Humanism and Happiness Term Paper by Nicky

Humanism and Happiness
A look at the philosophy of humanism.
# 148988 | 1,740 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 16, 2011 in Philosophy (History) , Philosophy (Ethics)

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This paper discusses humanism, emphasizing the philosophical outlooks of Desiderius Erasmus and Sir Thomas More. First, the paper gives a basic overview of the humanistic philosophy, which emphasized humans, their work, creations and intellect. Then it specifically explores the contributions of Desiderius Erasmus and his influence on this outlook and eventually the Reformation. Then, the paper examines the work of Sir Thomas More, his connection to Erasmus and humanism in England. In particular, the paper analyzes More's famous treatise, "Utopia." The paper concludes by stating that the tenets of humanism are a basic ingredient in the fulfillment of human potential in the contemporary environment.


Pacifist Humanist
Reason and Virtue Lead to Happiness

From the Paper:

"More became the first layman to become Lord Chancellor in 1529 (Burnet 1885). He
sent six Lutherans to burn at the stake and 40 others to prison. He did this to eliminate the collaborators of William Tyndale who secretly published a Protestant translation of the Bible in English in 1525. He presided over more executions at the stake, including the burnings of the former Benedictine monk Richard Bayfield in 1531 and John Frith, a priest and writer, in 1533. In 1530, he refused to sign a letter, written by English church leader, asking the Pope to annul Henry's marriage to Catherine. In 1531, he tried to resign after being coerced to take an oath to declare Henry VIII the Supreme Head of the English Church. In 1532, he convinced the king to relieve him of his office due to sharp chest pains. But when he refused to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn as Queen of England in 1533, the king charged him for bribe-taking. This was dismissed. But later in 1534, he refused to swear to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy. For the refusal, he was imprisoned at the Tower of London. He was charged for high treason the following year for denying the validity of the Act of Succession."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Ainsa, Fernando. Do We Need Utopia? UNESCO Courier: UNESCO, Feb 1991
  • Burnet, Gilbert, trans. Thomas More's Utopia - Moral Philosophy and Religion. British Library Board: George Routledge & Sons, 1885
  • Microsoft Encarta. Desiderius Erasmus. Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia:Microsoft Corporation, 2009. Retrieved on May 30, 2009 from
  • Nauert, Charles. Desiderius Erasmus. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Stanford University, 2008.
  • Philosophy Basics. Sir Thomas More. The Basics of Philosophy, 2009. Retrieved on May 31, 2009 from

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