Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Roles for the Humanities in Relation to Science

Joseph E. Martire.

The defining intellectual tasks and methods of science are often misunderstood and misrepresented by those working within (or primarily attracted to) the humanities. Science is sometimes confused with scientism, an unfortunate and untenable political ideology. More often, science is alleged to presume, or even sometimes to prove, a metaphysical doctrine of causal determinism and thus to undermine prospects for freedom and human creativity so prized within the humanities. More generally still, science is seen and feared as an endeavor that is alien and hostile to the values and pursuits of the humanities.

Proper understanding of the intellectual tasks and methodological constraints that define scientific inquiry and explanation reveal an endeavor no less creative, no less noble than those pursued within the humanities. Moreover, such understanding allows refined appreciation for several primary roles for the humanities in relation to science. While these are not the only roles for the humanities, they remain important and essential ones nonetheless.


Joseph E. Martire  (United States)
Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
Southwest Missouri State University

  • The Nature of Science
  • Roles for the Humanities

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)