The humanities are educational professions that research the human situation, using methods that are mainly systematic, critical, or speculative, as recognized from the mainly scientific techniques of the natural sciences. The humanities consist of historical and contemporary ‘languages’, literary works, history, viewpoint, belief, and performing arts such as music and cinema. The humanities that are also considered as social sciences consist of history, anthropology, area research, communication studies, social studies, law and linguistics. College students working in the humanities are sometimes described as “humanists”. However, that phrase also explains the philosophical position of humanism, which some “antihumanist” scholars in the humanities reject. Some additional educational institutions offer humanities classes, usually made up of English literary works, international research, and art.

The phrase “humanities” came from the Latin phrase studia humanitatis, or “study of humanitas” (a traditional Latin term meaning in addition to “humanity”, “culture, processing, education” and, specifically, an “education suitable for a cultured man”). In its utilization in the early Fifteenth century, the studia humanitatis was a course of studies that contains sentence structure, poems, rhetoric, history, and ethical viewpoint, mainly resulting from the research of Latin and Greek classics. The phrase humanitas also provided rise to the Renaissance German neologism umanisti, whence “humanist”, “Renaissance humanism”.

In the Western hemisphere, the research of the humanities can be tracked to ancient Greece, as the basis for a wide education for people. During Roman times, the idea of the seven liberal arts progressed, including sentence structure, rhetoric and reasoning (the trivium), along with mathematics, geometry, astronomy and music (the quadrivium).

A major move happened with the Renaissance humanism of the 15th century, when the humanities started to be considered as topics to be studied rather than used, with a corresponding move away from the conventional areas into areas such as literary works and history. In the Twentieth century, this view was in turn pushed by the postmodernist activity, which desired to change the humanities in more egalitarian conditions appropriate for a democratic community.