Humanities Are Natural

  • Paul Cobley
Part of the Biosemiotics book series (BSEM, volume 15)


There is a very real constraint on culture in the contemporary world, as opposed to the Deaconian constraint which is arguably at the centre of culture. The humanities are currently under assault for their perceived lack of utility. The humanities are found wanting in the face of the putative utility of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and they are increasingly called upon to demonstrate direct economic use-value. Subject areas such as medieval history are seen by critics of the humanities as being arcane, over-specialised and divorced from the brute economic realities which are supposedly paramount in contemporary life.


Business School Humpback Whale Verbal Code Musical Sign Cognitive Bearing 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Cobley
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Foreign Languages and CulturesNanjing Normal UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.President of the International Association for Semiotic Studies; and Professor in Language and Media, School of Media and Performing ArtsMiddlesex UniversityLondonUK

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