我的Kindle Keyboard上原先有个Collection叫“Humanities”,看了老罗的Smartisan OS (based on Android)发布会后,我把它改为了“Liberal Arts”。感谢老罗,当然,从根上应该感谢乔帮主。

十字路口的老罗和雷军

自打老罗用了Liberal Arts后, 后面的雷军还有大可乐2代等的Slide中也都接连使用了这个词,那Liberal Arts到底是个啥意思呢?是不是就是人云亦云的那个“人文”的意思呢?

其实Liberal Arts远不止“人文”那么简单,它的英英释义很有味道:

school or college subjects that give students a general education and
teach them to think, rather than those subjects that develop
practical skills.

这个是韦氏词典中对于Liberal Arts的释义:

the studies (as language, philosophy, history, literature,
abstract science) in a college or university intended to provide
chiefly general knowledge and to develop the general
intellectual capacities (as reason and judgment) as opposed to
professional or vocational skills.

这是我Google“liberal arts humanities difference”结果页里第一个链接的内容:

Liberal arts includes humanities, creative and performing arts,
social sciences and (generally, though not officially at some university)
natural sciences.

Humanities are classes like: English, philosophy, art history,
religious studies, etc.
Paleo-sciences will either be considered a social science
(as a branch of anthropology) or a natural science depending upon
your particular university.

So, in short, a degree in Liberal Arts will enable you to study history,
literature, arts, and paleo-sciences.
A degree in the humanities will probably not allow history
(though some schools may consider that to be a humanity) or paleo-sciences.

北京大学教育学院的沈文钦在其Liberal Arts与Humanities的区别:概念史的考察一文中阐释的也很到位:

“博雅学艺”(liberal arts)与“文科”(humanities)是西方教育史上
两个核心的概念。
在中文学界,liberal arts常常被翻译为“人文学科”或“文科”,
这在一定程度上混淆了两者的关系。
文艺复兴之后,liberal arts和humanities之间的区别越来越大,
自始至终,liberal arts囊括了两种性质截然不同的知识,
其一是体现敏感性精神的文法、修辞、诗歌,
其二是体现几何学精神的算术、几何、天文学,等等,
而自文艺复兴之后,人文学的概念已经将数学彻底排除在外。

这里可以看到《Liberal Arts与Humanities的区别:概念史的考察》的全文。