Thornton, Bruce S. Humanities Handbook

ISBN 13: 9780130166647

Humanities Handbook

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9780130166647: Humanities Handbook

This dictionary of key terms and concepts provides the fundamental historical, philosophical, and critical vocabulary necessary for a complete understanding of the humanities—the great works of art, literature, history, philosophy, and music of the Western tradition. Its clearly written definitions offer users a background and introduction of ideas for what may have been previously unfamiliar terms. Containing only the basics, this handy resource is uncluttered by obscure, overly technical, or professionally specific terms. For individuals looking for “a read” to facilitate their other reading, and who no longer need to ask—or proclaim—what they do not understand. d.

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Every human endeavor depends on commonly shared terms, concepts, and categories that make the work easier and more efficient. Studying and talking about the humanities—the great works of art, literature, history, philosophy, and music of the Western tradition—are no different. This handbook provides students with the most basic and general definitions of the terms and ideas that are used in introductory humanities, literature, and Western civilization courses. It is hoped that the students' experience with their other class texts, whether primary or secondary, and with their instructor's lectures and other class materials will be enhanced by having this guide at hand to provide definitions of useful terms and concepts.

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Preface

Every human endeavor depends on commonly shared terms, concepts, and categories that make the task easier and more efficient. Studying and talking about the humanities-the great works of art, literature, history, philosophy, and music of the Western tradition—are no different. Part of becoming educated in the humanities is mastering these terms and concepts that are taken for granted by teachers and experts, so that specific works can be discussed and analyzed Without constant redefinition of basic terms and ideas.

This handbook attempts to provide students with the most basic and general definitions of the terms and ideas that are likely to come up in introductory humanities, literature, and Western civilization courses. The words in boldface type in the text are also entries in the handbook. This book gives students a basic awareness of important terms and concepts that will facilitate other reading and save time and frustration. As such, the terms chosen are the ones that in my twenty years of teaching such courses typically stump students. Thus, the criteria of selection and emphasis obviously are to some degree subjective, and I apologize for any important terms I have omitted.

My hope is that the students' experience with their other class texts, whether primary or secondary, and with their instructor's lectures and other class materials will be enhanced by having at hand a guide to the terms that are likely to be used when those materials are presented. These definitions, moreover, are intended to be general: They are only the first step for the student in furthering his or her understanding of these key ideas and terms. It is hoped that as class progresses and the student reads primary works and listens to lectures and analyses of ideas and themes, these general definitions will be fleshed out and elaborated.

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