times. The study of humanities is truly a way of thinking about the world.
The 1980 United States Rockefeller Commission on the Humanities described the humanities in its report, The Humanities in American Life:
Through the humanities we reflect on the fundamental question: What does it mean to be human? The humanities offer clues but never a complete answer. They reveal how people have tried to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of a world in which irrationality, despair, loneliness and death are as conspicuous as birth, friendship, hope and reason.
The humanities concern themselves with human experience. Scholars working in the Humanities department are sometimes described as humanists. This idea can be misleading, however, as the term also describes a particular philosophical position. The term humanitarian refers to someone who is philanthropic. The purpose of TMCC's Humanities department is to humanize, not to simply confer knowledge.