About scientific and other works in the humanities: in memory of Zenta Mauriņa and Fricis Bārda

Keywords: Zenta Mauriņa, Fricis Bārda, humanities, science branches, unification, peculiarity, evaluation
Language: In Latvian

Following the tendency to standardise and unify everything, the humanities and social sciences (HSS) are forced upon the same framework of goals, criteria and evaluations as that elaborated by representatives of natural and technical sciences for their own needs. This is totally
unacceptable for HSS. The differences between these groups of sciences are highlighted, for example, by the fact that HSS does not register discoveries and innovations, it is impossible to acquire patents, licences, author’s certificates and other evidence of scientific results. that
can be gained by representatives of technical sciences (however, there are hopes that something could change in future). As HSS researchers are required to fulfil the standard criteria of natural and technical sciences while acquiring scientific degrees and titles, participating in
competitions for projects and academic posts, HSS researchers must carry out works uncharacteristic for their group of science, at times even formal ones. Sometimes a researcher having acquired authority in his science group is pushed aside only due to the fact that he is unable to fulfil the criteria that are strange to his branch.
HSS need their own criteria of evaluation of a separate work (article, book, monograph) and the scientists’ career contribution in general. The humanities will have to perform this in an unusual way, since the object of their research (literature, music, fine arts, performing art
and other cultural phenomena) is not characterised by quantitative (numerical) dimensions. Therefore, the criteria of evaluation for the humanities cannot be quantitative, or the numerical indicators will have only supplementary meaning in the general evaluation process. Social sciences are in a somewhat better situation as quantitative information in the form of statistics is widely used.
This article strives to approach the evaluation process of the works of humanities basing on the works of the outstanding Latvian literary scientist and philosopher Zenta Mauriņa. Some recognitions how to evaluate the works of humanities — first of all, literature — are found in
her books. Extensive information is drawn from her doctoral dissertation and its defending process at the University of Latvia. The theme of the dissertation thesis is “The World View of Fricis Bārda”. This allows to gain insight into the world of images and feelings of the poet.