Klasyfikacja humanizmów w ujęciu Henryka Elzenberga

Classification of Humanism in the Axiology of Henryk Elzenberg

The article presents a new, in the sense of departing from the proposals known heretofore, classification of humanism. This classification is based on the axiology of Henryk Elzenberg. Within that axiology value can be construed in two different ways: (1) in hedonistic terms, i.e. according to the presupposition that all values are utilitarian in nature insofar as they always satisfy some human needs, and (2) in idealistic terms, i.e. according to the premise that all values are perfective insofar as they are such states of affairs as ought to obtain from the point of view of the autonomous will. The highest principle of humanism says that man is the highest value. When this principle is made more concrete by application of the dichotomy proposed by Elzenberg two kinds of humanism emerge: man-centered and value-centered humanism. The difference between these two versions can be summarized as follows: according to the man-centered humanism human good is the highest value; according to the value-centered humanism a good man is the highest value. The man-centered humanism can be additionally divided into two branches, the individualist and the collectivist ones. The individualist humanism claims that human good can be produced only in a community based on the principle of freedom. The collectivist humanism claims that human good can be realized only in a community based on the principle of equality. The value-centered humanism can be divided into a religious version and a stoic version. The religious version teaches that man can become good only by believing in God and the Church of Jesus Christ, the stoic version holds that man can become good by virtue of his natural, spiritual powers (reason and will). This classification serves as the background for the critique of philosophy of culture as presented by N. Bierdiaiev in “The New Middle Ages”.

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