Humanism (the philosophy that people are rational beings) became quite popular during the Renaissance. This movement originated in Italy and spread throughout Europe.
The main characteristics of humanism were:
- The interest in classical culture and philosophy. Greek and Roman art, culture and ideas were the base of humanism and Renaissance.
- Anthropocentrism was a new way to understand physolophy. Human beings become the centre of the art and philosophy. This was a reaction against the Middle Ages when God and Christianity was the main subject of philosophy (theocentrism) Reality was explain without the influence of religion.
- New inventions as a result of a new concept of Creativity. The most important one was the printing press which helped to spread humanism.
- Desire of knowledge without any limits. Scholars were interested in all kind of subjects and wanted to be the Renaisance Man.
- Critical thinking led to the development of the scientific method based on reason, research and experimentation.
- The use of vernacular languages instead of Latin . Dante, Petrach, Boccaccio, Cervantes or Shakespeare wrote their plays in Italian, Spanish and English. Also scientists used vernacular languages.