Humanism • 1st Definition: Humanism is a rational philosophy based on belief in the dignity of human beings, informed by science and motivated by human hope and human compassion. • 2nd Definition: Humanism is a moral philosophy that considers humans to be of primary importance. • 3rd Definition: Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, or practice that focuses on human values and concerns
Individualism • individualism was a noteworthy concept which emerged during the Renaissance. • It stressed personality, uniqueness, genius, and full development of one’s capabilities and talents. • Before this idea of individualism came into existence, recognition of remarkable individuals was limited strongly due to the fact that Christian humility discouraged self-absorption. • However, from the Renaissance on, individualism became a dominating theme in Western civilization.
Impact of Individualism • Individualism allowed a person to realize his or her thirst for fame, ambition and the desire to succeed drove people to personal achievement in the Arts, Literature, Architecture, Exploration, Business etc. • Individualism was the fuel which stoked the engine of progress and discovery in the Renaissance • Could Michelangelo have existed in a world without individualism • Could Columbus have gone in search of China without individualism • Could the Protestant Reformation have taken place if Luther had no been thinking of individualism when her declared that men did not need the priest but could individually find salvation through faith alone.
Secularism • Definition 1: Secularism is the concept that government or other entities should exist separately from religion and/or religious beliefs. • Definition 2: Not specifically religious • Definition 3: worldly: characteristic of or devoted to the temporal world as opposed to the spiritual world; "worldly goods and advancement";
Impact of Secularism • Secular Culture • People became less interested in religion. • People began to want instant gratification and material things more than spiritual fulfillment. • The Christian World View became less and less popular among regular people. • Secular art became more popular than Christian art and icons.
Laura Cereta Influenced by the first feminist philosopher, Christine de Pisan, who challenged prevailing attitudes toward women with a bold call for female education. Laura Cereta, a 15th-century Venetian woman who published Epistolae familiares (1488; “Personal Letters”; took up the cause of promoting feminist ideals
Laura Cereta • Laura Cereta, imitating the humanist writers of her day, crafted Latin letters in the form of orations and invectives on such themes as marriage and family, education, fate and fortune, solitude, avarice, war, and consolations on death. • Cereta sought fame and immortality through her writing. • her letters were intended for a general audience • written between 1485 and 1488
Education • Cereta's life provides a good illustration of the type of dedication she advocated • At seven, Cereta was sent to a convent to learn religious principles and the rudiments of reading and writing. • She learned Latin and Greek from her father • She showed great interest in mathematics, astrology, agriculture, and her favorite subject, moral philosophy
Marriage • At fifteen or sixteen years of age (1484 or 1485), she married a businessman, but unlike most learned women of her time, she continued to study just as intensely as before marriage. • After eighteen months of marriage, her husband died of a fever (Plague)
Her Impact • Cereta's early writings combine classical ideals with religious beliefs • later writings reveal a tension between humanism and religion. • Cereta struggled to understand and maintain her position as a learned Christian woman in a society that valued women primarily for their domestic and religious involvement
Writing • In an angry letter, Cereta expressed her ideas about the intellectual capabilities of women in which she provides examples of women of accomplishment from antiquity to her own time. Then she writes
Quote from Cereta on the reasons why women are not treated as equals • All history is full of such examples. My point is that your mouth has grown foul because you keep it sealed so that no arguments can come out of it that might enable you to admit that nature imparts one freedom to all human beings equally - to learn. But the question of my exceptionality remains. And here choice alone, since it is the arbiter of character, is the distinguishing factor. For some women worry about the styling of their hair, the elegance of their clothes, and the pearls and other jewelry they wear on their fingers. Others love to say cute little things, to hide their feelings behind a mask of tranquility, to indulge in dancing, and lead pet dogs around on a leash. For all I care, other women can long for parties with carefully appointed tables, for the peace of mind of sleep, or they can yearn to deface with paint the pretty face they see reflected in their mirrors, But those women for whom the quest for the good represents a higher value restrain their young spirits and ponder better plans. They harden their bodies with sobriety and toil, they control their tongues, they carefully monitor what they hear, they ready their minds for all-night vigils, and they rouse their minds for the contemplation of probity in the case of harmful literature. For knowledge is not given as a gift but by study. For a mind free, keen, and unyielding in the face of hard work always rises to the good, and the desire for learning grows in the depth and breadth.