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Philanthropy

Philanthropy cames from greek word for 'human being', and means "to love the human being". Some people think in philanthropy as the combined good works of people and organizations to do good in the world or the inclination to increase the well-being of humankind as a whole, as by charitable work, aid or donations.

The Classical View of Philanthropy
This is that the "love of what it is to be human" is the essential nature and purpose of humanity, culture and civilization - is intrinsically philosophical, containing both metaphysics and ethics. It asserts that our nature and purpose in life is educational - to make ourselves more fully humane through self-development, pursuing excellence of body, mind and spirit. The ancient Greek word for culture as education was paideia. Paideia and "philanthropía were both later translated by the Romans into Latin by one word - significantly, humanitas. The total economic collapse attending the Fall of Rome and leading into the so-called "Dark Ages" dissolved Classical civilization, replacing it with Christian theology and soteriology, administered through the Roman Catholic Church's ecclesiastical and monastic infrastructures. Gradually there emerged a non-religious agricultural infrastructure based on peasant farming organized into manors, which were in turn organized for law and order by feudalism. For a thousand years Classical humanism hibernated in forgotten manuscripts of monastic libraries. When it was rediscovered in the Renaissance, humanism consisted of a specific academic curriculum: grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history, and moral philosophy, or ethics, designed to train laymen for effective leadership in business, law, and government. One of the clearest literary expressions of Renaissance humanist philosophy is Pico della Mirandola's famous 15th century Oration on the Dignity of Man, which echoes the philanthropic myth of human creation, though with the Christian God as the Promethean Creator.

Europe emerged from the 16th-17th century Wars of Religion ready to try secular alternatives, for which humanistic philosophies of Rationalism and Empiricism, fortified by the Scientific Revolutions, inclined lay philosophers toward the progressive view of history inaugurated by Classical philanthropy. This tendency achieved an especially pure articulation in the Scottish Enlightenment, several of whose leading philosophers proposed philanthropy as the essential key to human happiness, conceived as a kind of "fitness"—living in harmony with Nature and one's own circumstances. Self-development, manifested in good deeds toward others, was the surest way to live a pleasing, fulfilling, and satisfying life, as well as to help build a commonwealth community. This is the world-view that informed our Founding Fathers' creation of the United States, and helped make them such uniquely respectable human beings. Alexander Hamilton, in the first paragraph of the first Federalist Paper, launched the Founders’ argument for ratification of our Constitution by noting that “It is commonly remarked” that Americans were at a new place in history, in which for the first time they could design their own government, for the betterment of mankind. “This” he said “adds the inducements of philanthropy to those of patriotism.” He was saying that the United States of America was being created as an intentionally philanthropic nation, a gift to mankind, squarely in the Promethean tradition.

About This Philanthropy Social Network

A friendship network and special interest group for philanthropists and people who have an interest in philanthropic ventures, needs and causes. Join this social networking channel if you are looking for the best philanthropy resources, sites, information, books and videos. Add your views, reviews and philanthropy news!

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Category Society - Philanthropy
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