The Purposes and Functions of Humanities
Humanities refer to the branch of learning that study human thought and relations, literature and language. Humanities developed from the secular and intellectual undertaking during the middle Ages and became a force that contributed to the Renaissance .Browne and Fishwick (1992) highlight that humanities is useful to man it is one of the most significant philosophy that drives societies and the action of man. Humanities serve as a force that actively fights against lust and greed that exist in the society.
According to Crawford (2001), the role plays the role of keeping and conveying culture in many forms in the society. Furthermore, Crawford argues that humanities has advanced the study of various cultures that were once marginalized in the society and has also resulted in the establishment of both ethnic and gender issues as new areas of learning. Through humanities, humanist has contributed to the view of human judgment in human value through the provision of greater depth of understanding and knowledge in other areas of learning.
Through the learning and adoption of humanities, the society has used humanities as a mirror to view it image and that of the world at large and compare it with the manner of behavior and way of living of other people of the society. Thus humanities has offered clues about the past and it is only through the study of humanist that a complete picture of the past is realized, and thus awakening our sense on the possibilities of being like someone who lived in other ages and culture. Looking at the past through the mirror of humanities, man stretch his thinking and experience by stretching his imagination beyond his imagination (Commission of humanities 1978). Writings, monuments and deeds of the past are example of artifact that humanities use to study man’s past ways of living and culture though means of inquiry and reflections that provide insight, critical understanding and discrimination (Musae 2010) and thus humanities become a strong measure of our societal aspiration and values.