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3 Key Differences Between Arts and Humanities


Do you use the term Arts and Humanities interchangeably? Most people think that Arts and Humanities are referred to as one thing. However, this is not true! The misunderstanding has led to a poor representation of both streams. Somehow, the individuality of these subjects is lost due to the misinterpretation and confusion about them.

Considering the need to clear the confusion and increase awareness on both the subject’s importance, let us look at important pointers that will perhaps clear the doubt on Arts and Humanities.

Humanities is just a subset of Arts

Just like we say every square is a rectangle, but every rectangle is not a square, Humanities is a part of Arts while Arts is not a part of Humanities. Arts is a physical and theoretical expression of human society and culture. It happens to come in various forms like performing arts, literature, and visual arts. Arts is a very wide topic wherein humanities is just a part of it.

You can be extremely creative in the field of Arts

The modern concept of liberal arts gives you the option to select subject combinations as per your interest. So, you are allowed to be as creative as you can be. Arts can be broken down into four categories: social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, and mathematics. Under the concept of Liberal Arts, one can have a deadly combination of Economics and Psychology in the undergraduate years where you can learn statistics, market demand, and supply alongside psychology. Under humanities, you study subjects like modern and ancient languages, philosophy, literature, archaeology, history, anthropology, law, human geography, and art.

Number of Options

If Humanities is a pond, Arts is the ocean. Humanities consist of a certain definite range of subjects that include literature, history, anthropology, law, and others. While, in arts, you can choose your subject and a combination you like. So, you can combine mathematics and psychology as per your interest.

What is similar between the two subjects?

We have highlighted the difference between the two subjects, but it is important we get a brief insight into how they are similar to each other. Arts and humanities are similar, but not equal, like that of the triangle theorem you read in high school. While Arts is a broad concept, Humanities is alike, but concise.

Arts and humanities are creative subjects that translate the human experience into non-verbal expressions. Both the fields are creative enough to let you explore your interests and carve something useful out of them. Whether you pursue your psychology and economics combo, or you choose to pursue anthropology and pen down your history research, you are being creative either way and doing what you love, and that is what matters more.


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