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The humanities are a group of academic subjects united by a commitment to studying aspects of the human condition and a qualitative approach that generally prevents a single paradigm from coming to define any discipline.

In academia, the humanities are generally considered to be, along with the social sciences and the natural sciences, one of three major components of the liberal arts and sciences.

While the precise definition of the humanities can be contentious, the following disciplines are generally recognized to form their core:

History, while also considered at times a social science, is one of the most prominent humanities in the United States as measured by foundation contributions, National Endowment for the Humanities projects, and National Humanities Centers fellowships.

Some expand the definition to include other studies of human life using qualitative description and analysis, including at large parts of the following fields:

The 1980 United States Rockefeller Commission on the Humanities described the humanities in its report, The Humanities in American Life:

Through the humanities we reflect on the fundamental question: What does it mean to be human? The humanities offer clues but never a complete answer. They reveal how people have tried to make moral, spiritual, and intellectual sense of a world in which irrationality, despair, loneliness, and death are as conspicuous as birth, friendship, hope, and reason.

Scholars working in the humanities are sometimes described as humanists, but this can be confusing, as it also describes a philosophical position (humanism) which some antihumanist scholars in the humanities reject.

See also

ast:Ciencies humanes ca:Humanitats da:Humaniora de:Geisteswissenschaften et:Humanitaarteadused es:Humanidades eo:Homa scienco fr:Sciences humaines ko:인문 과학 he:מדעי הרוח id:Humaniora nl:Geesteswetenschappen pl:Nauki humanistyczne ja:人文科学 sv:Humaniora zh:人文科学

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