Humanism and Humanistic Studies
Humanism has a long history. Ever since classical antiquity, men and women have tried to understand life and the world, and to experience life as meaningful, with a clear appeal to human capabilities. Especially since the Enlightenment, humanism can be seen as an open philosophy of life, in which the human perspective is decisive in understanding and giving meaning to life and the world.
Contemporary humanism continues to build on a rich tradition of ideas and values. Characteristics of a humanist view of life are a reliance on one’s own powers of observation and comprehension, an orientation on dialogue and an aversion to dogmatism. The concepts of human dignity, justice and freedom play a pivotal role. 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 explicitly viewed as a philosophy of life in which the human perspective is a defining factor in understanding and giving meaning to life and the world.
Humanistic Studies is an academic study that further elaborates the meaning and significance of humanism and worldviews within contemporary society. Our university studies humanism in a broad, ‘inclusive’ sense. Humanist philosophy and values form an independent body alongside other worldviews, but they are also found as part of other religious and non-religious worldviews.
Our university is inspired by the worldviews and traditions of humanism. Our research is oriented towards building humane societies in which all people can lead meaningful lives.