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Related to Humanities: Social sciences
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the entire complex of disciplines in the social sciences, such as philosophy, history, philology, law, economics, and art studies, as well as the work habits and skills connected with them. Education in the humanities is the most important means of forming a person’s world view and plays an enormous role in the overall development of individuals and in their intellectual, moral, ideological, and political training. In the socialist countries the ideological and methodological foundation of education in the humanities is Marxism-Leninism.

A distinction is made between general and professional education in the humanities. The general secondary school gives general training in the humanities. The humanities are studied along with the natural sciences and consist of study in one’s native language, foreign languages, literature, history, social studies, and various fields of art. In the USSR subjects in the area of the humanities are also taught in the professional-technical and secondary specialized schools, regardless of the particular type of school. Students in higher educational institutions also receive training in the humanities at a higher level, again regardless of the field of specialization they have chosen. This training in the humanities is part of their education in the social sciences (which in the USSR include philosophy, political economy, scientific communism, and the history of the CPSU) and in certain other socioeconomic disciplines, such as the fundamentals of state law. Students’ knowledge in the humanities is extended and deepened by elective subjects organized at general educational schools, professional and technical schools, technicums, and institutions of higher learning. Examples of such courses in Soviet higher educational institutions are fundamentals of Marxist-Leninist aesthetics and scientific atheism.

In the USSR the increased general knowledge in the humanities among the workers and the satisfaction of the workers’ needs in the social sciences are promoted by universities of Marxism-Leninism, people’s universities, and other cultural and educational institutions.

Specialized training in the humanities, in philosophical, historical, philological, economic, juridical, and pedagogical sciences, as well as in art studies and in various other fields of art and culture, are provided mainly by the universities and industrial branch educational establishments; specialists receive this training in specialized secondary schools.

The broad development of education in the humanities in the USSR is one of the measures taken to raise the cultural and educational level of the people further, as envisaged by the Program of the CPSU.

With the advance of scientific and technical progress, the methodology of the natural and technical sciences (such as cybernetics and the construction of mathematical models) penetrates more and more into the humanities. The advance of technology and of the natural sciences, in turn, requires that specialists have an ever more profound methodological training and knowledge of the social sciences. Because of these trends the division of education into the humanities, the natural sciences, and technical education has to some extent become only a conventional designation.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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