The Humanities in the Eyes of the Humanists – From the Early Modern Period to the Present Day

Author: Michał Wendland
Institution: Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan
Year of publication: 2015
Source: Show
Pages: 201-223
DOI Address:
PDF: kie/110/kie11012.pdf

This article aims to trace the transformation, which the term “humanities” (“human sciences”) was subject to from the early modern era to modern times. Its scope is limited to an indication of some of the key turning points in the history of understanding of the humanities by the humanists themselves, and to an identification of key categories that define the humanities (they include: paideia, studia humanitatis, république des lettres, and Bildung). The arguments contained herein are to serve rather as a voice, a contribution to the debate over the “crisis of the humanities”, which has been conducted more and more intensively for at least several decades.


  • Baron H., 1955. The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic Humanism and Republican Liberty in an Age of Classicism and Tyranny, Princeton University Press, Princeton.
  • Bohlin H., 2008. Bildung and Moral SelfCultivation in Higher Education: What Does it Mean and How Can it be Achieved?, “Forum on Public Policy”, Vol. 2, pp. 1 – 10.
  • Bhaskar R., 2008. The Possibility of Naturalism: A Philosophical Critique of the Contemporary Human Sciences, Routledge, London.
  • Bruni L., 1912. De studiis et litteris, transl. by W.H. Woodward [in:] W.H. Woodward, Vittorino da Feltre and Other humanist Educators, Cambridge.
  • Brzeziński J.M., 2002. Pytania do nauk humanistycznych i społecznych, “Nauka”, No. 2, pp. 73 – 81.
  • Brzeziński, J.M., 2009. Czy nauki humanistyczne i społeczne są dostatecznie naukowe, aby je należycie finansować z budżetu państwa?, “Nauka”, No. 1, pp. 75 – 81.
  • Burke P., 1990. French Historical Revolution: The Annales School 1929 – 1989, Stanford University Press, Stanford.
  • Burke P., 1993. The Art of Conversation. Polity Press, Cambridge.
  • Burke P., 2012. The Republic of Letters as a Communication System, “Media History”, Vol. 18(3 – 4), pp. 395 – 407.
  • Chadwick H., 1994. Humanität [in:] Reallexikon für Antike und Christentum, E. Dassmann (ed.), Stuttgart.
  • Craveri B., 2005. The Age of Conversation, New York Review Books, New York..
  • Darnton R., 1989. Revolution in Print: the Press in France 1775 – 1800, University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • Domański J., 1999. Czym były studia humanitatis? Leonarda Bruniego “De studiis et litteris” (1422 – 1425), „Odrodzenie i Reformacja w Polsce”, Vol. 43, pp. 7 – 28.
  • Dilthey W., 2004. Budowa świata historycznego w naukach humanistycznych, Gdańsk.
  • Fish S., 2008. Save the World on Your Own Time, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Giustiniani V.R., 1985. Homo, Humanus, and the Meaning of “Humanism”, “Journal of the History of Ideas”, Vol. 46(2).
  • Goodman D., 1996. The Republic of Letters. A Cultural History of the French Enlightenment, Cornell University Press, London.
  • Hankins J. (ed.), 2000. Renaissance Civic Humanism. Reappraisals and Reflections, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Heidegger M., 1977. Die Frage nach Technik [in:] M. Heidegger, Vorträge und Aufsätze, Neske, Pfullingen.
  • Heidegger M., 2004. Hölderlin i istota poezji [in:] M. Heidegger, Objaśnienia do poezji Hölderlina, KR Warszawa.
  • Humboldt W. von, 1903 – 36. Gesammelte Schriften, Vol. I–XVII, Berlin.
  • Humboldt W. von, 1993. The Limits of State Action, J.W. Burrow (ed.), Liberty Found, Indianapolis.
  • Humboldt W. von, 2000. Theorie der Bildung des Menschens [in:] Westbury et al., Teaching as a Reflective Process. The German Didaktik Tradition, New Jersey, Mahwah.
  • Jay P., 2014. The Humanities “Crisis” and the Future of Literary Studies, Palgrave McMillan, New York.
  • Kristeller P.O., 1985. Ruch humanistyczny [in:] P.O. Kristeller, Humanizm i filozofia. Cztery studia, Warszawa.
  • Kronman A., 2008. Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life, Yale University Press, New Haven.
  • Mandelbaum M., 1965. The History of Ideas, Intellectual History, and the History of Philosophy, “History and Theory”, Vol. 5, pp. 33 – 66.
  • Markowski M.P., 2011. Humanistyka: niedokończony projekt, „Teksty Drugie”, No. 6, pp. 13 – 28.
  • Marquard O., 1994. O nieodzowności nauk humanistycznych [in:] O. Marquard, Apologia przypadkowości, Oficyna Naukowa, Warszawa.
  • Mayer J., 1951. Humanitas bei Cicero, Freiburg.
  • Nussbaum M., 2010. Not for Profit. Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, Princeton University Press, Princeton.
  • Pawlak W., 2010. Z dziejów pojęcia humanitas (do wieku XVII), [in:] Humanitas. Projekty antropologii humanistycznej, cz. 1: Paradygmaty, tradycje, profile historyczne, A. NowickaJeżowa (ed.), Warszawa, pp. 165 – 204.
  • Reinalter H., Eder M., 2011. Krise der Geisteswissenschaften?, VDG, Weimar.
  • Rorty R., 1999. The Humanistic Intellectual. Eleven Theses [in:] R. Rorty, Philosophy and Social Hope, Penguin Books, London.
  • Sartre J.P., 2007. Existentialism is a Humanism, Yale University Press, New Haven.
  • Sauerland K., 2008. Idea uniwersytetu: aktualność tradycji Humboldta?, “Przegląd Pedagogiczny”, No. 1, pp. 29 – 37.
  • Schadewaldt W., 1973. Humanitas Romana [in:] W. Schadwaldt, Aufstieg und Niederland der römischen Welt, Frankfurt am Main.
  • Sinko T., 1960. Od filantropii do humanitaryzmu i humanizmu, Warszawa.
  • Windelband W., 1992. Historia a nauki przyrodnicze [in:] Poznanie: antologia tekstów filozoficznych, Z. Cackowski, M. Hetmański (ed.), Warszawa.

humanities humanitas studia humanitatis paideia Bildung république des lettres

Message to:



© 2017 Adam Marszałek Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Projekt i wykonanie Pollyart