The late Robert Nisbet used to tell a story about the academic scientist who was angrily accosted by his humanist colleague for “speaking against the humanities” at the previous day’s faculty meeting. Au contraire, said the other; he was doing nothing of the kind. “I love the humanities! I would die for the humanities! All I asked was — what the hell are the humanities?”

Source: “Defining the Humanities Up” by Wilfred M. McClay | Articles | First Things