Question

What were the features of humanist thought?

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Answer

Humanist thought, which flourished during the Renaissance, emphasized the value and agency of human beings individually and collectively. A key feature was the study of classical antiquities, aiming to revive forgotten ancient Greek and Latin texts and philosophies. Humanists believed in the potential for human reason and creativity to achieve excellence in a wide range of fields from art to science. Critical thinking and empirical evidence were favored over traditional dogma and superstition. Humanism encouraged a focus on education and the liberal arts, proposing that educated individuals could develop virtuous and moral character. It also fostered an appreciation for the dignity and worth of the individual, which had a profound influence on the development of modern concepts of democracy and human rights.


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