Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Humanities at Work: Beyond the Noble Lie

Prof. Michael DeWilde, Jeff Koeze.

Scholars and proponents of the Humanities often do not give much thought to how their talents and work could be put to use in the business world. Business leaders, for their part, rarely give much thought to the potential 'usefulness' of the Humanities in their operations. It will be our contention that, given the centrality of business in all its forms in the 21st Century, the divide between the two must be bridged if capitalism is to have a human face. Can we imagine a future for "the human" not confined merely to working and consuming? One that challenges the noble lie in all its variations? Drawing on our work together in business and the university, we will involve the audience in a discussion of both the intrinsic value and instrumental uses of the methods and substance of the Humanities as they apply to a world of commerce often dismissive of them.


Prof. Michael DeWilde  (United States)
Assistant Prof. of Philosophy
Philosophy Dept.
Grand Valley State University

Prof. DeWilde teaches the Humanities at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. He is founder and director of the "Working Classics" program, which in 2002 was awarded a national prize for "Excellence and Innovation in Philosophy" by the American Philosophical Association. DeWilde consults for local businesses on creating learning environments and is currently writing on the relationship of the humanities to business. He teaches Ethics, Eastern Thought, and Liberal Studies. He holds degrees from William James College and Harvard University.

Jeff Koeze  (United States)

  • Practical application
  • Business and the Humanities
  • Noble Lie

(60 min. Workshop, English)