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Humanities, Volume 1, Issue 1 (June 2012), Pages 1-103

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Humanities — To Be or Not To Be, That Is the Question
Humanities 2012, 1(1), 54-61; doi:10.3390/h1010054
Received: 7 September 2011 / Accepted: 12 September 2011 / Published: 16 September 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (206 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Let us carry some proverbial owls to Athens or coals to Newcastle, that is, revisit issues that have been discussed and examined by so many different voices in the past and the present. However, those issues by themselves are so powerful and important,
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Let us carry some proverbial owls to Athens or coals to Newcastle, that is, revisit issues that have been discussed and examined by so many different voices in the past and the present. However, those issues by themselves are so powerful and important, so urgent and difficult that we must never tire of examining them always anew because they pertain centrally to our own human existence and prove to be the defining factors for our survival as a species. Why do we need the humanities as an academic discipline in the university, or in our educational system at large? What role do the humanities play both inside and outside the academy? Most universities in this world somehow acknowledge the importance of languages, literatures, music, art history, philosophy, religion, and education. But when it comes to basic financial issues, the humanities tend to be the first victims of budget cuts, if we disregard specifically liberal arts colleges that focus on the humanities above all or exclusively. [...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial Humanity and Sustainability
Humanities 2012, 1(1), 62-63; doi:10.3390/h1010062
Received: 2 September 2011 / Accepted: 12 September 2011 / Published: 16 September 2011
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Abstract
So far our open access publishing company MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute) has published mainly science, medicine and technology journals. To become a multidisciplinary publisher, we launched the journal Sustainability [1]. More recently, we started to run several social science journals, including Societies
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So far our open access publishing company MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute) has published mainly science, medicine and technology journals. To become a multidisciplinary publisher, we launched the journal Sustainability [1]. More recently, we started to run several social science journals, including Societies [2], Religions [3], Administrative Sciences [4] and Behavioral Sciences [5]. Today we published the first paper [6] of the inaugural issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787). This will be an international open access journal, publishing scholarly papers of high quality across all humanities disciplines. As a publisher, I would like to publish journals surrounding the topics of sustainability and I believe the humanities as a discipline of academic studies are very important. As a scientist, I believed science and technology will only benefit human beings. I was raised in a small village, living a very primitive life in a peasant family: no electricity, no machines, of course no TV and no refrigerator. Now, the life of my children is completely different. Even my own life has completely changed. I have witnessed very rapid changes: more and more machines are used to consume mineral resources and energy and to pollute the environment, in order to produce more and more powerful machines (we are also launching a journal titled Machines, in which the relationship between Man and machine should be an interesting topic.). Machines are more and more like human individuals consuming resources themselves (we are launching a journal titled Resources). [...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial Rendering Humanities Sustainable
Humanities 2012, 1(1), 64-71; doi:10.3390/h1010064
Received: 16 September 2011 / Revised: 25 September 2011 / Accepted: 10 October 2011 / Published: 19 October 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Launching a journal intended to cover the entire humanities is certainly an audacious project, for two reasons at least. Firstly, this journal will be expected to cover much academic diversity, particularly by including the “social sciences.” However, in this time of rampant overspecialization,
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Launching a journal intended to cover the entire humanities is certainly an audacious project, for two reasons at least. Firstly, this journal will be expected to cover much academic diversity, particularly by including the “social sciences.” However, in this time of rampant overspecialization, perhaps it is precisely such wholeness and breadth of vision that could become a journal’s strength. Secondly, since the viability of the humanities has been questioned from a number of perspectives it seems essential to meet these challenges by reinventing the discipline in response to issues raised—also a major task. It involves justifying the continuation of humanistic traditions. For this, humanists need to consider the nature of these challenges, understand and analyze them, and respond to them. It is therefore inevitable that a forward-looking, new journal in this discipline will deem it relevant to review these matters. [...] Full article
Open AccessEditorial Translation as the Catalyst of Cultural Transfer
Humanities 2012, 1(1), 72-79; doi:10.3390/h1010072
Received: 14 March 2012 / Accepted: 26 March 2012 / Published: 30 March 2012
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Abstract
This essay reflects on the many different strategies involved in translation, which is both a linguistic and a cultural-historical strategy. Examples from the Middle Ages and the Modern Age are adduced to illustrate the huge impact which translations have had on peoples and
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This essay reflects on the many different strategies involved in translation, which is both a linguistic and a cultural-historical strategy. Examples from the Middle Ages and the Modern Age are adduced to illustrate the huge impact which translations have had on peoples and societies throughout time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translation as the Foundation for Humanistic Investigations)

Research

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Open AccessArticle The Origins of Human Modernity
Humanities 2012, 1(1), 1-53; doi:10.3390/h1010001
Received: 18 July 2011 / Revised: 17 August 2011 / Accepted: 25 August 2011 / Published: 2 September 2011
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper addresses the development of the human species during a relatively short period in its evolutionary history, the last forty millennia of the Pleistocene. The hitherto dominant hypotheses of “modern” human origins, the replacement and various other “out of Africa” models, have
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This paper addresses the development of the human species during a relatively short period in its evolutionary history, the last forty millennia of the Pleistocene. The hitherto dominant hypotheses of “modern” human origins, the replacement and various other “out of Africa” models, have recently been refuted by the findings of several disciplines, and by a more comprehensive review of the archaeological evidence. The complexity of the subject is reconsidered in the light of several relevant frames of reference, such as those provided by niche construction and gene-culture co-evolutionary theories, and particularly by the domestication hypothesis. The current cultural, genetic and paleoanthropological evidence is reviewed, as well as other germane factors, such as the role of neurodegenerative pathologies, the neotenization of humans in their most recent evolutionary history, and the question of cultural selection-based self-domestication. This comprehensive reassessment leads to a paradigmatic shift in the way recent human evolution needs to be viewed. This article explains fully how humans became what they are today. Full article
Open AccessArticle Humanity’s Bioregional Places: Linking Space, Aesthetics, and the Ethics of Reinhabitation
Humanities 2012, 1(1), 80-103; doi:10.3390/h1010080
Received: 21 March 2012 / Revised: 5 April 2012 / Accepted: 3 May 2012 / Published: 9 May 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (294 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Originally theorized as a radical environmental movement, bioregionalism connects humanity to the specificities of a place. To establish greater cohesion between environments and cultures, bioregionalism endeavors to integrate societal activities and the nuances of natural spaces known as bioregions. The criticism of bioregionalism,
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Originally theorized as a radical environmental movement, bioregionalism connects humanity to the specificities of a place. To establish greater cohesion between environments and cultures, bioregionalism endeavors to integrate societal activities and the nuances of natural spaces known as bioregions. The criticism of bioregionalism, however, pertains to the shortcomings of circumscribing culture within ecological boundaries. In light of its criticism, bioregionalism can strengthen its theoretical basis and its potential for cultural change by engaging critically with space, aesthetics, and ethics. This engagement first involves the recognition of bioregionalism as an ethical possibility based on the fundamental spatial unit of the watershed. A watershed comprises vital regional ecological processes, bearing discrete aesthetic properties and patterns. Through the sensuous possibilities of watersheds, a bioregional aesthetic can be integrated with an ethic of reinhabitation. The relation between space, aesthetics, and ethics gives form to and sustains the experience of place, which is intrinsically related to promoting the awareness of ecological sustainability. Full article

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