Do humanities lead to progression?

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Unbroken Oath
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In a STEM field such as Biology or Chemistry there is always the potential to advance or develop and improve society through breakthrough discoveries. Do fields such as law and economics do the same?
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Moonstruck16
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(Original post by Unbroken Oath)
In a STEM field such as Biology or Chemistry there is always the potential to advance or develop and improve society through breakthrough discoveries. Do fields such as law and economics do the same?
Most people aren't going to make 'breakthrough discoveries'. They'll just be workers for the rest of their lives for the select few who do make these discoveries and are quick to sweep in and take the glory for themselves.

Law and Economics can improve society in a different way. There might not be much to discover but things can be worked on, maintained and improved.

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Unbroken Oath
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(Original post by Moonstruck16)
Most people aren't going to make 'breakthrough discoveries'. They'll just be workers for the rest of their lives for the select few who do make these discoveries and are quick to sweep in and take the glory for themselves.

Law and Economics can improve society in a different way. There might not be much to discover but things can be worked on, maintained and improved.

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Would you say it would be better to have more people in STEM fields to increase the odds of breakthroughs?
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User1214833
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STEM fields have increased the likelihood that we'll all be destroyed in a nuclear war. They help us to live longer, thus increasing overpopulation and the problems associated with that. We pollute the world and destroy wildlife in the pursuit of "progress".

In the future, more and more ethical issues will crop up.
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tomfailinghelp
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(Original post by Unbroken Oath)
In a STEM field such as Biology or Chemistry there is always the potential to advance or develop and improve society through breakthrough discoveries. Do fields such as law and economics do the same?
Yes, they do. It isn't as simple as the way that the hard sciences progress, but the Social Sciences do (and those humanities which are related to the Social Sciences, such as History).

For instance, Marxist ideology has largely been discarded as irrelevant by modern Social Scientists, though things have been learned and techniques and knowledge derived by its focus on economic change, the means of production for instance.

The reason that the progression isn't quite as simple is that Natural Scientists all adopt a shared framework of knowledge, and they work by degree, verifying one fact after another. Economics is particularly idiosyncratic, but the Social Sciences in general tend to describe large parts of Society in a broad sweep. They do not provide individual facts, but explain how facts relate to one another. For that reason, they don't move in a straight light of progress like the Natural Sciences might be said to, instead they constitute a battle of various ideologies, where one tends to supersede another after a while.
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TorpidPhil
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(Original post by Unbroken Oath)
Would you say it would be better to have more people in STEM fields to increase the odds of breakthroughs?
As someone who studies philosophy (mostly philosophy of science/meta-physics and ethics) as well as economics let me assure you there's a lot to say here especially since you clearly misunderstand the purpose of academic study in the very first place if you think non-academic subjects are useless.

I mean, Einsteins work in theoretical physics and meta-physics certainly didn't lead to any direct "inventions" he wasn't physically engineering anything. He was sat in his armchair doing a bit of philosophy and maths. But him progressing the academic field led to vocational subject-practisers being able to actually create a new invention. The academic progression precedes it though - new inventions don't come about with good luck arbitrarily.
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Moonstruck16
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(Original post by Unbroken Oath)
Would you say it would be better to have more people in STEM fields to increase the odds of breakthroughs?
Not necessarily. There are already many scientists in the world who are makig breakthroughs. What they need is more money and they aren't the ones who will have knowledge in how to obtain it.


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llys
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(Original post by Unbroken Oath)
Would you say it would be better to have more people in STEM fields to increase the odds of breakthroughs?
I don't know about Engineering, but most people already quit science, so having more people go into it would not help. (Providing stable jobs would, but that's not going to happen.) This graph shows the career destinations of people who liked science enough to do a PhD. See what happens after they finish their PhD:

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