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William James – With history, all subjects are humanities

August 24, 2014

“You can give humanistic value to almost anything by teaching it historically. Geology, economics, mechanics, are humanities when taught by reference to the successive achievements of the geniuses to whom these sciences owe their being. Not taught thus, literature remains grammar, art a catalogue, history a list of dates, and natural science a sheet of formulas and weights and measures.”

(from Memories and Studies [1911])

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