Blurry Humanism: A Reply to Michael Lynch

Human Studies 37 (1):147-152 (2014)

Authors
Chris Calvert-Minor
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Abstract
Humanism is blurry. It can have some clarity, but it is mainly blurry. To say anything otherwise is to fool oneself. Yes, we can construct reasonable humanistic theories that attempt to organize our understanding, such as methodologicalhumanism where one unifies discourses or practices according to human subjects or substantivehumanism that touts the importance of humanity via some shared attribute or substance. But to suggest that one can delineate and define the full salience of humanity, whether great or small, in the world we live and understand is to suppose a divine clarity that eludes our possession. Theorists use terms like ‘social causes,’ ‘matter,’ ‘construction,’ and ‘interpretation’ to help us figure out how our cognition and rationality work, and yet they woefully fail to capture the richness of our experiences, which blur distinctions between society and matter all the time. Every account of humanism should take stock of this difficulty, being careful to say only what one
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DOI 10.1007/s10746-013-9296-7
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Knowledge and Social Imagery.David Bloor - 1976 - University of Chicago Press.
Anti-Latour.David Bloor - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (1):81-112.

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