About Humanistic Studies
The study of humanistics is a multidisciplinary human science for which humanist values are a source of inspiration. It connects insights gained from philosophy, psychology, sociology, religious and cultural sciences, theory of science and methodology.
Humanistics explores the ways in which people deal with existentialist issues. What makes life worthwhile? What is the meaning of happiness and prosperity? Which moral and ethical decisions are open to us? How do we deal with suffering and sorrow?
Furthermore, humanistics explores major contemporary social, political and ethical issues. What does a pluralist society entail? How can the quality of care and education be determined? How can sustainable development be realised? How can human rights be guaranteed?
Contemporary humanism continues to build on a rich tradition of ideas and values. Characteristics of a humanist view of life are confidence in one’s own insight and powers of observation, orientation towards dialogue and an aversion to dogmatism. The concepts of human dignity, justice and freedom take a central position. Attaching great value to self-development, education, aesthetics and culture is also typical of a humanist attitude towards life. It is especially since the Enlightenment that humanism is considered openly as a philosophy of life in which the human perspective is a defining factor in the understanding of and giving meaning to life and to the world.
Meanings of life and humanising
The academic staff at the UvH comprises scholars in humanistics, religious and cultural scholars, social scientists, philosophers and historians. Our curriculum has been organized around these two leading principles. In our courses concerning meanings of life the individual person is placed in a central position, with topics such as identity, ethics and the philosophy of life. Humanisation focuses on the social context; on the way in which organisations function and on social relationships. These concepts are closely intertwined,both in the area of research and in our curriculum.