In Response to: Opening Up Humanities

It used to be that the humanities and related scientific and social fields were regarded as indispensable for an education. But in recent decades education has been defined by its usefulness in getting future employment with higher than normal monetary rewards. And with the rise in tuition costs, thanks to selfish university and college administrations abetted by government support for student loans, wanting an education for personal rather than monetary goals seems even less justifiable for many students and their families.

The humanities came into fashion I think mostly in the Renaissance period as the way to educate gentlemen from the elite or those lower down who had the potential to rise into the elite with the proper educational credentials. The humanities also came gradually to replace theology and religion as useful disciplines, which by now are obviously not useful. No one any more, except the very rich, can afford to spend time and finances on acquiring gentility; they need a job!

Norman Ravitch *62
Savannah, Ga.