Do You Spurn Those Who Say Humanities and Sciences Conflict? I Need You!

As you may know, I’m restless to the point of not even being able to settle on one subject to study at university. On the other hand, I am a proud joint honours student. As such, I believe that my interests in each of my disciplines – from my three A Levels: Philosophy and Ethics, Psychology, and Latin – are as serious as each other, regardless of one being a essay-and-thought-based humanity, the other a science (and don’t beat me over the head with that “it’s not a science” rubbish when I have to learn neuroscience), and the last an ancient language in which I almost became fluent. 

But some people don’t think that. Some people think that the creative and analytic disciplines are incompatible or conflicting. Again, I suppose that is rut.

My word alone, however, would say nought for life.

Do you feel that you use both hemispheres of your brain equally – do you love disciplines like an art or a music as well as physics or maths? Do you find yourself straying between this imagined line of the sciences and the humanities, pointing a laughing finger at those who suggest that we are either creative or analytic?

Well, then, I may need your help in a blog project I’m creating. For the sheer sake of it.

The below vlog explains my idea and reasonings in more detail. And you just know you love my English accent. 😉

Also, it’s an excuse to show of my new Reading Rocs Quidditch kit!

Effectively, I’m looking for bloggers who wouldn’t mind either writing a # page and taking a photo of them with it, or writing a blog post of their thoughts, or shooting a short, editable vlog scene explaining what makes them a ‘corpus callosum’ person. That’s code for the bundle of neurons between left and right hemisphere that  facilitates interhemispheric communication. Basically, we are trying to get past that age-old split-brain theory.

Anyway, let’s just see how this goes. 


7 thoughts on “Do You Spurn Those Who Say Humanities and Sciences Conflict? I Need You!

  1. Philosophy is a science. Some of what is presented as philosophy is fuzzy pseudo-science, unfortunately, but in its purest form philosophy is as rigorous as mathematics. It is the study of that which is true, in an absolute sense.

    I think the whole left-brain/right-brain dichotomy is an excuse for lazy thinking. Instead of saying that math is hard and they don’t want to work at it, people claim that refusing to learn it is some kind of proof that they are more creative or more empathetic, or something.

    I don’t draw any distinction between poetry, mathematics, and music–all of them are subsets of semiotics, the study of symbols.

    • Thank you for adding such a thoughtful comment. I haven’t replied until now because I simply can’t think of any way to add to what you’ve said. It’s very true: philosophy does involve scientific rigour – I mean, one of my modules is my university’s equivalent of the Oxbridge philosophy Logic module – and pro-and-con arguments are definitely a type of thinking that would involve the same neurological firing, I suspect, as when considering scientific language.
      However, in the academia and in lay terms, it is presented as a humanity/art, especially for its almost predominantly essay-writing element, just as English Lit or History is.
      If only I could get a BSc for doing philosophy (ironically, the identical to the one I do course at a university I turned down is given as a BSc)!

      I do agree entirely on the laziness of the left-right dichotomy. A few months ago, I wrote a more academic post on why it’s not possible that the brain has such practical laterality as limb laterality (though it could be argued that there’s no such clear division on limbs, either); whilst the theory was popular not ten years ago, with the advancement of neuroimaging studies, the idea of activities eliciting a left or right hemisphere response alone is frankly, well, illogical.

  2. Having watched your video (smashing accent, by the way) I’d like to add that my day job is in building maintenance. I do locksmithing, electrical work, general repairs of all kinds, and I work at a university. I have found that many of the faculty are shocked to find that I am also a writer, because in their mind the kind of person who fixes the lights shouldn’t be the kind of person who writes books.

    On the other hand, people outside of the academic world seldom find it at all extraordinary. So I think that part of the idea that people should only be good at one kind of thing is academia’s way of enforcing the one person/one discipline structure.

  3. This is such a fantastic idea, and something that certainly needs doing. Even though English and Maths are so ‘core’ to education, my teachers discouraged me from taking Further Maths alongside humanities. Since most people know me as a mathematician, the moment I mention writing they look at me exactly as if the two disciplines were mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive.
    I completely agree with everything regarding maths and music – there are even scientists who study mathematically the chords and musical structures that inspire in us certain moods. Enid Blyton’s character Irene in Malory Towers insisted maths and music were closely linked, but I don’t suppose Blyton had done any research on the question.
    To say anything intelligent on the subject I’ll need to think about it, but I’m certainly interested in contributing.

    • Aha, thanks for commenting 😀 I did think of you when devising this, actually, since I remember you’ve posted about music being so mathematically before. And, of course, you’re so multi-faceted that you fall right into the type of person I mean. 🙂
      “…as if the two disciplines were mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive.” Whilst I don’t deny that they’re both time-consuming (! and not in a bad way), I despise the idea of mutual exclusivity. Sure, some people are very humanities based (I was hanging out with the girls either side of me last night and they were talking about how they would do a selection of humanities, but stay so far from the sciences; and back in 2011 after GCSEs, SpookofNight/Charley R talked about burning maths books! :P) that those of us who consider and operate on more than one strenuous discipline are not considered the norm, when, in fact, we are much more likely the norm.
      To fair, I’m not quite sure in what way I want to display the finished project. I like the idea of hashtag posters but I’ll vlog it as well. So much effort, so will have to wait until after exams definitely.

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