Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Renaissance humanism

Humanism is a group of philosophies and ethical perspectives which emphasize the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers individual thought and evidence (rationalism, empiricism), over established doctrine or faith (fideism). The term humanism can be ambiguously diverse, and there has been a persistent confusion between several related uses of the term because different intellectual movements have identified with it over time.

In philosophy and social science, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of a "human nature" (contrasted with anti-humanism). In modern times, many humanist movements have become strongly aligned with secularism, with the term Humanism often used as a byword for non-theistic beliefs about ideas such as meaning and purpose.

Before the word was associated with secularism, German historian and philologist Georg Voigt used humanism in 1856 to describe the movement that flourished in the Italian Renaissance to revive classical learning; this definition won wide acceptance.During the Renaissance period in Western Europe, humanist movements attempted to demonstrate the benefit of gaining learning from classical, pre-Christian sources in and of themselves, or for secular ends such as political science and rhetoric.

The word "humanist" derives from the 15th-century Italian term umanista describing a teacher or scholar of classical Greek and Latin literature and the ethical philosophy behind it, including the approach to the humanities.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Humanism

The term "humanism" can be ambiguous, and there has been a persistent confusion between the several, related uses of the term because different intellectual movements have identified with it over time.
In philosophy and social science, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of a "human nature" (contrasted with anti-humanism). The word "humanist" derives from the 15th-century Italian term umanista describing a teacher or scholar of classical Greek and Latin literature and the ethical philosophy behind it (including the approach to the humanities).

In 1856, still before the word was associated with secularism, German historian and philologist Georg Voigt used humanism to describe Renaissance humanism, the movement that flourished in the Italian Renaissance to revive classical learning (this definition won wide acceptance among historians in many nations). During the French Revolution, and soon after in Germany (by the Left Hegelians), humanism began to refer to philosophies and morality centred on human kind, without attention to any notions of the divine. Around when the Ethical movement began using the word in the 1930s, the term "humanism" became increasingly identified with secularism and finally became "Humanism", or secular humanism (a relatively recent movement – born at the University of Chicago).

When the first letter is capitalized, "Humanism" describes the secular ideology that espouses reason, ethics, and justice, while specifically rejecting supernatural and religious ideas as a basis of morality and decision-making. Religious humanism developed as more liberal religious organizations evolved in more humanistic directions. Religious humanism is a unique integration of humanist ethical philosophy with the rituals and beliefs of some religion, although religious humanism still centers on human needs, interests, and abilities.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Tufted Duck

The adult male is all black except for white flanks and a blue-grey bill. It has an obvious head tuft that gives the species its name. The adult female is brown with paler flanks, and is more easily confused with other diving ducks. In particular, some have white around the bill base which resembles the scaup species, although the white is never as extensive as in those ducks.

The only duck which is at all similar is the drake North American Ring-necked Duck, which however has a different head shape, no tuft and greyish flanks.

The Tufted Duck is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.