The secular age has confronted human beings with a fundamental challenge. While the naturalistic worldview rooted in science has persuasively shown that traditional religious conceptions of the universe are unsustainable, it has so far offered no compelling secular narratives to replace the religious narratives so entrenched in civilization. In the absence of religion, how do thoughtful contemporary individuals find meaning in a secular world?
In this book, philosopher Paul Kurtz argues for a new approach that he calls eupraxsophy. Kurtz first coined the term in 1988 to characterize a secular orientation to life that stands in contrast to religion. Derived from three ancient Greek roots, eupraxsophy literally means "good practice and wisdom." Drawing upon philosophy, science, and ethics, eupraxsophy provides a thoroughly secular moral vision, which respects the place of human values in the context of the natural world and presents an empirically responsible yet hopeful picture of the human situation and the cosmos in which we abide.
Editor Nathan Bupp has conveniently gathered together Kurtz’s key writings about the theory and practice of eupraxsophy for the first time in this volume. Written with eloquence and scope, these incisive essays show how Kurtz's brand of humanism moves above and beyond the current "new atheism." Eupraxsophy successfully bridges the cultural divide between science and value and provides a genuine and constructive alternative to religion.
Bupp’s informative introduction places the concept of eupraxsophy in historical perspective and shows why it is critically important, and relevant, today.
About the Author
Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), professor emeritus of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, was the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Transcendental Temptation, The Courage to Become, and Embracing the Power of Humanism, plus nine hundred articles and reviews. He was the founder and chairman of the Center for Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. He appeared on many major television and radio talk shows and has lectured at universities worldwide.
Nathan Bupp (Amherst, NY) is the vice president of communications for the Institute for Science and Human Values. He is a former vice president at the Center for Inquiry and former associate editor of Free Inquiry, where his articles and book reviews have been published. He is a contributor to Dewey's Enduring Impact, edited by John R. Shook and Paul Kurtz.
"Paul Kurtz has been the most important voice for humanism or secular humanism for the past half century.... This book of [his] writings over a span of nearly 50 years is a real treasure...."
"With his pioneering spirit and relentless efforts, Paul Kurtz has done more to advance a positive image for a secular society devoid of religion than any other person in our generation and perhaps in history. In an era like ours of angry atheists he is a breath of fresh air. Eupraxsophy does matter if we want to change our world. This may be his most lasting contribution, so it's wonderful to have all of these essays spanning his career together in one volume. Very highly recommended."
-John W. Loftus, author of Why I Became an Atheist
"A rich collection of Paul Kurtz's writings, this book presents a full picture of the philosophy of humanism. Kurtz is at his best in displaying and defending the humane values that underlie his thought."
-John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University