[ExI] influence of the humanities

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Mon Jun 28 14:02:17 UTC 2021

Minds like Einstein have credited complex music (e.g. Bach, Beethoven) with
enhancing their creativity, but what is the importance of music to the
larger society? Has music ever affected civilizations like, say, great
literature or philosophy?

from my Quora answer:

Historically, very few people got to listen to classical music. Only the
rich, the elite could afford such a thing. Even now with Youtube having an
abundance of classical music it’s far, far from as popular as anything else
you can name. The Beatles probably influenced society in general far more
than Bach and Beethoven.

The same goes for literature - historically very few people could read, and
if they could, they didn’t have time for it. They worked all day long, went
home, ate, and slept. Again, great literature was for the well to do, the
elite. How many people need to buy a book before it’s a Best Seller? I
can’t answer that but I’ll bet it’s not in the many millions. Suppose it’s
five million- that’s out of over 300 million people. Tiny chance for
influences. The effects on society, if any, are probably only on the top 5%
of the population, not counting romance novels.  Can you think of any
public policies that originated with Freud, or Shakespeare?

As for philosophy, the same applies - hardly anyone read it. Most people
couldn’t understand it. Leaders of civilization probably read military
stuff. Have there been Aristotelian countries? Kantian? It’s a joke.

Don’t confuse what goes on in college with world-shaking ideas.  bill w
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