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Humanities are academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture, including the fundamental questions asked by humans. During the Renaissance, the term 'humanities' referred to the study of classical literature and language, as opposed to the study of religion or 'divinity.' The study of the humanities was a key part of the secular curriculum in universities at the time. Today, the humanities are more frequently defined as any fields of study outside of natural sciences, social sciences, formal sciences (like mathematics), and applied sciences (or professional training). They use methods that are primarily critical, speculative, or interpretative and have a significant historical element—as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of science.The humanities include the studies of philosophy, religion, linguistics, foreign languages, history, language arts (literature, writing, oratory, rhetoric, poetry, etc.), performing arts (theater, music, dance, etc.), and visual arts (painting, sculpture, photography, filmmaking, etc.).Some definitions of the humanities encompass law and religion due to their shared characteristics, such as the study of language and culture. However, these definitions are not universally accepted, as law and religion are often considered professional subjects rather than humanities subjects. Professional subjects, like some social sciences, are sometimes classified as being part of both the liberal arts and professional development education, whereas humanities subjects are generally confined to the traditional liberal arts education. Although sociology, anthropology, archaeology, linguistics and psychology share some similarities with the humanities, these are often considered social sciences. Similarly, disciplines such as finance, business administration, political science, economics, and global studies have closer ties to the social sciences rather than the humanities. Scholars in the humanities are called humanities scholars or sometimes humanists. The term humanist also describes the philosophical position of humanism, which antihumanist scholars in the humanities reject. Renaissance scholars and artists are also known as humanists. Some secondary schools offer humanities classes usually consisting of literature, history, foreign language, and art. Human disciplines like history and language mainly use the comparative method and comparative research. Other methods used in the humanities include hermeneutics, source criticism, esthetic interpretation, and speculative reason. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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