July 23, 2024

The Bridges Between Cultures and Understanding

CP Snow in his book The Two Cultures claimed that there were two cultures in knowledge, science and humanities, yet in both knowledge and life there are many more than this. If thinking about culture in a purely intellectual sense then the statement that there are only two cultures would still be refuted by science having two be split into two separate cultures, making at least three intellectual cultures.

As is done in most educational institutions, science should be split into both social and natural sciences. This split is necessary due to the differences between the two groups. Natural science deals with the how the natural world works while social science deals with how society works. Although there are many similarities between these two types of thinking they still study two different subjects and use different methods of analysis. So intellectually there are at least three different cultures each studying and analyzing different subjects.

The three intellectual cultures are different but not completely separate. There are many bridges that link these cultures. One bridge to link the cultures are liberal arts institutions. At liberal arts schools there are requirements needed for graduation that make students expand their knowledge and take a class in a variety of subjects. This causes students to dip their toe in each of the three intellectual cultures. Making students do this expands their way of thinking and broadens it farther from doing things the way their major prescribes. Another example of a bridge between these cultures are students who are double majors. Many students choose to be a double major, which sometimes consists of majors within the same culture, but also sometimes consists of majors within separate cultures. When students choose two majors within two separate cultures of thinking they not only learn to think and analyze in different ways but also communicate with separate groups of people. Working and analyzing with those who may think different from you allows for a deeper understanding of the subject as you are able to look at it from different angles. Also double majors are ablet to share their knowledge learned from the opposing culture, bridging thought and understanding to others. A third bridge that can connect these intellectual cultures are subcultures that people share. People in school are always in subcultures. These could consist of being in either friend groups, sports teams, clubs and so many other groups. These groups, or subcultures, are full of a variety of people all coming from different areas. It is very likely there will be people from all types of intellectual cultures in these groups allowing for communication and discussion about all things. When people communicate in these groups many different intellectual views are shared and analyzed.

These bridges between the intellectual cultures allows for people to be part of multiple and learn how to think in different ways. Also these bridges also allow for people who may not be part of two separate cultures still experience and understand different aspects of each.

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