A very nice friend who works in the tech world recently said to me, “If careers in the humanities die out, how will people learn empathy?”
The question sticks with me, not because I disagree with it, but at the same time I feel a bristle. When we read Shakespeare, do we grow our capacity for empathy? Is empathy really the responsibility of the humanities? It seems like something for maths, 1+1=2 and all that. Or shouldn’t we be decent caring people regardless of our education?