Many people get hung up on what are considered to be “liberal” or “conservative” fields, but there is no such thing as an average field! Each discipline has its own internal logic that makes it worthy of study and understanding.
What are sometimes referred to as liberal arts can actually be broken down into several different areas. Some examples include humanities (language, literature), social sciences (political science, economics) and natural sciences (biology, chemistry).
These three groups of courses typically focus more on studying knowledge in general rather than specific topics, making them good foundations for anyone who wants to understand how things work. They also tend to emphasize rationality and reasoning, which are important skills for anyone to have.
However, none of these disciplines alone will really give you much insight into why individual items exist and what purpose they serve. That comes from philosophy, which we will discuss below.
Liberal education looks at the importance of reason, equality, freedom and truth, all of which play a part in shaping society and individuals. It was once common practice for most educated people in the west to learn this kind of academic material, but that has slowly been forgotten with the rise of specializations.
Luckily though, this educational tradition still survives in some form today, and should not be overlooked. If you want to truly understand our world, then learning about the underlying structure of everything is essential.
The natural sciences
Many people think that being liberal means you are very left-wing, supporting socialist governments and ideologies. But what is liberalism actually about?
Liberalism comes from the Latin word liberare, which means to free or liberate. So, according to the liberals, freedom means giving yourself or others space to express themselves, have different opinions than yours, and be able to accept other people for who they are.
Liberals believe in open discussion, independent thought, and encouraging diversity of opinion. They want to promote an environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing their ideas, even if these ideas are not like everyone else’s. This way, we as humans learn how to defend our beliefs while also learning how to appreciate those of others.
The more exposure you give someone else’s view, the greater your understanding of all views becomes. In this way, you strengthen your own belief system.
Principle two: Reasoned argument
A lot of things that people call “liberal” aren’t really that much concerned with having logical arguments. Rather than relying on logic, many so-called liberals use emotional appeal, intimidation, or ridicule to convince others of their worldview.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; some emotions can motivate us to do good deeds. However, when such persuasion strategies are used excessively, it can influence us negatively by weakening our inner defenses and self-confidence.
The social sciences
Social scientists are professionals who study human behavior, relationships, and society. They do this by gathering material through interviews, surveys, experiments, and observations.
Social science theories focus on how people interact with each other and what influences their behaviors. Some studies look at why some individuals or groups of people behave more aggressively than others, while others explore how to improve interpersonal relations.
A popular area of research is studying the effects that technology has on our lives. Technology like smartphones, computer programs, and the internet makes it easy to access information, communicate, work, and shop anywhere.
But as we know, digital media can be addictive, so researchers investigate how different use patterns influence mental health and social connections. This is an important topic given the ever-growing dependence on gadgets!
Other areas studied include sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, political science, and beyond. These disciplines all relate to one another, drawing from similar concepts and tools to better understand humanity.
The engineering sciences
Systems science is studying how things work as a whole, not piece by piece. This includes looking at how systems interact with each other, and how one part of the system influences the rest.
Systems scientists typically look at how individual parts relate to each other and to external factors. For example, an engineer might study how friction affects vehicle speed or what happens when someone drops a car key in a river.
Economics is also related to systems science. An economist studies how people are influenced by incentives (such as money) to make decisions.
Another field that has some connections to liberal arts is communication. System’s scientist use language effectively and evaluate whether it works for them.
Writing is a powerful tool that can be used for many different purposes. Some of the most popular uses are creative nonfiction (narrative essays), fiction, poetry, and blogs.
Writing a poem or short story can help you work through emotional experiences or test your creativity skills. A well-written narrative essay can tell someone’s life story or how to solve a problem.
Writers write because they need to express their thoughts and feelings in an organized way. Poetry is particularly rich in metaphor and symbolism, making it a great tool for creative writers.
Many students learn how to put words together in elementary school writing classes, but few learn how to use language effectively as a means of expression. By being aware of the fundamentals of writing including grammar, punctuation, and structure, you will know what tools to pull out when you want to write.
These skills do not only apply to creating stories and poems, but also to developing your blog site content, answering questions using examples and reasoning, and giving speeches! All of these require literacy and organization.