Dooyeweerd – Chapter 6

Chapter 6

Humanism in the Renaissance pursued the freedom and autonomy of man. Nature and freedom were the guiding ground-motives. What started as a biblical-humanism seeking return to Christianity’s focus on the simple teachings of the gospel lead to thinkers departing from the authority of scripture and deifying the dignity of human personality. Humanism embraced nature through science in pursuit of autonomous freedom for human personality. Science developed to define all things as participants in a closed chain of cause and effect observed and examined by theoretical thought (mathematical natural-scientific thinking). In this way man became dependent on the certainty of his own thought. But if science was the guiding force of reality no room remained for human freedom. This dialectical tension concerned such thinkers as Descartes, Hobbes, Bodin, Grotius, Aquinas, Hume, Locke, and Rousseau; and its influence in politics ranged from state absolutism, the French Revolution, and the origins of democracy.

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