The humanities are the fields of knowledge that attempt to explore human beings and their culture and apply for this purpose methods of inquiry based on an appreciation of human values and on the investigation of unique qualities of the human spirit . Thus , as a separate group of disciplines , the humanities differ in content and approach from the physical and biological sciences and , sometimes , even from the social sciences . The humanities encompass the study of languages , literatures the arts , history , and philosophy . The conception of the humanities as we understand it today
goes back to the classical Greek paideia , which was a course of general education dating from the 5th century BC that prepared young men of the time for citizenship . It is also related to HYPERLINK "article ?eu 386098 " Cicero 's humanitas - a program of training formulated in 55 BC that orators had to undergo
At all times the humanities were a reflection of society`s cultural development stage and remained in tight connection with other spheres of human concern - like religion , state and political issues , emerging scientific and technological developments . It is the interaction between science and technology and the humanities that interests us and , as we will see , this interaction has only been growing in significance up until our time
It was at the time of Renaissance that scientific advances began to significantly influence the humanities and this influence was in form of aspiration of Renaissance artists for depicting real world in art as accurately as possible . Before that , artists of the Middle Ages were more concerned with depicting spiritual and religious notions rather than the real physical world - consequently they did not so much confront necessity to improve available techniques . Even those artists who possessed a better sense of real space and form could not achieve a truly "realistic " view that , soon , with appearance of a mathematical theory of perspective , artists could easily obtain
The first movement towards a new sense of artistic reality took place in early 15th century . One of the early masters in depicting the human form was Masaccio . In his "Expulsion from Paradise " the results of careful observation of human anatomy can easily be seen . Painting`s hero - Adam - reflects the underlying structure of skeleton and muscles Interestingly , such anatomical skills of Renaissance artists served for purpose of scientific investigation which can be exemplified by Andreas Vesalius , the Flemish physician whose major work "On the Structure of the Human Body , was illustrated by one students of Titian . The illustrations show a detailed record of the musculature and skeleton of the human body , and expose layer after layer of muscle to reveal the hidden structure
The first artist who himself performed dissections to improve anatomical knowledge probably was Antonio Pollaiuolo . His masterpiece of the "Martyrdom of St . Sebastian " is a proof of his virtuosity . Artists of the late 15th century like Michelangelo and Leonardo also pursued anatomical dissections to perfect their understanding of the human form - a good example of their scientific and...