HomeΦιλοσοφια: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 37 no. 2 (2008)

Philosophy and Humanism

Peter M. Collins

Discipline: Education, Philosophy



The term "humanism" bears many meanings. The origin of its usage is associated with the Renaissance, but it can also be predicated on the thought of earlier and later generations. The most general purpose of this paper is to suggest the inevitable reliance of an array of meanings of "humanism" upon philosophical categories. To support this thesis, the author attempts to clarify some fundamental differences between the philosophical humanisms of Auguste Comte [1798-1957] and Blaise Pascal [1623-1662]. For purposes of expansion and clarification, Comte is associated with John Dewey [1859-1952] and Pascal with John Henry Newman [1801-1890]. In conclusion, brief attention is given to some contrasting educational implications and to some applications to the recent past.