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THE CENTRAL PROBLEM

THECENTRAL PROBLEM

Therhetorical situation in these texts is what happened to the public’ssupport for humanities in learning institutions? Why is it that theemphasis placed on humanities is not at par with the attentionexercised on sciences? The central problem in these texts is that inthe contemporary world, the humanities departments are graduallybeing phased out in most institutions citing various reasons. Thecrisis of humanities has arrived, and degree programs like arts,classics, and French are no longer viewed with the same importance asother programs.

THEARGUMENT

Budgetcuts at SUNY Albany to hit academic programs

Themain argument is the unnecessary risks that will result due to thebudget cuts at the State University of New York (SUNY). These cutswill not only affect hundreds of jobs, but also several academicprograms will be negatively implicated. Among the programs at riskare several arts, languages, and humanities.

StanleyFish: The crisis of Humanities Officially Arrives

Inthis opinion blog, Stanley Fish presents his main argument that thecore curriculum of humanities should not be left to die but instead,it should be kept alive by artificial or coercive means likedistribution requirements. This is because doing so will preserveand transmit the best that has been taught and will serve as a deviceof employment to humanists. According to him, humanities enhanceculture, make the society better, and contribute to the economichealth of states by producing more workers who are well-rounded.Stanley states that since science schools and administrators will notfork funds to sustain humanities, the only option is the politicaleffort of senior academic administrators to illustrate and defendhumanities.

GregoryA Petsko: A Faustian bargain

Thisis an opinion piece in the form of a letter that presents itsargument to the president of SUNY. Its arguments are based on thereasons for eliminating humanities departments in the university.Gregory argues that few students enroll for humanities classes due tolack of distribution requirements. The issue of budgetary problemsshould be dealt with by coming up with a plan to operate with fewerresources. Finally, universities should not be run like a business bycapitalizing on entrepreneurial and practical programs. Knowledgelike that offered by humanities should be preserved from being lostover time.

FALLACIES

Budgetcuts at SUNY Albany to hit academic programs

Thefallacy present here is that in the case of a budget cut, thenhumanities need to be eliminated since they are less entrepreneurial,self-sustaining and applicable. The text states that &quotbudgetcuts at Albany will hit academic programs” including French,Italian and Russian languages, theater, and classics.

StanleyFish: The crisis of Humanities Officially Arrives

Inthe text, Fish states that “it will not do to argue that humanitiescontribute to the economic health of the state because nobody buysthat argument even the university administrators&quot (Fish, 2010).Thisis evident of an existing fallacy even among universityadministrators that humanities are not relevant and applicable in thesociety.

GregoryA Petsko: A Faustian bargain

Hestates that there is a common notion that every part of theuniversity should be self-supporting. According to Gregory, &quotThereis a fallacy in assuming that a university should be run like abusiness.&quot This misconception differs with what a universityshould be about offering eductaion.

COMMONGROUND

Budgetcuts at SUNY Albany to hit academic programs

Theauthor states that due to the budget cuts, additional funding fromoutside should be sort so that the programs due to be eliminated canbe sustained. As evident from the opposition against those plannedcuts, eliminating the humanities is not the solution. The solutionshould be in finding additional funding.

StanleyFish: The crisis of Humanities Officially Arrives

Thecommon ground established here is that humanities serve a purpose inthe society by enhancing it and making it better, so there is a needto sustain the degree programs. University administrators,presidents, and chancellors should politically explain and defend thehumanities to legislators, parents, alumni and others.

GregoryA Petsko: A Faustian bargain

Thisarticle acknowledges the need to find solutions to problems without‘amputating healthy limbs’ (Petsko, 2010). Even though theuniversities place more emphasis on sciences, it should be noted thatscience without humanity is “sterile, cold and self-absorbed” asexplained by Gregory. Humanity also applies to science hence the needto sustain the programs.

COMMONGROUND AS A RHETORICAL TOOL

Establishinga common ground in Gregory A Petsko’s ‘A Faustian bargain’helps the author to convey to the reader and persuading him/her toconsider this topic of humanities in universities from a differentperspective. It is effective in using sentences that are designedtowards encouraging or provoking a rational argument from the reader.

WorksCited

CBS6 Albany, “Budgetcuts at SUNY Albany to hit academic programs.” 2010. Retrievedfrom: http://recessionreality.blogspot.co.ke/2010/10/budget-cuts-at-suny-albany-to-hit.html

Gregory&nbspA&nbspPetsko“A Faustian bargain”, 2010. Retrieved from: http://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/gb-2010-11-10-138

StanleyFish, “The Crisis of the Humanities Officially Arrives.”2010. Retrieved from: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/11/the-crisis-of-the-humanities-officially- arrives/?_r=0