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The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism

Andrew Copson (Editor), A. C. Grayling (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-97717-9 June 2015 Wiley-Blackwell 464 Pages


The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Humanism presents an edited collection of essays that explore the nature of Humanism as an approach to life, and a philosophical analysis of the key humanist propositions from naturalism and science to morality and meaning.


  • Represents the first book of its kind to look at Humanism not just in terms of its theoretical underpinnings, but also its consequences and its diverse manifestations
  • Features contributions from international and emerging scholars, plus renowned figures such as Stephen Law, Charles Freeman and  Jeaneanne Fowler
  • Presents Humanism as a positive alternative to theism
  • Brings together the world’s leading Humanist academics in one reference work

Notes on Contributors vii

Foreword xi

1 What Is Humanism? 1
Andrew Copson

Part I Essentials of Humanism 35

2 Naturalism 37
Brendan Larvor

3 Science, Reason, and Scepticism 55
Stephen Law

4 Death as Annihilation 72
Peter Cave

5 The Good and Worthwhile Life 87
A. C. Grayling

Part II Diverse Manifestations 95

6 The Materialists of Classical India 97
Jeaneane Fowler

7 Humanism in the Classical World 119
Charles Freeman

8 Ancient China 133
Merv Fowler

9 Humanistic Thought in the Islamic World of the Middle Ages 153
Abdelilah Ljamai

Part III Implications 171

10 Counselling and the Humanist Worldview 173
Carmen Schuhmann

11 Making a Home in This World: Humanism and Architecture 194
Ken Worpole

12 Humanist Ceremonies: The Case of Non-Religious Funerals in England 216
Matthew Engelke

13 Humanism and Education 234
John White

14 Humanism and the Political Order 255
Alan Haworth

15 Humanism in Recent English Fiction 280
Peter Faulkner

Part IV Debates 303

16 Feminism and Humanism 305
Pauline Johnson

17 Life Without Meaning? 325
Richard Norman

18 Spirituality 347
Jeaneane Fowler

19 Is Humanism Too Optimistic? An Analysis of Religion as Religion 374
Paul Cliteur

20 Humanism, Moral Relativism, and Ethical Objectivity 403
John R. Shook

21 The Future of Humanism 426
Peter Derkx

Index 440