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Humanities are academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with divinity and referred to what is now called classics, the main area of secular study in universities at the time. Today, the humanities are more frequently defined as any fields of study outside of professional training, mathematics, and the natural and social sciences. They use methods that are primarily critical, or speculative, and have a significant historical element — as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences; yet, unlike the sciences, the humanities have no general history.

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