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Humanism

By | June 2013
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"Humanistic" redirects here. For the album, see Humanistic (album). This article is about human-centred philosophy. For other uses, see Humanism (disambiguation). Part of a Philosophy series on
Humanism

Humanism is a group of philosophies and ethical perspectives which emphasize the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers individual thought and evidence (rationalism, empiricism) over established doctrine or faith (fideism). The term humanism can be ambiguously diverse, and there has been a persistent confusion between several related uses of the term because different intellectual movements have identified with it over time.[1] In philosophy and social science, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of a "human nature" (contrasted with anti-humanism). In modern times, many humanist movements have become strongly aligned with secularism, with the term Humanism often used as a byword for non-theistic beliefs about ideas such as meaning and purpose, however early humanists were often religious, such as Ulrich von Hutten who was a strong supporter of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Before the word was associated with secularism, German historian and philologist Georg Voigt used humanism in 1856 to describe the movement that flourished in the Italian Renaissance to revive classical learning; this definition won wide acceptance.[2] During the Renaissance period in Western Europe, humanist movements attempted to demonstrate the benefit of gaining learning from classical, pre-Christian sources in and of themselves, or for secular ends such as political science and rhetoric. The word "humanist" derives from the 15th-century Italian term umanista describing a teacher or scholar of classical Greek and Latin literature and the ethical philosophy behind it, including the approach to the humanities.[3][4] During the French Revolution, and soon after in Germany (by the Left Hegelians), humanism began to...

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