About Humane Philosophy Project

The Humane Philosophy Project seeks to bring academic philosophy to bear on human concerns, and to re-establish the connection between philosophy and broader human culture.

There are three respects in which philosophy at the turn of the last century might be considered a humane discipline. First, a deep connection was felt to exist between philosophy and the arts, as activities which express and speak to human concerns. Secondly, the dominant metaphysical outlook of the time—variants on the tradition of German Idealism—was geared up to place the human person and her concerns at the centre of the philosophical cosmos. Thirdly, despite the unquestionable successes of the physical sciences over the previous two centuries, scientific enquiry was considered one ally amongst many, and did not obscure other sources of philosophical insight.

Although a number of thinkers have strived to preserve the humane character of philosophical enquiry over the course of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, it is widely felt that much present day philosophy is wanting in this respect. Several developments that have led to the present predicament. These include a narrowing and jargonising of philosophical language; reductionist and deconstructive approaches to human persons; and the emergence of a wide consensus that scientific naturalism offers the only legitimate guide to philosophical enquiry, having debunked other philosophical perspectives.

The Humane Philosophy Project aims to redress the dearth of humane bearing characteristic of contemporary academic philosophy. The Project brings together thinkers from diverse backgrounds making contributions to humane philosophy. Academic research and discussion is organised around three central areas corresponding to the concerns identified above: Humane Philosophy and the Arts; Humane Philosophy and Human Nature; and Humane Philosophy and Scientism. Without discounting the genuine advances of twentieth century philosophy, the Humane Philosophy Project hopes to return philosophical enquiry to a breadth of scope, independence, and relevance to human persons whose want is obviously to be regretted.

The Project is realized under the patronage of the Vice-Rector of University of Warsaw
— prof. dr hab. Alojzy Z. Nowak.

Project details:

Project duration: 2014 – 2017

Participating Institutions:

  • Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw
  • Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford
  • Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford

Funding: Cooperative funding of participating institutions

Project website: www.humanephilosophy.com

The Humane Philosophy Project is an international initiative based at the Universities of Oxford and Warsaw which aims to provide a home and a platform for the best contemporary examples of humane philosophy. The Project has received the generous support of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford, and the Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw. For more information please contact ralph.weir@bfriars.ox.ac.uk (UK), m.slawkowski-rode@uw.edu.pl (PL) and pbursztyka@uw.edu.pl (PL).

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