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Belgian Philosopher on Humanism and Its Possibilities


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/06/19

Christian is a Philosopher that comes from Belgium. What identifies him the most and above all is simplicity, for everything is better with “vanilla flavour.” Perhaps, for this reason, his intellectual passion is criticism and irony, in the sense of trying to reveal what “hides behind the mask,” and give birth to the true. For him, ignorance and knowledge never “cross paths.” What he likes the most in his leisure time, is to go for a walk with his wife.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: As this is Humanist Voices, it is a Humanism-facing youth publication. What is the first-pass evaluation of Humanism as a philosophy to you?

Christian Sorenson: In my opinion, “humanism” is not a philosophy, but rather a “theoretical approach” or “intellectual current” that influences different areas, or disciplines related to “human sciences”. Its orbit revolves around a “particular anthropological” vision of man, that aims to influence “psychological” and “social” behaviours in order to achieve “profound changes” in those spheres, and therefore in this sense, I consider that its contributions are “fundamentally necessary” in the actual world.

Jacobsen: What are the strengths of Humanism?

Sorenson: “Humanism” has “a positive” vision of human being, since considers that “its nature is in itself good”, and therefore, “tends intrinsically” towards “goodness”. In consequence sustains an “absolute confidence” and “complete credibility” in relation to its “innate potentialities”.

Jacobsen: What are the weaknesses of Humanism?

Sorenson: “Humanism” tends to “blind itself” in its “optimistic vision” regarding human being, and therefore leans “to idealize” it with “certain naivete”. Likewise, I consider that “its postulates” in occasions lack fundamental “logical basis”. In simple words, from my point of view, “humanistic proposals” sometimes “seem too good to be good”.

Jacobsen: Humanism stresses autonomy of the individual, social responsibility, empiricism. You and I have talked about a delimit critique of empiricism, as in the ideal or ontological reality as supreme with probabilistic manifestations in the ontological uncertainty of the world, the epistemological uncertainty of the tools of science, the sensory limitations in receiving and sending information, and the other certainty sitting with knowing that one knows and being a consciousness here-and-now. What would create a newer strain of Humanism incorporative of this realization?

Sorenson: I would designate this novel strain of “humanism” as “critical humanism”, which would be capable to elaborate “its own discourse on the method”, since in my opinion “methodology” is its main weakness, but in turn it may be the foundation for building an “humanism” that “incorporates and integrates” ontological, epistemological and existential dimensions with a greater “certainty degree”.

Jacobsen: How would this change ethics?

Sorenson: If “ethics” is based on “morality principles”, and “humanistic ethics” is based on a “unique and absolute goodness principle”, then probably with “critical humanism”, although it could continue to be founded on the “same unique principle”, perhaps this one would “relativize it”, and therefore even if “the trend” continues “being identical”, maybe the “novel ethic” will “not be absolutist”, and consequently it could “judge morally” according to a “secundum quid”.

Jacobsen: What about the sense of social responsibility and sense of personal responsibility?

Sorenson: Both “responsibilities” would “get rid” of their dependency regarding “the act of a man”, and they will rather become dependent at last on “the human act”.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Christian.

Sorenson: You are welcome.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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