Was the humanist education of the Enlightenment really a "humanist" one?
Is there a relationship between humanist education of Renaissance and prioritization of certain discourses over the others by the Western episteme?
1 Answer | Add Yours
The humanist education of the Enlightenment certainly was consistent with the humanism of the Renaissance. Both types of education emphasized and prioritized the importance of the individual and the importance of secular knowledge. In the Enlightenment, this evolved into an emphasis on rationality and the scientific method.
In the Renaissance, humanism was aimed at creating good people who would be able to help create good societies. This was based at least in part on the idea that it was the role of human beings to improve their own society, rather than relying on God to do it for them. This was why there was also an emphasis on secular knowledge.
By the time of the Enlightenment, these emphases had evolved to focus on rationality (which is, after all, an individual and secular quality) and scientific proof. This created a way of thinking in which that which can be proven logically and rationally was privileged over that which can only be felt or intuited.
In this way, the humanism of the Renaissance led to the Enlightenment and to a way of thinking that privileges rationality.
We’ve answered 317,385 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question