Uncertain Humanism and the Water of Whiteness

IN 2005, one of today’s most revered American writers, David Foster Wallace (now deceased), delivered a commencement address to graduates of Kenyon College, titled “This Is Water.” The twenty-minute speech is worth a listen or read, freely available on YouTube and in Wallace’s eponymous 2009 collection, This Is Water: Some...

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Up Front

Pathologies of Power

"A tyranny," Plato says in the Republic, "is the wretchedest form of government," and "a tyrant grows worse from having power: he becomes and is of necessity more jealous, more faithless, more unjust, more friendless, more...

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Reviews

Elsewhere in the Humanist:

Philosophy in a Time of Pandemic

IN JANUARY Vintage Books published How to Live a Good Life: A Guide to Choosing Your Own Personal Philosophy, edited by Massimo Pigliucci, Skye C. Cleary, and Daniel A. Kaufman. In the vein of Socrates and his dictum on the futility of...

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Elsewhere in the Humanist:

I Testify: Congress Must Push for the Repeal of Blasphemy Laws Abroad

On January 28, 2020, the testimony of Rafida Bonya Ahmed, a humanist activist and author, was presented before the United States House of Representatives in a joint hearing on “Ending Global Religious Persecution.” For the first time ever, a humanist was called...

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Elsewhere in the Humanist:

Populists and Progressives

“Do you believe in a citizen’s right to gun ownership?” “I do.” “Do you believe that the life of an unborn child should be protected?” “I do.” “And do you believe that religious freedom should be restored and expanded?” “I do.” “Then,...

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Elsewhere in the Humanist:

Such a Voice Is Needed: The Humanist Interview with Salman Rushdie

SALMAN RUSHDIE is the author of fourteen novels, has written collections of fiction and non-fiction, and in 2012 published his memoir, Joseph Anton. His second novel, Midnight’s Children, won the Booker Prize in 1981 and was named “Best of the Booker” in...

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