I just figure that it's an adequate placement of all the things that a capitalist society has no use for.
As another answer said, "Liberal arts." Today's liberal arts are vastly different from what the original "Seven Liberal Arts" were in the 5th century:
grammar, dialectic, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, and music.
In medieval Western universities, the seven liberal arts were:
* the Trivium
* the Quadrivium
7. astronomy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_art…
Now they are whatever the college or university says it is, while following strict accreditation guidelines. But the Trivium were the basics of philosophy. Grammar follows philosophical rules; rhetoric is the art or science of all specialized literary uses of language in prose or verse, including the figures of speech http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/r…
And logic is the basis of epistemology. Logic itself is the art of non-contradictory identification. [Ayn Rand]
And nothing could be closer to the "human" side of education than the way we speak and think, the way we determine our world views (whether personal or national), and the means by which we justify and qualify our thoughts to the world.
History is the story of all that, and more. When it comes to wars, for example, that too is philosophy at work because wars are political and political science is the 4th branch of philosophy.
It's "Liberal Arts", not finger-paint art.
Liberal Arts and Humanities is the study of literature, thought, and humanity.
Historians do not believe history is a lie, but the potential of bias is usually considered. (Some Philosopher's are critical of the whole concept of history.)
Philosophy does not mean entertaining the brain. It means "love of wisdom" in Greek. Basically, questioning human matters. There is the field of _Aesthetics_ which is an area of philosophy that studies beauty and how we experience art.
Because it's not really a strict science. Where else you gonna put it? They just lump it in with the "soft sciences" like history, social science, arts, and everything else that isn't a natural science. Don't think too much of it.
Philosophy and history are "humanities" because their subject is humans, whether it's what's going on inside our minds or what we do to each other.