Editorial: Continue investing in the humanities

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD | February 1, 2018

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Renowned investor Bill Miller recently donated $75 million to the University’s Department of Philosophy. Not only is this donation the largest gift to any Hopkins humanities department, but it is also the largest donation to any philosophy dpeartment in the country.

Our Department of Philosophy plans to use this donation to diversify its courses and increase its faculty from 13 to 22 members.

Given the University’s strong reputation in STEM fields, the Editorial Board believes that the symbolism of this donation to the philosophy department extends far beyond just its monetary value. This gift, which has made national headlines, places an emphasis on the intrinsic value of the humanities.

Today, many people determine the value of a college major based on job prospects or expected salaries post-graduation. However, we believe that the humanities encourage students to think and communicate critically and clearly, and to approach ideas with both curiosity and skepticism. We are especially heartened by the fact that Miller, a former PhD student in philosophy, also agrees.

We support the Department’s plans to introduce courses in Eastern philsophy, further exemplifying how Hopkins pushes the boundaries of academic fields.

In addition to these initiatives, we believe joint professorships and programs with other humanities departments will not only promote the interdisciplinary nature of philosophy, but also help strengthen our humanities programs as a whole.

While money is not everything, the significance of this donation cannot be underestimated. Moving forward, we hope that others continue to see the value of a humanities education.

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