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 ...
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)
C.P. Snow observed that universities are largely made up of two broad types of people, literary intellectuals and scientists, yet a typical individual of each type is barely able, if able at all, to communicate with his counterpart. Snow's observation, popularized in his 1959 lecture Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (reissued by Cambridge 1993), goes some way to explaining the two distinct cultures one hears referred to as "the humanities" and "the sciences." Snow's lecture is a study of these (...) two cultures, their rules, hierarchies, and educational traditions, which raises the following question: to what degree are "the humanities" and "the sciences" a consequence of how we organize and fund modern universities? Rather than a happenstance of interests and temperament, perhaps "humanist" and "scientist" are largely bureaucratic categories. (shrink)
Messenger, Dally The renowned and popular philosopher, Alain de Botton, TV-and-radio crawled Australia in February 2012 promoting his new book, Religion for Atheists: a non-believers guide to the uses of religion. It was a thesis which many, including me, welcomed as sensible and constructive. Basically his message was that the human wisdom and artistry which has evolved over thousands of years though the various religious movements is part of everyone's heritage, and should be culturally assimilated and used by us, to (...) affect human behaviour for the better. (shrink)
Cognitive Science, Literature, and the Arts is the first student-friendly introduction to the uses of cognitive science in the study of literature, written specifically for the non-scientist. Patrick Colm Hogan guides the reader through all of the major theories of cognitive science, focusing on those areas that are most important to fostering a new understanding of the production and reception of literature. This accessible volume provides a strong foundation of the basic principles of cognitive science, and allows us to begin (...) to understand how the brain works and makes us feel as we read. (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)
David Cooper explores and defends the view that a reality independent of human perspectives is necessarily indescribable, a "mystery." Other views are shown to be hubristic. Humanists, for whom "man is the measure" of reality, exaggerate our capacity to live without the sense of an independent measure. Absolutists, who proclaim our capacity to know an independent reality, exaggerate our cognitive powers. In this highly original book Cooper restores to philosophy a proper appreciation of mystery-that is what provides a measure (...) of our beliefs and conduct. (shrink)
Oberman, H. A. Quoscunque tulit foecunda vetustas.--Bouwsma, W. J. The two faces of humanism.--Gilmore, M. P. Italian reactions to Erasmian humanism.--Dresden, S. The profile of the reception of the Italian Renaissance in France.--IJsewijn, J. The coming of humanism to the Low Countries.--Hay, D. England and the humanities in the fifteenth century.--Spitz, L. W. The course of German humanism.
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.
Ellis, Brian Humanists have an unconditional concern for the wellbeing and dignity of humankind. They are fundamentally concerned with increasing the overall quality of people's lives, regardless of their behaviour, and to treat people with respect. They seek to do so by promoting the development of people's natural talents and inculcating attitudes of mutual respect and tolerance. Their central idea is that every person should be treated with equal concern for their good.
A theory of morality acceptable to humanists must be one that can be accepted independently of religion. In this paper, I argue that while there is such a theory, it is a non-standard one, and its acceptance would have some far-reaching consequences. As one might expect, the theory is similar to others in various ways. But it is not the same as any of them. Indeed, it is a radically new theory. Like Hume’s ethics, it is founded on our (...) natural sociability, and feelings of empathy for others. Like Aristotle’s theory, it incorporates an ethics of virtue. Like Kant’s theory, it regards the set of moral principles as those appropriate for a socially ideal society. But unlike Kant’s theory, it is essentially utilitarian. I call it ‘social contractual utilitarianism’. (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)
During nearly two millennia of European history in which Christian dogmas could not be questioned, many prejudices put down deep roots. Humanists are, rightly, critical of Christians who have not freed themselves of these prejudices-for example, against the equality of women or against nonreproductive sex. It is curious, therefore, that, despite many individual exceptions, humanists have on the whole been unable to free themselves from one of the most central of these Christian dogmas: the prejudice of (...) speciesism. (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.
In this article I propose a conception of empowering educational dialogue within the framework of humanistic education. It is based on the notions of Humanistic Education and Empowerment, and draws on a large and diverse repertoire of dialogues—from the classical Socratic, Confucian and Talmudic dialogues, to the modern ones associated with the works of Nietzsche, Buber, Korczak, Rogers, Gadamer, Habermas, Freire, Noddings and Levinas. These forms of dialogue—differing in their treatment of and emphasis on the cognitive, affective, moral and existentialist (...) elements—have become more dominant in recent educational discourse and practice—an intellectual phenomenon that calls for a more analytic and reflective elaboration of the essential elements that constitute educational dialogues. Hence it is the purpose of this article to elucidate the distinguishing marks of true dialogues, to set them within the normative discourse of humanistic education and empowerment, and to offer a normative and stipulative conception of empowering educational dialogue that can be utilized in the various intellectual and practical spheres of humanistic education—a paradigm, working definition, and outline for contemporary teachers in their quest to develop their students' sensibilities and sensitivities, and empower their ability to live complete, autonomous, authentic, moral and dignified human lives. (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)
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.
Late nineteenth-century German anthropology had to compete for intellectual legitimacy with the established academic humanities (Geisteswissenschaften), above all history. Whereas humanists interpreted literary documents to create narratives about great civilizations, anthropologists represented and viewed objects, such as skulls or artifacts, to create what they regarded as natural scientific knowledge about so-called 'natural peoples'-colonized societies of Africa, the Pacific, and the Americas. Anthropologists thus invoked a venerable tradition that presented looking at objects as a more certain source of knowledge than (...) reading texts. Visual representations, especially of the colonized, not only allowed anthropologists allegedly objective insight into humanity but also put them in direct contact with popular audiences of ethnographic spectacles, exotic photography, and even pornographic images. Anthropologists thus sought to create a peculiar kind of anthropological vision that both differentiated them from humanists as 'objective' natural scientists but also distinguished them from the leering 'Schaulust' that they believed characterized popular consumption of exotic images. To do so they invented technologies of visual representation that eschewed the subject position figured by linear perspective. These novel optics dispensed with the leering subject posited by popular spectacles and the knowing subject posited by humanism and created an anti-humanist form of knowledge. (shrink)
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)
In The Twentieth-Century Humanists from Spitzer to Frye, William Calin examines the contributions of eight scholar-critics who produced their most important work between the mid-1930s and the early 1960s, before the advent of contemporary critical theory. Five are from Continental Europe. Leo Spitzer, Robert Curtius and Erich Auerbach were German-language students of Romance literatures, while Albert Béguin and Jean Rousset, both speakers of French, were leading figures of the Geneva school. Calin also includes English-language scholars: the Oxford don C. (...) S. Lewis, the American F. O. Mathiessen, and the Canadian Northrop Frye. Calin's goal is threefold. He wants to draw distinctions between the mid-twentieth .. (shrink)
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)
David Ehrenfeld argues that humanism emphasizes reason at the expense of emotion, and that its narrow focus on the use of reason to serve human interests leads to a dichotomy between man and nature in which ecological factors are subordinated to the satisfaction of human wants. In response, I argue that: (1) humanists stress employment of reflective reason and reason’s interrelations with other aspectsofthe human personality, (2) humanism’s typical commitment to naturalism locates man as part of nature and does (...) not entail an exclusive focus on human interests, and (3) humanism’s commitment to the legitimate sphere of human interests does not entail indifference to nonhuman nature, for a healthy environment is necessary for the long-term satisfaction of human interests. (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)
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.
Judaism, enlightenment, and the end of theodicy -- The shadowed violence of culture -- Survivor testimony and the Hegelian subject -- Ethics and ontology in Auschwitz and after -- Traumatic history -- The art of separation from chemistry to racial science -- The work of genocide -- Conclusion: a new humanism?.
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)
Political correctness in Canada: the McEwen report on the political science department at UBC -- The new sectarianism: gender, race, sexual orientation -- Theory 1: Marx, Freud, Nietzsche -- Theory 2: Constructionism, ideology, textuality -- Presentism: postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism -- The carceral vision: Geertz, Greenblatt, Foucault, and culture as constraint -- The liberal humanist vision: Northrup Frye and culture as freedom -- Conclusion: the hegemony of theory and the managerial university.
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.
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)
Williams, Ron As I consider the list of previous AHOY recipients since the inaugural award in 1983, I can only say that this is an immeasurable honour. It means much to me because, for almost ten years now, Humanism has been there for my family. In 2005-2006, when separation of church and state school issues first crept into our lives, the Humanist Society of Queensland was to appear as the only beacon of secularist activism upon the deep northern horizon. So (...) in 2006 Andrea and I joined the HSQ. (shrink)