Permanent Crisis addresses a common misconception: that the humanities were devalued or displaced by the rise of modern science. Rather, as Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon argue, “the modern humanities were not a casualty of the modern university and specialization—they were a product of them” (52). The social and historical developments of the nineteenth century that led to the foundation of the new, specialized German university in Berlin in 1809 also saw the rise of the modern humanities, whose self-appointed function was much grander than that of their predecessors, the seven liberal arts. Rapid technological and scientific progress was accompanied by a similarly rapid fragmentation of knowledge and a decline in the unifying role of the church and religion. The humanities, therefore, as Reitter and Wellmon argue, suddenly assumed a new role: on the one hand, to serve as a corrective to disciplinary specialization and fragmentation and tie all knowledge...

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