The Human and the Humane: Humanity as Argument from Cicero to Erasmus

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Jul 15, 2015 - Science - 130 pages
In times of conflicts and crises, an argument insisting on the humane is commonly heard. In wars, voices demanding a humane treatment of prisoners – as decreed by the Geneva Convention – will be raised. Opposition to social injustice may be framed in a collected call for a humane society. Even educational systems may insist on having a humane perspective among its leading causes. Words referring to man – humane, but also humanistic, humanitarian, even humanity – thus take on status of ideals for mankind. Man, in common and legal speech, thus becomes the conceptual marker of his own perfection. The subject of this book is the early history of this linguistic feature and in particular its argumentative use, from its starting point till early modern times.
 

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Contents

Body
7
Introduction
9
The Humane as Argument
17
The Humanitas of Cicero
41
Implementing Humanitas
69
Christianizing Humanitas
85
Humanitas as Argument Against War
99
Ancient Humanitas after Erasmus
115
Bibliography
119
Abbreviations of ancient GreekRoman sources
125
Index
129
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Prof Dr Christian Høgel teaches at the University of Southern Denmark. He is co-director of the Centre for Medieval Literature (Odense & York).

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