The study of humanities is concerned with human experiences and the manner through which they have been expressed. Courses in the Humanities Program examine the historical, social, philosophical, religious, and artistic expressions of different cultures and their diverse perspectives on the sacred as well as secular worlds. The Humanities-Philosophy course offerings at Laney College provide students with an opportunity to delve into the grand, fantastic and beautiful world of ideas. In addition to providing trans-formative approach to the humanistic traditions, the department will also give students the opportunity to develop their critical thinking as well as their writing skills.
The Journey towards Love and Wisdom
The human animal is a lamenting creature. All human creations are subtle illustrations of the never-ending struggle and quest for freedom, creativity, happiness, meaning and authenticity.
Whether a king or a slave, rich or poor, white or black, the human being shares the same fate as all other living organisms: death and extinction. Even the wisest of human beings must ultimately submit to the frailty that is brought about by old age and sickness. While the betrayal of the body and mind have not yet arrived, the human being stands before two powerful and indestructible questions that have haunted and tormented the human beings for millennia: Who am I? And, how am I to live?
There are many forms and crafts through which human beings express themselves. One of them is philosophy. Philosophical expressions are the revelations and testimonies of human experiences with birth and death, love and loss, union and separation, pleasure and pain, good and evil, war and peace, hope and frustration, joy and sorrow, excitement and despair, doubt and certainty, magic and transcendence.
Philosophy is an invitation toward a complete and profound state of Unknowing, Confusion, Bewilderment, Fascination and Awe: all of which lead the human being towards a humble awareness of the untapped vastness and potential of the Human Spirit, and Creativity.
Philosophy is the ultimate art of self-romance. It is perfecting the art of the Examined Life regardless of how painful and troubling the examined life may be.
Philosophy’s first task is to make the human being a devoted pupil of Love and slowly guide him or her towards Wisdom.
A laborious and arduous task indeed! The student of philosophy therefore should be slow to walk towards the dark, mysterious, exciting, and frightening underworld of Philosophy and be enormously cautious of the entrapment of Philosophy’s Love. It is a testing ground for those who have dared to be romanced and seduced by Philosophy’s Love. Many are entranced and enamored by the sheer beauty of Philosophy’s Love! Most of her seemingly faithful devotees, however, are cast aside as Philosophy’s Love find them to be unworthy of Her gift: Wisdom.
Those who are rejected by Philosophy’s Love depart with joyous memories of their exciting initiation into the bosom of Philosophy’s Love as well as the sorrowful memories of being kept outside of Philosophy’s Gate that lead to Wisdom. The few who have been deemed worthy of Philosophy’s Love and have been knighted by her Wisdom become the mad and the intoxicated sages who embody Philosophy’s Love and Wisdom. Through them does philosophy come to Life and the daring journey into the exotic mysteries of existence begin.
Laney’s Humanities-Philosophy department offers AA degrees in both philosophy and Humanities.