In this book, Ellis argues that moral and political objectives are not independent of one other, and so must be pursued in tandem. Social humanism is a moral and political philosophy that does just this.
This essay explores the relation between two perspectives on the nature of human rights. According to the "political" or "practical" perspective, human rights are claims that individuals have against certain institutional structures, in particular modern states, in virtue of interests they have in contexts that include them. According to the more traditional "humanist" or "naturalistic" perspective, human rights are pre-institutional claims that individuals have against all other individuals in virtue of interests characteristic of their common humanity. This essay argues that (...) once we identify the two perspectives in their best light, we can see that they are complementary and that in fact we need both to make good normative sense of the contemporary practice of human rights. It explains how humanist and political considerations can and should work in tandem to account for the concept, content, and justification of human rights. (shrink)
A common perception of Spinoza casts him as one of the precursors, perhaps even founders, of modern humanism and Enlightenment thought. Given that in the twentieth century, humanism was commonly associated with the ideology of secularism and the politics of liberal democracies, and that Spinoza has been taken as voicing a “message of secularity” and as having provided “the psychology and ethics of a democratic soul” and “the decisive impulse to… modern republicanism which takes it bearings by the (...) dignity of every man,” it is easy to understand how this humanistic image developed. Spinoza’s deep interest in, and extensive discussion of, human nature may have contributed to the emergence of this image as well. In this paper, I will argue that this common perception of Spinoza is mistaken and that Spinoza was in fact the most radical anti-humanist among modern philosophers. Arguably, Spinoza rejects any notion of human dignity. He conceives of God’s - and not man’s - point of view as the only objective perspective through which one can know things adequately, and it is at least highly questionable whether he allows for any genuine notions of human autonomy or morality. The notions of ‘humanism’ and ‘anti-humanism’ have been discussed extensively -mainly among continental philosophers - since the end of World War II. Because these notions carry a variety of historical, ideological, and philosophical meanings, it is important to provide at the outset at least a rudimentary clarification of my use of these two terms. By ‘humanism’ I mean a view which (1) assigns a unique value to human beings among other things in nature, (2) stresses the primacy of the human perspective in understanding the nature of things, and (3) attempts to point out an essential property of humanity which justifies its elevated and unique status. This definition of philosophical humanism has only little in common with the historical notion of Renaissance humanism, and seems to match quite well the common understanding of philosophical humanism suggested by current philosophical dictionaries and encyclopedias. This notion of humanism should be understood in contrast to two competing positions. On the one hand, in contrast to the theocentric position that considers humanity to be radically dependent upon God, humanism affirms at least some degree of human independence. On the other hand, in contrast to the naturalist position which endorses the scientific examination of human beings just like any other objects in nature, humanists affirm the existence of a metaphysical and moral gulf between humanity and nature. This gulf assigns a special value to humanity and does not allow us to treat human beings like any other things in nature. For many humanists the nature/humanity gulf does not allow the application of the methods of natural sciences to the disciplines of the humanities. Humanism does not begin with modernity. In order to see how far back we can trace this position, we may recall Protagoras’ saying: “Man is the measure of all things, of things that are, that they are, and of things that are not, that they are not.” In modern philosophy, the humanistic position had regained dominant status since the Renaissance, and variants of this position were vigorously argued for by prominent thinkers such as Pico della Mirandola, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Fichte, and finally, Hegel. In this paper, I will argue that Spinoza was a foe, and not a friend, of this tradition. I suggest that, in contrast to these humanist philosophers, Spinoza considers man as a marginal and limited being in nature, a being whose claims and presumptions far exceed its abilities. “To what length will the folly of the multitude not carry them?.... [T]hey imagine Nature to be so limited that they believe man to be his chief part.” Arguably, Spinoza locates the origin of our most fundamental metaphysical and ethical errors in a human hubris which not only tries to secure humanity an exceptional place in nature but also attempts to cast both God and nature in its own human image. (shrink)
“One should always cherish some ambition to do something in the world. They alone rise who strive.” is the great wording of Dr.Ambedkar. There are two fundamental types of human nature. Creative and possessive. Creative humans use human intellect for creative endeavors which enriches human thought; knowledge and wealth thereby contribute to the development of human heritage for the posterity. Possessive people, on the other hand do not believe in the use of human intellect for creative purpose. Gautam Buddha, Jesus (...) Christ, Guru Nanak, Kabeer, Ravidas, Tukarama, Krantiba Jotirao Phoolay, Periyar and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar they all belong to the great class of Ceative humans called as Humanists in Indian context. Here we studies Ambedkar’s views related to humanism and Buddhism. (shrink)
This paper provides a critical exploration of the capability approach to human rights (CAHR) with the specific aim of developing its potential for achieving a synthesis between “humanist” or “naturalistic” and “political” or “practical” perspectives in the philosophy of human rights. Section II presents a general strategy for achieving such a synthesis. Section III provides an articulation of the key insights of CAHR (its focus on actual realizations given diverse circumstances, its pluralism of grounds, its emphasis on freedom of choice, (...) its demand for public reasoning, its context-sensitive universalism, and its broad view of obligations). These insights go some way toward the achievement of the desired synthesis. But, as explained in IV.1, in its current form CAHR faces two serious objections by the defenders of the political perspective: the Gap Between Capabilities-Interests and Rights Objection and the Disconnect From Practice Objection. Answering these criticisms requires some amendments to CAHR. Section IV.2 suggests a response to the first objection based on the introduction of a contractualist framework of justification. Sections IV.3 and IV.4 tackle the second objection by introducing a re-characterization of the cosmopolitan standard underlying the humanist perspective and by identifying the differences and relations between various dimensions of a conception of human rights and their significance for actual political practice. The paper illustrates the practical implications of CAHR, in its modified form, for the pursuit of some important rights. (shrink)
Jean-Paul Sartre claims in his 1945 lecture ‘Existentialism is a Humanism’ that there are two kinds of existentialism: that of Christians like Karl Jaspers, and atheistic like Martin Heidegger. Sartre's ‘spiritual master’ Heidegger had no problem with Sartre defining him as an atheist, but he had serious problems with Sartre's concept of humanism and existentialism. Heidegger claims that the essence of humanism lies in the essence of the human being. After the Enlightenment, the Western concept of man (...) has been presented in education in the form of Kantian humanistic essentialism. At least in the Finnish educational system, Kantian humanism is almost an official ideological background of all national curriculums. Is such a kind of essentialism and metaphysics plausible in our modern or postmodern times? We examine the Sartre-Heidegger controversy on humanism and the concept of man in education using Freire's humanism and Gelassenheit education as exemplars. (shrink)
Management theory and practice are facing unprecedented challenges. The lack of sustainability, the increasing inequity, and the continuous decline in societal trust pose a threat to ‘business as usual’ (Jackson and Nelson, 2004 ). Capitalism is at a crossroad and scholars, practitioners, and policy makers are called to rethink business strategy in light of major external changes (Arena, 2004 ; Hart, 2005 ). In the following, we review an alternative view of human beings that is based on a renewed (...) Darwinian theory developed by Lawrence and Nohria ( 2002 ). We label this alternative view ‘humanistic’ and draw distinctions to current ‘economistic’ conceptions. We then develop the consequences that this humanistic view has for business organizations, examining business strategy, governance structures, leadership forms, and organizational culture. Afterward, we outline the influences of humanism on management in the past and the present, and suggest options for humanism to shape the future of management. In this manner, we will contribute to the discussion of alternative management paradigms that help solve the current crises. (shrink)
This article offers a review of Richard Rorty’s attempts to come to terms with the role of religion in our public and intellectual life by tracing the key developments in his position, partially in response to the ubiquitous criticisms of his distinction between private and public projects. Since Rorty rejects the possibility of dismissing religion on purely epistemic grounds, he is determined to treat it, instead, as a matter of politics. My suggestion is that, in this respect, Rorty’s position is (...) best construed as that of a humanist rather than a post-modernist. Ultimately, it appears that, in his view, the positive element of religion—i.e. the idea of religion as a social gospel—has been absorbed and transformed into a utopian striving which humanists associate with the ideal of democracy. Hence, in this regard, religion can be considered obsolete. Yet, without explicitly invoking the usual epistemic grounds, Rorty’s arguments for excluding religion from the public sphere remain rather thin, and an interest in reforming rather than excluding religion would have been more consistent with his general outlook. (shrink)
Tracing the course of thought, action, and expression in the golden age of Islamic civilization, L. E. Goodman's Islamic Humanism paints a vivid panorama that departs strikingly from the all too familiar image of Islamic dogma, authoritarianism, and militancy. Among the poets and philosophers, scientists and historians, ethicists and mystics of Islam, Goodman finds a warm and vital humanism, committed to the pursuit of knowledge and to the cosmopolitan values of generosity, tolerance, and understanding. Drawing on a wide (...) range of writings, from love poetry to pietism, to satire, to history and metaphysics, and on to hunting, music and the dance, clothing, politics, and the marketplace, Goodman discloses the rich texture of classical Islamic civilization-its distinctive problematics and the space it left for the talents and creativity of the individual. His philosophic openness and easy familiarity place Islamic humanism securely in its larger context, revealing clearly what is of universa and abiding vitality and interest. In place of stereotypes, suspicions, and unease, Goodman sets out concrete and detailed expositions and explorations of Islamic thought and experience as seen through the eyes of the participants themselves. His engaged but sympathetic readings penetrate beneath the surface of the ancient texts to the humanistic values embraced by some of the greatest thinkers of Islam. As a result, Islamic Humanism does much more than remind us how much we owe to the intellectual achievements of Islamic civilization. The work is a significant contribution to Western understanding of Islam and to Islamic self-understanding of the profoundly humanistic dimensions of the Islamic tradition. (shrink)
Humanism and Early Modern Philosophy is an original and timely volume that examines the distinctive and important role played by humanism in the development of early modern philosophy. Focusing on individual authors as well as intellectual trends, this collection of essays aims to portray the humanist movement as an essential part of the philosophy of the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Humanism – in the sense that humans alonehave moral standing, or else a surpassing degree of it– has traditionally dominated all of ethicaldiscourse. However, its past formulations havesuccumbed to the temptation merely to stipulate sucha criterion, such as rationality, which nonhumans areoften deemed (without sufficient argument) to failwithout exception. Animal liberationistarguments do exist in counterpoint to traditionalhumanism, but one current difficulty seems to be asimple clash of basic assumptions, with an indecisiveresult. Although the author of this paper is anonanthropocentrist, (...) he attempts to further the moraltheoretical debate by constructing a more powerfulversion of humanism, based in a pursuit of the good,per se. The theory is premised upon viewing humans asgenerally having and leading lives of greater value,in some relevant sense. This essay prefigures theauthor's refutation of humanism, more generally, inthe understanding that such a world view cannot trulybe refuted unless its best version is answered.Whatever the status of this paper's offering of``Obligatory'' Anthropocentrism, the theory can be seento have a great deal more success than itspredecessors in parrying, and apparently outdoing,contemporary animal liberationist philosophies. (shrink)
Introduction -- The attack on aristotelian-scholastic metaphysics -- The analysis of things : substance, quality, and the tree of porphyry -- Thing and word : a critique of transcendental terms -- From a grammatical point of view : the reduction of the categories -- Soul, nature, morality, and God -- Soul and nature : a critique of aristotelian psychology and natural philosophy -- The virtues and the road to heavenly pleasure -- Speaking about the ineffable : the Trinity -- Towards (...) a humanist dialectic -- Dialectic I : propositions, the square of contraries, proof, and argument -- Dialectic II : forms of argumentation -- Conclusion: Valla and "ordinary language philosophy". (shrink)
Part I: Science for humanism -- Historical context : humanism and Giddens's call -- Theoretical framework : postmodernism and after -- Kant and the stalemate of the social sciences : prelude and transformation -- Kant and the stalemate of the psychological sciences : behavior and energy -- Part II: Returning to Kant and the stalemate of sociology -- Simme l: sociation and the real a priori of power -- Durkheim : the social fact as a new third antinomy (...) -- Weber : the noumenal freedom of the historical actor -- Parsons, Dahrendorf, Berger : rituals of return -- Returning to Kant and to Giddens call -- The dynamical theory of matter : natural agency -- Kantian realism : human agency. (shrink)
Originally published in English in 1980, Rhetoric as Philosophy has been out of print for some time. The reviews of that English edition attest to the importance of Ernesto Grassi’s work. By going back to the Italian humanist tradition and aspects of earlier Greek and Latin thought, Ernesto Grassi develops a conception of rhetoric as the basis of philosophy. Grassi explores the sense in which the first principles of rational thought come from the metaphorical power of the word. He finds (...) the basis for his conception in the last great thinker of the Italian humanist tradition, Giambattista Vico (1668–1744). He concentrates on Vico’s understanding of imagination and the sense of human ingenuity contained in metaphor. For Grassi, rhetorical activity is the essence and inner life of thought when connected to the metaphorical power of the word. (shrink)
This book deals with the impact of the Reformation debate in Germany on the most prominent intellectual movement of the time: humanism Although it is true that humanism influenced the course of the Reformation, says Erika Rummel, the dynamics of the relationship are better described by saying that humanism was co-opted, perhaps even exploited, in the religious debate.
Humanism as form -- The construction of the Erasmian Republic of Letters -- Erasmian humanism : the reform program of the universal intellectual -- The politics of a disembodied humanist -- More's Richard III : the fragility of humanist discourse -- Utopia and the no-place of the Erasmian republic.
As humanity becomes increasingly interconnected through globalization, the question of whether community is possible within culturally diverse societies has returned as a principal concern for contemporary thought. Lorenzo Simpson charges that the current discussion is stuck at an impasse--between postmodernism's notions of fragmented cultural difference and what some see as humanism's homogeneous versions of community. Simpson proposes an alternative--one that bridges cultural differences without erasing them. He argues that we must establish common languages for articulating aesthetic and ethical (...) standards that incorporate a sensitivity to difference if we are to achieve cross-cultural understanding. (shrink)
Exploring Renaissance humanists’ debates on matter, life and the soul, this volume addresses the contribution of humanist culture to the evolution of early modern natural philosophy so as to shed light on the medical context of the ...
Olin’s focus in this collection of essays is the historical period of the early sixteenth century, the juncture of the Renaissance and the Reformation. Providing an in-depth alternative to the standard treatment – so often limited to the classical revival – this work concerns itself with the unique link between humanism and the great literary works of the period, and, in particular, the patristic scholarship inherent in Erasmus’ ideals of reform. Olin specifically take into account the movements of New (...) Learning and Humanism defining the cultural break between Medieval scholasticism and the renaissance of interest in the literature of antiquity. (shrink)
Humanism offers students a clear and lucid introductory guide to the complexities of Humanism, one of the most contentious and divisive of artistic or literary concepts. Showing how the concept has evolved since the Renaissance period, Davies discusses humanism in the context of the rise of Fascism, the onset of World War II, the Holocaust, and their aftermath. Humanism provides basic definitions and concepts, a critique of the religion of humanity, and necessary background on religious, sexual (...) and political themes of modern life and thought, while enlightening the debate between humanism, modernism and antihumanism through the writings and works of such key figures as Pico Erasmus, Milton, Nietzsche, and Foucault. (shrink)
Introduction: there is no justice in Heidegger or for Marx -- Interpretations of Heidegger and Marx -- The history of Marx and Heidegger -- The history and negation of metaphysics -- Logic and dialectic -- Metaphysics of the human state -- The situation of Germany -- The ideology of Germany -- Nazism, liberalism, humanism -- The Jewish question -- Speaking of the essence of man -- Production-previously this was called God -- The end of humanism -- Between men (...) and gods -- Conclusion. (shrink)
Chinese people attach importance to intuition and imagery in ways of thinking that are quite sensible, but the result, i.e. the thoughts that are popularized in virtue of political power, are rather rational. These rational thoughts, which were influenced by Buddhism and continually became introspective, had been growing more irrational factors. Up to the middle and late Ming Dynasty, when the economy was developed, they merged with the growing emphasis on daily needs of food and clothes and the envisagement to (...) the utilitarian circumstances, and finally broke through the threshold of rationalism. Under the attack of Geng Dingxiang, Li Zhi who emphasized these thoughts was forced beyond his previous boundaries and led a whole variation in how he viewed a series of issues including values, humanity, ethics and aesthetics. This indicated a historical change from rationalism to irrationalism in Chinese humanism and aesthetics thoughts. (shrink)
The call for a narrative medicine has been touted as the cure-all for an increasingly mechanical medicine. It has been claimed that the humanities might create more empathic, reflective, professional and trustworthy doctors. In other words, we can once again humanise medicine through the addition of humanities. In this essay, I explore how the humanities, particularly narrative medicine, appeals to the metaphysical commitments of the medical institution in order to find its justification, and in so doing, perpetuates a dualism of (...) humanity that would have humanism as the counterpoint to the biopsychosociologisms of our day. (shrink)
A cross-disciplinary dialogue among writers who are sympathetic to the humanist tradition, and interested in developing a new humanist project through debate. The book emerges from the Institute of Ideas' festival, the Battle of Ideas.
Preface, by N. Foerster.--The pretensions of science, by L. T. More.--Humanism: an essay at definition, by I. Babbitt.--The humility of common sense, by P. E. More.--The pride of modernity, by G. R. Elliott.--Religion without humanism, by T. S. Eliot.--The plight of our arts, by F. J. Mather, Jr.--The dilemma of modern tragedy, by A. R. Thompson.--An American tragedy, by R. Shafer.--Pandora's box in American fiction, by H. H. Clark.--Dionysus in dismay, by S. P. Chase.--Our critical spokesmen, by G. (...) B. Munson.--Behaviour and continuity, by B. Bandler, II.--The well of discipline, by S. B. Gass.--Courage and education, by R. L. Brown.--A list of books (p. 291-294). (shrink)
Humanism outlined -- The humanist tradition -- Humanism, philosophy, God and the afterlife -- Humanism and morality -- Humanism and religion -- Humanism and politics -- Humanism and science -- Humanism and the arts -- Humanism and the environment -- Organised humanism -- International humanism -- Humanist action and humanist living -- The future of humanism.
In several places, Levinas identifies the problem that concerns him as a “ crisis of humanism.” This problem finds its seeds in modernity but comes to fruition in the inhumanities of the 20 th century. Like his philosophical predecessors, Levinas offers an educational model as a solution to a problem he has identified. But this model--Jewish education—is uniquely different from those offered by those who came before him. This essay examines Levinas‘s interest in Jewish education as a solution to (...) this crisis in humanism and considers what the implications of this solution are for his project as a whole. (shrink)
There is an analogy between a scientific approach to medicine in which the patient ultimately becomes an object of study rather than a whole person, and a post/modern aesthetic in literature in which the subject has little or no agency in a chaotic linguistic universe. Raymond Carver died of cancer in 1988, and in both his pre- and post-diagnostic poetry there is humanistic lyricism that contributes to re-establishing empathic bonds between readers and characters, and to re-humanizing the patient as a (...) whole person in the context of contemporary health institutions. Close readings of poems with descriptions of the autopsy room and of patient-doctor relations bring out the medical humanism in Carver's verse. (shrink)
The shape of theological humanism -- Ideas and challenges -- The humanist imagination -- Thinking of God -- The logic of Christian humanism -- On the integrity of life -- The task of theological humanism -- Our endangered garden -- A school of conscience -- Masks of mind -- Religion and spiritual integrity -- Living theological humanism.
Reading Nietzsche, knowing humanism -- Nietzsche's humanist genealogy -- In the region of likeness: family resemblances -- A single web of meaning -- All in one: horizon, goal, and doctrine -- Nietzsche the terrible -- Reprise and ascent -- Nietzsche's works -- Bibliography -- Index.
impermissibly favorable to Jews? -- Humanist origins -- Humanism at court -- Discovery of Hebrew -- Johannes Pfefferkorn and the campaign against Jews -- Who saved the Jewish books? -- Inquisition -- Trial at Rome and the Christian debates -- The Luther affair -- As if the first martyr of Hebrew letters.
The failure of philosophy -- A new political philosophy -- Radical democracy -- Politics of freedom -- The future of democracy -- Decentralization of power -- A Humanist approach to elections -- A new approach to political and economic problems -- Human nature and humanist practice -- Humanist politics -- Integral humanism -- The way out -- New humanism -- The principles of radical democracy.
This is a study of the rise of Hegelian thought throughout the intellectual world in Germany in the first half of the nineteenth century. The book has three interrelated purposes. First, it constitutes the first synthetic description and comprehensive reconstruction of the historical genesis and humanist transformation of Hegelian ideology. Secondly, the study addresses the problem of recurrent patterns of hope and disillusionment in the successive phases of dialectical thought. Finally, the book is concerned with ideological responses to the experience (...) of communal and religious disintegration. (shrink)