Both Human and Humane

Both Human and Humane

The Humanities and Social Sciences in Graduate Education

by Roy F. Nichols and Charles E. Boewe

Hardback Publication Date: 08/05/2017

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The papers in this volume, presenting a stimulating appraisal of graduate education in America, were delivered during the seventy-fifth anniversary celebration of the Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania. Though the writers of these papers approach the overall topic from many different points of view, one striking, basic conclusion is held by all: graduate training must change from the study of "subjects" to the study of institutional aggregates evolving in time, such as cultures or civilizations, basing more of its research on the use of models, on the application of the most rigorous instruments of thought and analysis, and on a more effective assessment of value.

The papers of Max Black, Charles Frankel, and S. S. Wilks all indicate that we are developing more precise methods of definition, discovery, and communication--methods which are difficult to teach, to learn, and to use. Do we really face the problem of how well do we teach them? These papers likewise indicate a new concept of cooperation and sharing of insight, particularly in the fields of the social sciences and the humanities. Whatever gap exists between them should be bridged by the faculty, and the students should be led constantly back and forth across the bridge. John P. Gillin describes the need for the bridge and gives some specifications for planning and building it. In this matter of specifications, Whitney J. Oates, Daniel H. H. Ingalls, Leo Gershoy, and Henri Peyre join with him in stressing the "cultural" concept. There are entities in space and time, population aggregates, which have folkways and characteristics of behavior which can be defined, analyzed, and compared.

The implications as well as the definite recommendations of these papers underline the inadequacies of much of our orientation toward present Ph.D. training and add greatly to the difficulties of our situation. If we are to place the study of any phase of human behavior in its proper setting, we must provide our students with a cultural frame of reference which most of them do not now have. The study of the ancient world, Eastern cultures, recurrent behavioral patterns, and the intricate process of the creation and transmission of ideas all provide guideposts along a new road which society should demand that we travel.

Pendleton Herring, Howard Mumford Jones, and Donald Young offer suggestions, sometimes rather at variance with one another, as to the philosophy which should direct a scholarly reorientation. A need exists for more careful attention to the implications of a graduate school as an association of a mature group of scholars with a younger generation who are being trained to carry on. There should be a greater sense of men and women of varied skills working together and sharing their curiosities as well as their information, their thoughts as well as their discoveries.

Contributors John P. Gillin, Max Black, S. S. Wilks, Howard Mumford Jones, Charles Frankel, Leo Gershoy, Henri Peyre, Pendleton Herring, Whitney J. Oates, Daniel H. H. Ingalls, Donald Young.

Publication Date:
University of Pennsylvania Press
Country of origin:
United States
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