The classical view of philanthropy—that the "love of what it is to be human" is the essential nature and purpose of humanity, culture and civilization—is intrinsically philosophical, containing both metaphysics and ethics. It asserts that our nature and purpose in life is educational—to make ourselves more fully humane through self-development, pursuing excellence (arete) of body, mind and spirit. The ancient Greek word for culture as education was paideia. Paideia and "philanthropía were both later translated by the Romans into Latin by one word—significantly, humanitas.
The total economic collapse attending the Fall of Rome and leading into the so-called "Dark Ages" dissolved Classical civilization, replacing it with Christian theology and soteriology, administered through the Roman Catholic Church's ecclesiastical and monastic infrastructures. Gradually there emerged a non-religious agricultural infrastructure based on peasant farming organized into manors, which were in turn organized for law and order by feudalism. For a thousand years Classical humanism hibernated in forgotten manuscripts of monastic libraries. When it was rediscovered in the Italian Renaissance, humanism consisted of a specific academic curriculum: grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history, and moral philosophy, or ethics, designed to train laymen for effective leadership in business, law, and government. One of the clearest literary expressions of Renaissance humanist philosophy is Pico della Mirandola's famous 15th-century Oration on the Dignity of Man, which echoes the philanthropic myth of human creation, though with the Christian God as the Promethean Creator.
Europe emerged from the 16th-17th century Wars of Religion ready to try secular alternatives, for which humanistic philosophies of Rationalism and Empiricism, fortified by the Scientific Revolutions, inclined lay philosophers toward the progressive view of history inaugurated by Classical philanthropy. This tendency achieved an especially pure articulation in the Scottish Enlightenment, several of whose leading philosophers proposed philanthropy as the essential key to human happiness, conceived as a kind of "fitness"—living in harmony with Nature and one's own circumstances. Self-development, manifested in good deeds toward others, was the surest way to live a pleasing, fulfilling, and satisfying life, as well as to help build a commonwealth community.
Other articles related to "philosophy":
... century saw the apotheosis of pure philosophy and the decline of the Kalam, which latter, being attacked by both the philosophers and the orthodox, perished for lack ... This supreme exaltation of philosophy may be attributed, in great measure, to Al-Ghazali (1058–1111) among the Persians, and to Judah ha-Levi (1140) among the Jews ... of the Philosophers), not only produced, by reaction, a current favorable to philosophy, but induced the philosophers themselves to profit by his criticism ...
... Computer Science, Mathematics, Psychology) Charité - Berlin University Medicine Faculty of Philosophy I (Philosophy, History, European Ethnology, Department of Library and Information ...
... This philosophy, explored by writers such as H.P ... Lovecraft (who some say is the original proponent of the philosophy) and later writers who actually represented the beliefs in books such as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ...
... Illuminationist philosophy was a school of Islamic philosophy founded by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi in the 12th century ... This school is a combination of Avicenna's philosophy and ancient Iranian philosophy, with many new innovative ideas of Suhrawardi ... In logic in Islamic philosophy, systematic refutations of Greek logic were written by the Illuminationist school, founded by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi (1155-1191), who developed the idea of "d ...
... In Western philosophy, misanthropy has been connected to isolation from human society ... In Plato's Phaedo, Socrates defines the misanthrope in relation to his fellow man "Misanthropy develops when without art one puts complete trust in somebody thinking the man absolutely true and sound and reliable and then a little later discovers him to be bad and unreliable...and when it happens to someone often...he ends up...hating everyone." Misanthropy, then, is presented as the result of thwarted expectations or even excessively naive optimism, since Plato argues that "art" would have allowed the potential misanthrope to recognize that the majority of men are to be found in between good and evil ...
Famous quotes containing the word philosophy:
“The Scripture was written to shew unto men the kingdom of God; and to prepare their minds to become his obedient subjects; leaving the world, and the Philosophy thereof, to the disputation of men, for the exercising of their natural Reason.”
—Thomas Hobbes (15791688)
“You may decry some of these scruples and protest that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in my philosophy. I am concerned, rather, that there should not be more things dreamt of in my philosophy than there are in heaven or earth.”
—Nelson Goodman (b. 1906)
“Even healthy families need outside sources of moral guidance to keep those tensions from implodingand this means, among other things, a public philosophy of gender equality and concern for child welfare. When instead the larger culture aggrandizes wife beaters, degrades women or nods approvingly at child slappers, the family gets a little more dangerous for everyone, and so, inevitably, does the larger world.”
—Barbara Ehrenreich (20th century)