18.172 metaphors of hard and soft -- and wet sciences

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 07:06:36 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 172.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

   [1] From: Michael Hart <hart_at_pglaf.org> (33)
         Subject: Re: 18.167 metaphors of hard and soft

   [2] From: Alexandre Enkerli <aenkerli_at_indiana.edu> (7)
         Subject: "Wet Sciences" (was: metaphors of hard and soft)

         Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 06:42:28 +0100
         From: Michael Hart <hart_at_pglaf.org>
         Subject: Re: 18.167 metaphors of hard and soft

> Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 07:21:08 +0100
> From: Norman Hinton <hinton_at_springnet1.com>
> >
>Willard, as best I can recall, when I was an undergrad in the 50s we called
>Chemistry, Physics, and Biology "hard" sciences, but we never called
>anything a "soft" science. The opposition was between the hard sciences
>and the social sciences (when my future wife and I first met, I was still
>technically a Chem major [on my way to changing it officially to English]
>and she a Sociology major, so the terms came up from time to time in
>friendly argument).

In the 60's we definitely call them hard and soft, sciences and subjects,
music, art, etc., were soft subjects, sociology, economics, psychology
were soft sciences. . .but Woelfel went a long way to making them hard
with his Galileo System. . . .


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         Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 06:46:11 +0100
         From: Alexandre Enkerli <aenkerli_at_indiana.edu>
         Subject: "Wet Sciences" (was: metaphors of hard and soft)

Don't know if this has been addressed (been preparing for the Fall
semester) but some people use "wet sciences" to talk about biology,
chemistry, biochemistry, etc. It could be as fluid as the "hard" and "soft"
sciences labels (some French-speakers ironically call the latter "sciences
molles" while the former are usually called "sciences pures" in French). As
I understand it, "wet sciences" are those disciplines that have to do with
microscopes as opposed to, say, physics and astronomy...
Received on Fri Aug 27 2004 - 02:15:13 EDT

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