Humanism - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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Humanism

Humanism is a philosophy and way of life (a lifestance) based on empathy, reason, and experience. To humanists, empathy—which is the starting point for compassion and social action—is a product of human nature: the fact that humans are highly developed social animals. Reason is a product of human intelligence that, when combined with experience, leads to the scientific method. And humanists regard the scientific method as the only reliable tool for both acquiring and validating the knowledge necessary to realize the aims of human compassion. To the twentieth-century philosopher Bertrand Russell, the whole concept could be summed up this way: "The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge" (Russell 1957, p. 56).

Given this premise, humanism is an essentially proscience outlook. And because science becomes socially beneficial primarily through technology, humanists tend to be supportive of technology. Nevertheless, because empathic concerns are...

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This section contains 2,723 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Humanism Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
Humanism from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.