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Meaning and Value in a Secular Age: Why Eupraxsophy Matters - The Writings of Paul Kurtz Paperback – June 26, 2012


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Meaning and Value in a Secular Age: Why Eupraxsophy Matters - The Writings of Paul Kurtz + Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism + Exuberant Skepticism
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 361 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616142316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616142315
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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...."
-Secular Perspectives

"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

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.

More 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 Institute for Science and Human Values as well as the founder and chairman emeritus 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 lectured at universities worldwide.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John W. Loftus VINE VOICE on June 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
Eupraxsophy (pronounced yoo-PRAX-so-fee) is a term Paul Kurtz introduced in 1988 to characterize a non-religious approach to life, which literally means "good practice and wisdom." In this collection of Paul Kurtz's essays,edited by Nathan Bupp, we read Kurtz at his best.

The key point of eupraxsophy "is the centrality of praxis or conduct; not philosophy, not the love of wisdom, but the practice of wisdom." (pp. 351-52) Distancing himself from ethical emotivists like A.J. Ayer, atheist existentialists like Sartre, and postmodernists like Rorty, and sounding a great deal like Sam Harris in The Moral Landscape,and Richard Carrier in The End of Christianity before them, Kurtz maintains "we can and should bring the best philosophical and ethical wisdom and scientific knowledge to deal with problems of practice," (p. 340) that is, with living a meaningful and valuable life. Distancing himself from analytic philosophers he argues with Marx that the goal of philosophy is not just to understand the world but to also change it. And he says he has "devoted the lion's share of my intellectual life to the application of philosophical analysis to concrete moral and social questions." (p. 341) He describes himself as a "practitioner of pragmatism," a "pragmatist's pragmatist, testing pragmatism itself in pragmatic terms" as an "eupraxsopher." (pp. 349-350) For as he argues, "It is simply not enough, and surely destructive, to destroy ancient beliefs and customs by negative criticisms...Because even if the existing beliefs are false or nonsensical, we surely need to fill the vacuum and to assuage the hunger for meaning, truth, and value: and we need to test new departures in ideals and practices not simply cognitively, but in terms of human needs, attitudes, and emotions.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven Schafersman on July 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Paul has been my personal friend and something of a mentor since the early 1980s and I have read many of the essays in this new collection. It is very useful and convenient to have his finest writings about living life as a Humanist collected together in one book, since the alternative is to find them in a dozen different books. Paul Kurtz is certainly the major Humanist figure in our modern era (fortunately, also known as the "Secular Age" or, as Paul liked to call it, the post-postmodern age) for his writings have defined Humanism and his leadership and model have inspired many individuals to become naturalistic humanists. Most importantly, Paul didn't just describe Humanism in philosophical terms, but essentially inspired the creation of the modern Humanist life stance or worldview. This philosophy of life can be described as a non-theist, non-supernaturalist, quasi-religion or functional religion, although almost all humanists would not use the term religion. I use the word here to characterize it adequately for non-humanists; in fact, Paul coined the term "eupraxsophy" as a functional synonym for the traditional term "religion," thinking that the terms "life stance" or "worldview" or "life philosophy" were too clunky or non-specific. Perhaps they are, but the term eupraxsophy has never really caught on and the others persist as substitutes for "functional religion."

Modern Humanism is moral, naturalistic, nontheistic humanism, a worldview or personal philosophy that obliges Humanists to depend on themselves, society, and the writings of pagan, agnostic, and atheist philosophers to find meaning and purpose in life. Humanism is not a formal philosophy but a collection of philosophies that find meaning in individual lives and actions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Paul Kurtz has been known as a great humanist for years. It is in this book, he puts together a tremendous collection of his best thoughts and philosophies in one volume. His writing is clear, his logic is faultless, and his conclusions flow smoothly from that logic. This is destined to be a classic in the realm of secular humanism. Also, it can serve as a course in advanced philosophy unto itself!

I would most highly recommend this rather heavy volume to my fellow freethinkers around the globe. If you are serious about secular humanism, this book is a must!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By rbtapp on January 16, 2013
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The late Paul Kurtz was a rare academic who could make significant improvements within a field, raise funding and create organizations, and connect with many publics. Nathan Bupp here introduces new readers to the many ideas and books that flowed from Kurtz. This humanism will outlast the many religious fads that now distract us from serious concerns about the future of the planet and human flourishing.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phyllis Tyson on May 22, 2013
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good summary of the humanist position. sometimes the philosophy was difficult to read through, but well worth the effort. recommended.
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