This essay's central concern is the need for a new, practical dimension in the humanities, emphasizing their constructive rather than purely scholarly aspects. An analysis is offered of various types of inventions in the fields of linguistics, philosophy, art, and literature, such as new disciplines, genres, cultural practices, and intellectual movements. An invention is not the production of a given work, however great, but rather a principle or technique that can be applied to the production of many works by others. Following Francis Bacon's call for the invention of new arts and sciences, the essay outlines new disciplines: technohumanities, which would study humans as a part of the technosphere; pathohumanities, which would investigate the self-destructive mechanisms of civilization; and scriptorics, which would focus on Homo scriptor, who has survived “the death of the author.” A research and educational program, uniting major fields of the humanities, is proposed: PILLAR (the acronym of philosophy, information, language, literature, art, religion) would be a transdisciplinary strategy complementary to STEM, integrating scholarship and inventorship.
Mikhail Epstein; INVENTIVE THINKING IN THE HUMANITIES. Common Knowledge 1 January 2017; 23 (1): 1–18. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0961754X-3692079
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