Liberal Humanism:

Topics: Literature, Poetry, Reason Pages: 12 (4003 words) Published: November 30, 2012
The English word ‘theory’ is derived from a technical term of philosophy in ancient Greek. It comes from the word ‘theria’ which means ‘a looking art, viewing or beholding’. In more technical context, it comes to refer to speculative understandings of natural things. Pythagoras for the first time establishes the meaning of ‘theory’. To him the word means a passionate, sympathetic contemplation of mathematical and scientific knowledge. On the other hand Aristotle believes that ‘theory’ is contrasted with praxis or practice. For him both practice and theory involve thinking but the aims are different. Theoretical contemplation considers things which human beings cannot move or change and which has no human aim apart from itself. On the contrary, praxis involves thinking always with an aim to desired actions whereby humans cause change or movement themselves for their own ends. Theory is actually a complex paradigm because it incorporates different areas such as theory of the literature, science, technology, politics and so on. It is usually though that theory is the systematic account of the nature of any field and how this nature can be analyzed. CHRONOLOGICAL DEVLOPMENT OF “THEORY”:

One theory gives birth to another theory. The growth of critical theory in the post-war period seems to comprise a series of ‘waves’ being associated with a specific decade and all aimed against the liberal humanist consensus. In 1960s, two new terms were appeared. “Marxist Criticism”, which had been pioneered in the 1930s, reborn in the 1960s and “psychoanalytic Criticism” came in the 1960s. In 1970s news spread in literary critical circles in Britain and U.S.A. about particular “structuralism” and “post-structuralism”, both of which originated In France. In the early 1980s two new forms political and historical criticism emerged “new historicism”. Finally, in the 1980s, a grand explanation seemed to be taking place there was a decisive drift towards dispersal, eclecticism and special-interest forms of criticism and theory. Thus, post-colonialism rejects the idea of universally applicable Marxist explanations. Likewise post-modernism stresses the fragmented nature of much contemporary experience. Feminism also shows signs of dissolving gender studies, with gay and lesbian texts emerging as distinct fields of literature, and hence implying and generating appropriate and distinct critical approaches.


Liberal Humanism refers to the idea that we can understand or explain our world through rational enquiry. It rejects explanations based on the supernatural or divine forces. This idea became the basis for the development of science on the Western world. It’s a form of philosophy concentrated on the perfection of a worldly life, rather than on the preparation for an eternal and spiritual life. In philosophy and social science, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of a "human nature". The word "humanist" derives from the 15th-century Italian term umanista. The term 'liberal humanism' denotes the ruling assumptions, values and meanings of the modern epoch. It claims to be both natural and universal. The common feature of liberal humanism is ‘freedom’. It is not associated with supernatural things. Rather it believes that our observation can be explained by human investigation and thought.

The doctrines of liberal humanism are:
* To know unknown and to create uncreated
* Having rational faculty
* Being self dependent
* Superiority of human beings
*Absolute freedom of human mind
*Having the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to our lives.

Liberal Humanism inaugurates rational enquiry and rejects the supernatural or the realm of emotions. It was a response to the Dark Ages when people believed in religion blindly. The hold of the Church was so strong that even the king had to bow down to its decisions. At that time, people were told...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Humanism and the Renaissance Essay
  • Humanism Research Paper
  • Characteristics of Humanism Essay
  • Essay about Humanism
  • Humanism and Christianity Essay
  • Essay about Machiavelli and Renaissance Humanism
  • The Philosophy of Humanism: Critical Review of the Humanist Worldview Essay
  • Humanism in Light of a Lost Paradise Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free