The study of the Humanities promotes the development of many important skills and capacities which are applicable to any subject matter and which are useful throughout our public and private lives. Although the Humanities are not the only subject areas which promote them, these skills and capacities are a central concern and a primary focus in all Humanities disciplines.
They include the following:
- Critical thinking (reasoning, organizing ideas, making distinctions, recognizing important similarities, grasping what is essential);
- Decision making (maturity and refinement of judgment, ability to give good reasons);
- Communication (clear, cogent expression of ideas and beliefs, ability to say and write what one means);
- Self-understanding (ability to locate oneself culturally, ethnically, religiously, politically);
- Valuation (ability to deal rationally with questions of value, to set priorities and balance competing ideals);
- Integrative understanding (ability to synthesize learning, make relevant connections among a diversity of subjects);
- Cross-cultural awareness (capacity for mutual understanding, tolerance, and the rational resolution of conflicts);
- Aesthetic sensibility (capacity for the appreciation of fine art, music, literature, and the beauty of the natural world);
- Civic responsibility (the ideals of truth, justice, and respect for persons are implicit in the study of the humanities).