It is the argument of this essay… [that] the humanities systematically develops what the late nineteenth century American philosopher and polymath Charles Sanders Peirce calls ‘habits of thought,’ engendered through systematic disciplinary study of language, history, philosophy, and art forms, to develop certain forms of attention that allow people, habitually, to notice certain kinds of things that they would otherwise miss.
In this essay Professor Ronald Schleifer makes the case that the humanities train us in systematic attention to experience – and in particular, attention to linguistic and narrative knowledge – and he shows how this kind of attention can change the fundamental quality and outcome of interactions in the domain of medicine. This essay is a cogent argument for the interdisciplinary value of the humanities.
This series, The Pragmatics of Art, aims to model and disseminate the combination of practical and intellectual research that guides the work of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research (CCCR), and to provide thoughtful contributions from a wide variety of sources to artistic and intellectual projects that both derive from and serve larger communities.
–from the Series Introduction by CCCR director, Distinguished Professor Jen Webb