ATG Book of the Week: The Value of the Humanities

by | Apr 28, 2014 | 0 comments

value of the humanities - ukcatalogue.oupTitle: The Value of the Humanities
Author: Helen Small
Hardback: ISBN:978-0-19-968386-4, £20.00
Imprint: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013


“The Value of the Humanities provides a critical account of the principal arguments used to defend the value of the Humanities…  Unlike many works in this field, The Value of the Humanities is not a polemic or a manifesto. Its purpose is to explore the grounds for each argument, and to test its validity for the present day. Tough-minded, alert to changing historical conditions for argument and changing styles of rhetoric, it promises to sharpen the terms of the public debate.”

  • Offers a clear and new taxonomic account of arguments for the defence of the Humanities, and their contribution to the public good
  • A new critical work providing clarification of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the major claims for the Humanities
  • Explains the grounds for arguing that the Humanities make a contribution to happiness
  • Assesses the pros and cons of the argument that the Humanties benefit democracy
  • Clearly and critically examines the argument of the value of the Humanities ‘for its own sake’



“Highly intelligent” – Barton Swain, Wall Street Journal

“a lucid summary of the case for the humanities that avoids the victim complex that is the bane of such discussions.” – David Willetts, The Times Higher Education Supplement

“Helen Small does a good job cheerleading for [the Humanities].” – Northern Echo

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