Humanism, its Legacy

“No humanist is now remembered as a philosopher. They jeer and do not refute. The schoolman advanced, and supported, propositions about things: the humanist replied that his words were inelegant… Words like realitas and identificatio were condemned not because they had no use but because Cicero had not used them. The medieval philosophy is still read as philosophy, the history as history, the songs as songs: the hymns are still in use. The ‘barbarous’ books have survived in the only sense that really matters: they are used as their authors meant them to be used. It would be hard to think of one single text in humanists’ Latin, except the Utopia, of which we can say the same. Petrarch’s Latin poetry, Politian, Buchanan, even sweet Sannazarus, even Erasmus himself, are hardly ever opened except for an historical purpose. We read the humanists, in fact, only to learn about humanism; we read the ‘barbarous’ authors in order to be instructed or delighted about any theme they choose to handle.”

— C.S. Lewis, English Literature in the Sixteenth Century

I don’t take a side on this issue. I have no particular feelings on humanism. I appreciate the sick burn.