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Humanities, Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2014), Pages 1-101

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Humanities in 2013
Humanities 2014, 3(1), 71-72; doi:10.3390/h3010071
Received: 27 February 2014 / Accepted: 27 February 2014 / Published: 27 February 2014
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Abstract The editors of Humanities would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2013. [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle The Challenges of the Humanities, Past, Present, and Future: Why the Middle Ages Mean So Much for Us Today and Tomorrow
Humanities 2014, 3(1), 1-18; doi:10.3390/h3010001
Received: 20 August 2013 / Revised: 22 September 2013 / Accepted: 16 December 2013 / Published: 23 December 2013
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Abstract
Every generation faces the same challenge, to engage with the past and to cope with the present, while building its future. However, the questions and problems inherent in human life remain the same. It is a given that our society can only progress
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Every generation faces the same challenge, to engage with the past and to cope with the present, while building its future. However, the questions and problems inherent in human life remain the same. It is a given that our society can only progress if we work toward handling ever newly rising demands in appropriate ways based on what we know and understand in practical and theoretical terms; but the drumming toward the future cannot be a one-way street. Instead, we have to operate with a Janus-faced strategy, with one eye kept toward tomorrow, and the other eye toward yesterday. Culture is, however we want to define it, always a composite of many different elements. Here I argue that if one takes out the past as the foundation of culture, one endangers the further development of culture at large and becomes victim of an overarching and controlling master narrative. This article does not insist on the past being the absolute conditio sine qua non in all our activities, but it suggests that the metaphorical ship of our cultural existence will not operate successfully without an anchor, the past. I will illustrate this claim with reference to some examples from medieval literature, philosophy, and religion as they potentially impact our present in multiple fashions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Democracy versus the Domination of Instrumental Rationality: Defending Dewey’s Argument for Democracy as an Ethical Way of Life
Humanities 2014, 3(1), 19-41; doi:10.3390/h3010019
Received: 8 November 2013 / Revised: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 13 December 2013 / Published: 2 January 2014
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Abstract
For some, the problem with the domination of instrumental rationality is the tendency towards anomie. However, this fails to recognise the instrumental use of norms by elite groups to manipulate public opinion. Such manipulation can then allow elite groups to treat the citizenry
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For some, the problem with the domination of instrumental rationality is the tendency towards anomie. However, this fails to recognise the instrumental use of norms by elite groups to manipulate public opinion. Such manipulation can then allow elite groups to treat the citizenry as a means for the pursuit of their self-interest. Horkheimer was one of the first to recognise the problem in this form, but was unable to offer any solution because he conceptualised the citizenry as passive. By contrast, Dewey argued for an active citizenry to value participation in public life as good in, and of, itself. This is associated with his conception of democracy as an ethical way of life offering the possibility for the domination of instrumental rationality to be transcended. In this article Dewey’s resolution of the problem is addressed in the light of the weaknesses attributed here to Horkheimer and to later developments by Bellah, Bernstein, Gellner, Habermas and Honneth. Full article
Open AccessArticle Converging Ideologies in William Fowler’s Hybrid Translation of Machiavelli’s Il Principe
Humanities 2014, 3(1), 42-58; doi:10.3390/h3010042
Received: 19 October 2013 / Revised: 23 January 2014 / Accepted: 23 January 2014 / Published: 6 February 2014
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Abstract
This article explores the place of William Fowler’s translation of Machiavelli’s Prince in the Scottish Jacobean polysystem. Even if it was never finished, Fowler may have seen his rendering of Il Principe as a way of gaining King James’s favor at a time
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This article explores the place of William Fowler’s translation of Machiavelli’s Prince in the Scottish Jacobean polysystem. Even if it was never finished, Fowler may have seen his rendering of Il Principe as a way of gaining King James’s favor at a time when Fowler had become a peripheral member at the sovereign’s court. Consequently, the translator’s hybrid deployment of three different sources, together with his own additions and suppressions, were aimed to conform to James VI’s political and cultural project. The ideological convergences between the king’s political thought and Fowler’s manipulated Prince supported and legitimized the existing power structures of the target culture. The unfinished/unedited state of the manuscript may suggest that a total reconciliation between James’s markedly idealized vision of kingship and government and Machiavelli’s treatise was impossible despite the translator’s intercultural and ethnocentric appropriation of the source text. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Translation as the Foundation for Humanistic Investigations)
Open AccessArticle Hyde’s Deformity: The Literary Myth of the Fallen Protohuman
Humanities 2014, 3(1), 59-70; doi:10.3390/h3010059
Received: 1 January 2014 / Revised: 27 January 2014 / Accepted: 13 February 2014 / Published: 19 February 2014
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Abstract
Drawing from a variety of examples in world literature, this paper exposits a pervasive, diachronic literary motif in which an early human—the mythic protohuman—exists superior to contemporary humans, whose greatness is reflected in physical stature and aesthetic form, and whose eventual spiritual “fall”
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Drawing from a variety of examples in world literature, this paper exposits a pervasive, diachronic literary motif in which an early human—the mythic protohuman—exists superior to contemporary humans, whose greatness is reflected in physical stature and aesthetic form, and whose eventual spiritual “fall” is physically manifested in diminished stature and deformity. Indo-European creation myths, the biblical Genesis, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Stevenson’s Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, and Tolkien’s Middle Earth legendaria are examined in support of the thesis that Western literature has recapitulated the mythological notion that the archetypal ancestor possessed a quality and grace that has been slowly lost in time and is represented by a corresponding physical decay. This notion, then, when read as anagogical symbol, serves to furnish society with insights into reiterated social constructs preoccupied with human degeneration and decay, as well as questions about its beliefs concerning humankind’s origin, nature, and destiny. Full article
Open AccessArticle “Imagining What We Know”: The Humanities in a Utilitarian Age
Humanities 2014, 3(1), 73-87; doi:10.3390/h3010073
Received: 5 January 2014 / Revised: 24 February 2014 / Accepted: 25 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
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Abstract
This paper explores the ways that critics writing in the early nineteenth century developed arguments in favor of what we think of today as the humanities in the face of utilitarian pressures that dismissed the arts as self-indulgent pursuits incapable of addressing real-world
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This paper explores the ways that critics writing in the early nineteenth century developed arguments in favor of what we think of today as the humanities in the face of utilitarian pressures that dismissed the arts as self-indulgent pursuits incapable of addressing real-world problems. Its focus reflects the extent to which the financial crisis in our own day has manifested itself in a jarring shift in research priorities towards applied knowledge: a retrenchment which has foregrounded all over again the question of how to make the case for the value of the humanities. These problems, however, also constitute an important opportunity: a chance to re-imagine our answers to questions about the nature and role of the humanities, their potential benefits to contemporary life, and how we might channel these benefits back into the larger society. The good news is that in many ways, this self-reflexive challenge is precisely what the humanities have always done best: highlight the nature and the force of the narratives that have helped to define how we understand our society—its various pasts and its possible futures—and to suggest the larger contexts within which these issues must ultimately be situated. History repeats itself, but never in quite the same way: knowing more about past debates will provide a crucial basis for moving forward as we position themselves to respond to new social, economic, technological, and cultural challenges during an age of radical change. Full article
Open AccessArticle University Community Partnerships
Humanities 2014, 3(1), 88-101; doi:10.3390/h3010088
Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 14 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
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Abstract
University-Community Partnerships have been recognized as a valuable contribution to both the academic community and our cities and towns. In the words of Henry Cisneros, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Design secretary, “The long-term futures of both the city and the
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University-Community Partnerships have been recognized as a valuable contribution to both the academic community and our cities and towns. In the words of Henry Cisneros, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Design secretary, “The long-term futures of both the city and the university in this country are so intertwined that one cannot—or perhaps will not—survive without the other.” Increasingly, colleges and university are bringing their time, energy and resources to bear on local problems. They are using their other physical, financial and intellectual capital to facilitate economic development, provide social services, technical assistance and create opportunities for applied research. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Idea of the University)

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