Humanism A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Law
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191614002
Release Date: 2011-01-27
Genre: Religion

Religion is currently gaining a much higher profile. The number of faith schools is increasingly, and religious points of view are being aired more frequently in the media. As religion's profile rises, those who reject religion, including humanists, often find themselves misunderstood, and occasionally misrepresented. Stephen Law explores how humanism uses science and reason to make sense of the world, looking at how it encourages individual moral responsibility and shows that life can have meaning without religion. Challenging some of the common misconceptions, he seeks to dispute the claims that atheism and humanism are 'faith positions' and that without God there can be no morality and our lives are left without purpose. Looking at the history of humanism and its development as a philosophical alternative, he examines the arguments for and against the existence of God, and explores the role humanism plays in moral and secular societies, as well as in moral and religious education. Using humanism to determine the meaning of life, he shows that there is a positive alternative to traditional religious belief. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Humanism A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Law
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199553648
Release Date: 2011-01-27
Genre: Philosophy

Summary: Philosopher Stephen Law explains why humanism--though a rejection of religion--nevertheless provides both a moral basis and a meaning for our lives.-publisher description.

Humanism

Author:
Publisher:
ISBN: 0191777366
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Humanism

What is humanism? Can there be morality without God? Without religion, are our lives left without meaning? Stephen Law considers all these questions here. Discussing the arguments for and against religious belief, and examining the value and meaning of life, he explores humanism as a positive alternative to religion.

Atheism A Very Short Introduction

Author: Julian Baggini
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192804243
Release Date: 2003-06-26
Genre: Philosophy

Do you think of atheists as immoral pessimists who live their lives without meaning, purpose, or values? Think again! Atheism: A Very Short Introduction sets out to dispel the myths that surround atheism and show how a life without religious belief can be positive, meaningful, and moral.

Agnosticism A Very Short Introduction

Author: Robin Le Poidevin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199575268
Release Date: 2010-10-28
Genre: Philosophy

What is agnosticism? Is it just the 'don't know' position on God, or is there more to it than this? Is it a belief, or merely the absence of belief? Who were the first to call themselves 'agnostics'? These are just some of the questions that Robin Le Poidevin considers in this Very Short Introduction. He sets the philosophical case for agnosticism and explores it as a historical and cultural phenomenon. What emerges is a much more sophisticated, and much more interesting, attitude than a simple failure to either commit to, or reject, religious belief. Le Poidevin challenges some preconceptions and assumptions among both believers and non-atheists, and invites the reader to rethink their own position on the issues. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Renaissance Bazaar

Author: Jerry Brotton
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780192802651
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Art

More than ever before, the Renaissance stands as one of the defining moments in world history. Between 1400 and 1600 European perceptions of society, culture, politics and even humanity itself emerged in ways that continue to affect not only Europe but the entire world. This wide-ranging exploration of the Renaissance guides the reader through the key issues that defined the period, from its art, architecture, and literature, to its advancements in the fields of science, trade and travel.

Secularism

Author: Andrew Copson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198809135
Release Date: 2017-09-28
Genre: Religion

Until the modern period the integration of church (or other religion) and state (or political life) had been taken for granted. The political order was always tied to an official religion in Christian Europe, pre-Christian Europe, and in the Arabic world. But from the eighteenth century onwards, some European states began to set up their political order on a different basis. Not religion, but the rule of law through non-religious values embedded in constitutions became the foundation of some states -- a movement we now call secularism. In others, a de facto secularism emerged as political values and civil and criminal law altered their professed foundation from a shared religion to a non-religious basis. Today secularism is an increasingly hot topic in public, political, and religious debate across the globe. It is embodied in the conflict between secular republics -- from the US to India -- and the challenges they face from resurgent religious identity politics; in the challenges faced by religious states like those of the Arab world from insurgent secularists; and in states like China where calls for freedom of belief are challenging a state imposed non-religious worldview. In this short introduction Andrew Copson tells the story of secularism, taking in momentous episodes in world history, such as the great transition of Europe from religious orthodoxy to pluralism, the global struggle for human rights and democracy, and the origins of modernity. He also considers the role of secularism when engaging with some of the most contentious political and legal issues of our time: "blasphemy," "apostasy," religious persecution, religious discrimination, religious schools, and freedom of belief and thought in a divided world.

Existentialism A Very Short Introduction

Author: Thomas Flynn
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192804280
Release Date: 2006-10-12
Genre: Literary Criticism

Sartre, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Kierkegaard, de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty, and Camus were some of the most important existentialist thinkers. This book provides an account of the existentialist movement, and of the themes of individuality, free will, and personal responsibility which make it a 'philosophy as a way of life'.

Humour A Very Short Introduction

Author: Noël Carroll
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199552221
Release Date: 2014-01
Genre: Humor

Examines the leading theories of humor, focusing on the incongruity theory.

Humanism

Author: Jim Herrick
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 9781615920945
Release Date:
Genre: Philosophy

With a Preface by Laurie TaylorIt is a great pleasure to welcome Jim Herrick's book on humanism. His description of humanism is clear and concise, yet easy to read. It covers the important points in a sound manner without going into cumbersome detail.-Professor Sir Hermann Bondi, Renowned British mathematician and cosmologist, King's College, Cambridge University, UKHumanism is a philosophy that emphasizes the value of human life in all its creative potential within a secular context. Humanism is skeptical of religious beliefs and relies on science as the basis for understanding the universe. Although humanism has become most fully developed in the West, its origins lie throughout the world, and this perspective is shared by people from many different cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds.In this succinct, informative, and enlightening introduction to humanism, Jim Herrick, a leading humanist advocate in Great Britain, provides a very readable account of the guiding principles, history, and practice of humanism in today's world. Herrick surveys the tradition of humanism as it developed over many centuries, its skepticism toward belief in God and an afterlife, humanist values and arguments for morality outside of a religious framework, its attitude of tolerance toward different lifestyles and belief systems, its endorsement of democratic political principles, its strong ties to science, its evaluation of the arts as an exploration of human potential, and its concern for environmental preservation and the long-term sustainability of the earth.In conclusion, Herrick briefly describes the various humanist organizations throughout the world; particular causes championed by humanists (women's rights, racial and sexual equality, freedom of speech and information, and education, among others); and the future of humanism.Jim Herrick (London, UK) is editor in chief of the Rationalist Press Association, literary editor of the New Humanist, formerly editor of the Freethinker and of the International Humanist News, and the author of a number of books on the history of humanism. He has written two books on the history of freethought and has worked in the humanist movement for over 25 years. Herrick, previously a school teacher, has carried out non-religious ceremonies including funerals, weddings and same sex affirmations. The international dimension to humanism is very important to him and he has traveled to meet humanists in many parts of the world.

American Immigration A Very Short Introduction

Author: David A. Gerber
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199715817
Release Date: 2011-06-01
Genre: History

Americans have come from every corner of the globe, and they have been brought together by a variety of historical processes--conquest, colonialism, the slave trade, territorial acquisition, and voluntary immigration. A thoughtful look at immigration, anti-immigration sentiments, and the motivations and experiences of the migrants themselves, this book offers a compact but wide-ranging look at one of America's persistent hot-button issues. Historian David Gerber begins by examining the many legal efforts to curb immigration and to define who is and is not an American, ranging from the Naturalization Law of 1795 (which applied only to "free-born white persons") to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the Emergency Quota Act of 1921, and the reform-minded Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which opened the door to millions of newcomers, the vast majority from Asia and Latin America. The book also looks at immigration from the perspective of the migrant--farmers and industrial workers, mechanics and domestics, highly trained professionals and small-business owners--who willingly pulled up stakes for the promise of a better life. Throughout, the book sheds light on the relationships between race and ethnicity in the life of these groups and in the formation of American society, and it stresses the marked continuities across waves of immigration and across different racial and ethnic groups. A fascinating and even-handed historical account, this book puts into perspective the longer history of calls for stronger immigration laws and the on-going debates over the place of immigrants in American society. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

Hermeneutics

Author: Jens Zimmermann
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780199685356
Release Date: 2015-09-23
Genre: Hermeneutics

This short introduction to hermeneutics demonstrates the central role of interpretation in our daily lives. By considering the historic developments in hermeneutic theory as well as its contemporary relevance, Zimmermann explains how humans continue to draw knowledge from the world around them.

Existentialism

Author: Thomas Flynn
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN: 1402768745
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Philosophy

"A series of concise, engrossing, and enlightening books that explore every subject under the sun with unique insight. One of the twentieth century's most significant philosophical movements, existentialism influenced literature, the arts and humanities, and politics. Here, thomas Flynn examines the philosophy's core beliefs and introduces leading existentialist thinkers, from Nietzsche to Sartre." --Cover, p. 4.

Diaspora A Very Short Introduction

Author: Kevin Kenny
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199858606
Release Date: 2013-06-17
Genre: History

What does diaspora mean? Until quite recently, the word had a specific and restricted meaning, referring principally to the dispersal and exile of the Jews. But since the 1960s, the term diaspora has proliferated to a remarkable extent, to the point where it is now applied to migrants of almost every kind. This Very Short Introduction explains where the concept of diaspora came from, how its meaning changed over time, why its usage has expanded so dramatically in recent years, and how it can both clarify and distort the nature of migration. Kevin Kenny highlights the strength of diaspora as a mode of explanation, focusing on three key elements--movement, connectivity, and return--and illustrating his argument with examples drawn from Jewish, Armenian, African, Irish, and Asian diasporas. He shows that diaspora is not simply a synonym for the movement of people. Its explanatory power is greatest when people believe that their departure was forced rather than voluntary. Thus diaspora would not really explain most of the Irish migration to America, but it does shed light on the migration compelled by the Great Famine. Kenny also describes how migrants and their descendants develop diasporic cultures abroad--regardless of the form their migration takes--based on their connections with a homeland, real or imagined, and with people of common origin in other parts of the world. Finally, most conceptions of diaspora feature the dream of a return to a homeland, even when this yearning does not involve an actual physical relocation. About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Humanism

Author: Peter Cave
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 9781780740294
Release Date: 2009-03-01
Genre: Religion

Why should we believe in God without any evidence? How can there be meaning in life when death is final? Does a Godless universe imply moral relativism? With adherents including Einstein, Freud, Philip Pullman, and Frank Zappa, and often described as the thinking person’s religion, Humanism aims to make sense of such questions by appealing to shared human values, rationality, and tolerance. This lively and provocative book is essential reading for atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, rationalists, sceptics, and believers alike. Peter Cave is a writer, presenter, and lecturer in philosophy at The Open University and City University, London.