Humanism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Law

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191614009

Category: Religion

Page: 168

View: 6724

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.
Posted in Religion

Humanism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Stephen Law

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199553645

Category: Philosophy

Page: 150

View: 2219

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.
Posted in Philosophy

Agnosticism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Robin Le Poidevin

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199575266

Category: Philosophy

Page: 134

View: 5425

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.
Posted in Philosophy

Atheism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Julian Baggini

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780192804242

Category: Philosophy

Page: 119

View: 902

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.
Posted in Philosophy

Humour: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Noël Carroll

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199552223

Category: Humor

Page: 152

View: 9098

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

Secularism

Politics, Religion, and Freedom

Author: Andrew Copson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198809131

Category: Religion

Page: 176

View: 2865

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.
Posted in Religion

The Renaissance Bazaar

From the Silk Road to Michelangelo

Author: Jerry Brotton

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0192802658

Category: Art

Page: 243

View: 2769

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.
Posted in Art

Existentialism: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Thomas Flynn

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192804286

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 144

View: 4974

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'.
Posted in Literary Criticism

American Immigration: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David A. Gerber

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199715815

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 808

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.
Posted in History

Existentialism

Author: Thomas Flynn

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

ISBN: 9781402768743

Category: Philosophy

Page: 178

View: 370

"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.
Posted in Philosophy

Hermeneutics

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jens Zimmermann

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199685355

Category: Hermeneutics

Page: 144

View: 2632

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.
Posted in Hermeneutics

Economics: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Partha Dasgupta

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191578281

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 192

View: 4424

Economics has the capacity to offer us deep insights into some of the most formidable problems of life, and offer solutions to them too. Combining a global approach with examples from everyday life, Partha Dasgupta describes the lives of two children who live very different lives in different parts of the world: in the Mid-West USA and in Ethiopia. He compares the obstacles facing them, and the processes that shape their lives, their families, and their futures. He shows how economics uncovers these processes, finds explanations for them, and how it forms policies and solutions. Along the way, Dasgupta provides an intelligent and accessible introduction to key economic factors and concepts such as individual choices, national policies, efficiency, equity, development, sustainability, dynamic equilibrium, property rights, markets, and public goods. 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.
Posted in Business & Economics

Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan Culler

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199691347

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 165

View: 9357

Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction offers insights into theories about the nature of language and meaning, human identity, and the power of language. Fully updated for 2011 and including a new chapter on 'Ethics and aesthetics', it steers a clear and lucid path through an often impenetrable subject.
Posted in Literary Criticism

Humanism

A Beginner's Guide

Author: Peter Cave

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

ISBN: 1780740298

Category: Religion

Page: 208

View: 8902

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.
Posted in Religion

Humanism

An Introduction

Author: Jim Herrick

Publisher: Prometheus Books

ISBN: 1615920943

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 7972

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.
Posted in Philosophy

Logic: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Graham Priest

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192539701

Category: Philosophy

Page: 152

View: 6667

Logic is often perceived as having little to do with the rest of philosophy, and even less to do with real life. In this lively and accessible introduction, Graham Priest shows how wrong this conception is. He explores the philosophical roots of the subject, explaining how modern formal logic deals with issues ranging from the existence of God and the reality of time to paradoxes of probability and decision theory. Along the way, the basics of formal logic are explained in simple, non-technical terms, showing that logic is a powerful and exciting part of modern philosophy. In this new edition Graham Priest expands his discussion to cover the subjects of algorithms and axioms, and proofs in mathematics. 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.
Posted in Philosophy

Dante

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Hainsworth,David Robey

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199684774

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 127

View: 9811

In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Hainsworth and David Robey take a different approach to Dante, by examining the main themes and issues that run through all of his work, ranging from autobiography, to understanding God and the order of the universe. In doing so, they highlight what has made Dante a vital point of reference for modern writers and readers, both inside and outside Italy. They emphasize the distinctive and dynamic interplay in Dante's writing between argument, ideas, and analysis on the one hand, and poetic imagination on the other. Dante was highly concerned with the political and intellectual issues of his time, demonstrated most powerfully in his notorious work, The Divine Comedy. Tracing the tension between the medieval and modern aspects, Hainsworth and Robey provide a clear insight into the meaning of this masterpiece of world literature. They highlight key figures and episodes in the poem, bringing out the originality and power of Dante's writing to help readers understand the problems that Dante wanted his audience to confront but often left up to the reader to resolve. 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.
Posted in Literary Criticism

Psychology: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Gillian Butler,Freda McManus

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199670420

Category: Psychology

Page: 148

View: 1786

Psychology is part of everyone's experience: it influences the way we think about everything from education and intelligence, to relationships and emotions, advertising and criminality. People readily behave as amateur psychologists, offering explanations for what people think, feel, and do. But what exactly are psychologists trying to do? This Very Short Introduction explores some of psychology's leading ideas and their practical relevance. In this newedition, Gillian Butler and Freda McManus explore a variety of new topics and ways of studying the brain.Exploring some of the most important advances and developments in psychology - from evolutionarypsychology and issues surrounding adolescence and aggression to cognitive psychology - this is a stimulating introduction for anyone interested in understanding the human mind.
Posted in Psychology

Postmodernism

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Butler

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192802399

Category: Art

Page: 142

View: 1533

'a pre-eminently sane, lucid, and concise statement about the central issues, the key examples, and the notorious derilections of postmodernism. I feel a fresh wind blowing away the miasma coiling around the topic. ' -Ihab Hassan, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee'the most intellectually incisive, coherent and comprehensive meditation upon the history and significance of postmodernism that I have yet encountered.' -Patricia Waugh, University of Durham'easily the best introduction to postmodernism currently available' -Hans Bertens, Utrecht University
Posted in Art