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Higher Humanism

A Neotranscendental Philosophy of Life

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Ash Gobar

The ideal of higher humanism challenges our modern civilization and its diminished image of the human being. A critique of the ideologies of "bourgeois humanism" provides a pathway toward the renascence of human identity and human dignity. Historical illustrations, drawn from the higher heritage of humanity, revive values long forgotten. Ash Gobar re-argues the great argument for the impact of the "philosophy of life" upon the "quality of life." This is a timely work: the call of a modern philosopher to awaken the conscience of humanity from its existential vertigo.

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6 Envisioning of Higher Humanism in German Enlightenment

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6

Envisioning of Higher Humanism in German Enlightenment

The age of Enlightenment attained its zenith in France and in Germany concurrently. But, owing to the markèd difference between the two movements, in their objectives and in their modes of thinking, there was hardly any interaction between them. The primary concern of the French illuminati was the social and political reformation of their society, but the primary concern of the German illuminati was the development of the inner culture of the human being. Yet the ideal of the re-education of mankind, toward the restoration of human dignity, remained the general objective of the two movements of Enlightenment, however different in substance and style.

This leitmotif of the Enlightenment, whether by the path of social reform or by the path of personal development, harbored a dream for the future of humanity. And Ernst Cassirer has depicted it with empathy: “Consciousness of this task [re-education of humanity] affects all minds of the age and gives rise to a new sense of inner tension … they feel in their trend the rise of a new future for mankind.”1 We, too, feel empathy: how, despite all existential obstacles, this leitmotif provided the illuminati inspiration in their work and zest in life.

However, the différence radicale between the two movements of the Enlightenment remains. And, in view of our theme of higher humanism, it is the German←65 | 66→ Enlightenment—and Jean-Jacques Rousseau as a singular...

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