In his famous classification of the sciences, Francis Bacon not only catalogued those branches of knowledge that already existed in his time, but also anticipated the new disciplines he believed would emerge in the future: the "desirable sciences." Mikhail Epstein echoes, in part, Bacon’s vision and outlines the "desirable" disciplines and methodologies that may emerge in the humanities in response to the new realities of the twenty-first century. Are the humanities a purely scholarly field, or should they have some active, constructive supplement? We know that technology serves as the practical extension of the natural sciences, and politics as the extension of the social sciences. Both technology and politics are designed to transform what their respective disciplines study objectively.
The Transformative Humanities: A Manifesto addresses the question: Is there any activity in the humanities that would correspond to the transformative status of technology and politics? It argues that we need a practical branch of the humanities which functions similarly to technology and politics, but is specific to the cultural domain. The book addresses issues of philosophy, linguistics, semiotics, literature and cultural studies in constructive and projective terms. It presents in detail a wide range of methods that would define the future of the humanities in the 21st century and inspire their creative collaboration with new technologies.