Northern Humanist

1176 words 5 pages
The Northern Humanists were firm believers in higher education. Yet, they were also very critical of the way it was carried it out. Analyze their main criticisms of higher education and learning.

The Northern Humanists are strong believers in higher education. They differed from the more Italian approach; The Northerners emphasized education across a broader band of society, not just a more scholarly yet secluded class of intellectuals. Somewhat oddly, the study of the ancient classics was valued, but not thought to have much relevance in solving their current issues. "Thus those who were attracted to the new learning tended to be those who were simply curious rather than those who were dedicated to discovering
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By contrast, women are to be beautiful, dainty, soft and educated in knowledge that would enable her to be a 'good companion'. She should be able to speak with authority on subjects that would entertain or amuse her audience as a hostess.

Mirandola believed that man had the ability to choose his own path. He wrote that God enabled man with the ability to choose his own destiny and his own perspective with which to view life and everything around him. His theory was that those abilities distinguished man from all other beings. He further argued in 'The Oration', that animals come into the world with everything they can ever possess. Also, he believed that angels likewise come into existence as complete beings that do not continue to develop. Only the man can grow and "become all he can be". He encouraged all to pursue the path of knowledge and personal development, enriching ones own destiny for greater things.

Rabelais criticized authority and championed personal liberty. His satirical writings used scatological humor, considered crude and vulgar, mixing fact and fantasy. "In his commitment to moral education over scholastic, technical training, as well as in his critique of the ritualism of the late medieval religion, Rabelais shows himself to be one of the most fully humanist of the sixteenth-century French writers."(Wilcox)

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