Unlike natural sciences, humanities have neither general nor specific laws or theories with which they predict their causes, content and outcome. This means that theories and predictions are always tentative, even when supported by theoretical science. For that reason, humanities have a much larger range of possible future outcomes than does the natural sciences. Nevertheless, there are some methods for increasing the predictive power of humanities research.
Most disciplines of humanities have interdisciplinarity, a number of which overlap significantly. Therefore, in most cases, a student entering humanities and liberal arts studies will find himself taking classes in several of these disciplines. Some examples include aesthetics, literature and theater. Other interdisciplinary courses may be required, especially if you are taking graduate level courses.
In a more fundamental sense, the humanities and liberal arts disciplines are both empirical, which means that they are based on facts, while the natural sciences are theoretically based on theoretical models of the natural world. Consequently, both humanities scholars and teachers must perform a certain amount of reflective self-reflection in order to be able to teach and study effectively. Self-reflection can be done throughout the curriculum but in particular areas such as philosophy, history, sociology, literature or psychology; the latter two areas are especially necessary for self-reflection within natural sciences.
In terms of applicability, humanities and liberal arts courses are as relevant to students as the natural sciences. This is because most humanities courses are interdisciplinary, meaning that they require students to engage with ideas from other disciplines. For example, an analysis of American literature may require one to examine works from different disciplines, such as English, history, English literature and the visual arts. The same is true of a course on American Studies. Such cross-departmental activities make humanities courses applicable to a broader range of students. In addition, a good humanities course should develop critical thinking skills that will be useful not only in college but also in life.
A key feature of humanities research is the comparative study of culture, society and individuals. Comparative studies of the humanities reflect back on their history and the societies and people who produced it. Such studies draw on a range of sources, including literary works, cultural traditions, historical events and political theories. A major concern of humanities scholars is to demonstrate the progression of social, technological and emotional developments through the ages, and how these developments impacted each other and us.
The major purpose of humanities courses is to develop a deeper understanding of how language and literature have shaped the world as we know it. A major component of this process is the process of literature analysis. During this phase, students will be given the opportunity to participate in a number of seminars and discussions, as well as reading literature from various disciplines and use the texts to build their own theoretical framework and argument. The results of such efforts can then be used to construct a more individualistic viewpoint about the social sciences, and a reduction of the role of social sciences in society.
In conclusion, a definition of the humanities can be somewhat limited. It would include all the traditional intellectual disciplines, including art, literature, history, science, geography, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and technology. In some ways, humanities scholars have already done a lot for the study of the social sciences, while the debate concerning the validity of such definition has just begun. However, if further research is to be done, it is hoped that a more exact definition will emerge.