Sociology Index

HUMANISM

Speciesism

Humanism is an ethical doctrine that asserts the central importance of human life and experience on earth and the right and duty of each individual to explore and develop their potential.

Humanism is, to some extent, in opposition to religious doctrines, like Christianity, that diminish the importance of earthly life and assert that human existence is merely a stage of preparation for heavenly life after death. In the social sciences humanism is evident in those groups who argue that social theory must conceive of the human actor as a subject rather than an object. Humanism affirms the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities.

Materialism and Humanism - Organization Theory's Odd Couple 
Allyn A. Morrow, Frederick C. Thayer, University of Pittsburgh 

Many argue that work should meet individual needs for fulfillment (humanism), while meeting needs for personal income and organizational productivity (materialism). Using a comparative analysis drawn from organization theory, organizatronal humanism, social philosophy, and political theory, the article demonstrates that compatibility of the two modes is a critical issue throughout social thought.

Animal Rights Versus Humanism - The Charge of Speciesism 
Kenneth J. Shapiro, P.O. Box 87, New Gloucester, ME 04260. 
About the compatibility of humanistic psychology with the emerging animal rights movement. Beyond working out my position, the paper has the additional educational and, frankly, political purpose of bringing animal rights issues to the attention of humanistic psychologists. The article applies certain concepts of contemporary animal rights philosophy, notably "speciesism," to both the philosophy of humanism and humanistic psychology. While on a philosophical level, certain concepts are discussed that would likely block a rapprochement, I feel that humanistic psychologists as individuals are likely to extend their compassion to non-human animals. A review of philosophical humanism reveals that its important concept of individuality excludes non-human animals. Within this conception, animals simply are not individuals.

Agnes Heller and the Question of Humanism - John Grumley, University of Sydney 
This article explores the vagaries of Agnes Heller's relationship to humanism. It initially outlines a brief account of both the historical adventures of humanism and of the great debates in the middle of the 20th century that conditioned the contemporary reception of the concept of humanism. It then analyses Heller's own unique intellectual formation under the tutelage of Luk�cs. After briefly outlining her initial commitment to his humanist programme for the ‘Renaissance of Marxism’, it looks in more depth at her initial critique of its humanist philosophical anthropology and her efforts, under the auspices of Arendt, to develop a more sophisticated account of the human condition. The article points to both the commonalities and differences with the contemporary critical humanism of Tzvetan Todorov. It is argued that despite the many parallels, these differences signify Heller's final parting of the ways with humanism strictly speaking and also represent unresolved issues for any reanimation of contemporary humanism.

In Dispraise of Existential Humanism in Educational Administration 
Sammuel H. Popper, College of Education, University of Minnesota 
Educational Administration Quarterly, Vol. 7, No. 3, 26-50 (1971)
Conceptions of "humanism" and "freedom," it is argued, evolve within the value matrix of an indigenous culture and, therefore, each society fashions its own definitions of them as well as its own institutional sanctions for their enforcement. This constitutes the major premise of a "response" to Professor Harry J. Hartley's chapter, "Humanistic Existentialism and the School Administrator," in Toward Improved Urban Education.

Psychology and Humanism 
M. Brewster Smith, Stevenson College, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95064. 
Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 22, No. 2, 44-55 (1982) � 1982 SAGE Publications
Humanistic psychology as a social movement was indigestible for many humanistically oriented academic psychologists. Their students wanted easy therapeutic gimmicks, and they saw humanistic psychology as justifying a comfortably optimistic view of people in the world. Leaders of humanistic psychology advanced other worldly concerns over worldly ones. "Secular humanism" in the style of Chein, Fromm, and Murray was essentially unrepresented in the movement, and May's tragic view did not prevail.

Humanism and the Training of Applied Behavioral Scientists 
Lawrence N. Solomon, La Jolla, California. 
The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 7, No. 5 (1971) � 1971 NTL Institute
A philosophy of humanism provides a valuational base for the activities of applied behavioral scientists. The historical roots of the humanistic orientation are traced and contrasted with the normative orientation in Western thought.

Postmodern Liberalism as a New Humanism - Andrzej Szahaj, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun - Diogenes, Vol. 52, No. 2 (2005) � 2005 International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies
Postmodern liberalism does not express any reluctance toward community as such. It only requires a community which respects the rights of individuals to autonomous, moral and comprehensive choices. In this sense one can say that postmodern liberalism renounces anti-social biases while remaining faithful to individualism, which - starting with the social and the common - arrives at the truly individual. In this way it can revitalize the sense and meaning of humanism understood as the idea of life of human beings who can create their own lives independently and freely in the political and social milieu, promoting justice and solidarity.

For a Feeling Humanism: The Political Emergence of the Emotions 
Muniz Sodr�, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro - Diogenes, Vol. 52, No. 2, 71-78 (2005) � 2005 International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies
If the revival of humanism depends on closing the gap between differences, western and eastern perspectives on the world diverge: the first uses History as its guide and the second uses the notion of destiny. Between the logical power of western instrumental rationalism and the affective power of the feeling modes of knowledge like liturgy and music, the West should be able to accept difference and reject both closed identities and absolute alterities.

The Reconciliation of Humanism and Positivism in the Practice of Consumer Research: A View from the Trenches - Timothy B. Heath, University of Pittsburgh - Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 20, No. 2, 107-118 (1992)
Consumer researchers commonly assert that humanism differs from positivism (what is referred to here as naturalism) on a number of dimensions. However, it is shown here that once terminological differences and methodological similarities are recognized, the remaining differences between humanism and naturalism within consumer research are few.