What Are the Arts And Sciences?

A Guide for the Curious

Dan Rockmore, ed.

What constitutes the study of philosophy or physics? What exactly does an anthropologist do, or a geologist or historian? In short, what are the arts and sciences? While many of us have been to college and many aspire to go, we may still wonder just what the various disciplines represent and how they interact. What are their origins, methods, applications, and unique challenges? What kind of people elect to go into each of these fields, and what are the big issues that motivate them? Curious to explore these questions himself, Dartmouth College professor and mathematician Dan Rockmore asked his colleagues to explain their fields and what it is that they do. The result is an accessible, entertaining, and enlightening survey of the ideas and subjects that contribute to a liberal education. The book offers a doorway to the arts and sciences for anyone intrigued by the vast world of ideas.

Paper: $27.95 | Cloth: $85 | E-book: $17.99
ISBN-13: 9781512601022
Pages: 376 | Size: 6.25 in. x 9.25 in.
Date Published: June 6, 2017


  • In this era of online courses, Rockmore’s genial volume could help guide anyone with an inquiring mind and some time on their hands. Spend 10 pages reading about someone’s passion and you may decide to run in the other direction — or you may find yourself on the way to being hooked.

    Santa Fe New Mexican
  • Ours is a specialized age, and the price we pay is a narrowing of perspective. This book is the antidote. Through a series of essays that are accessible, lucid and fortifying, it provides a grand tour of the liberal arts as they are taught today. Sit down in your favorite chair, and prepare to have your mind opened.

    Nicholas Carr
    author of The Shallows and Utopia Is Creepy
  • Dan Rockmore poses a question and lets these marvelous essayists answer it. More than a quick tour or overview, this collection displays its contributors’ deep knowledge and passion for understanding throughout.

    Larry Gonick
    author of The Cartoon History of the Universe

About the Author

Dan Rockmore

Dan Rockmore is a professor of computer science and mathematics at Dartmouth College and the author of Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis: The Quest to Find the Hidden Law of Prime Numbers.

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