In his final book, the late Paul Kurtz outlines his personal vision for a planetary ethics inspired by scientific wisdom. Blending realism and optimism, he lays out the basic principles of an ethical approach that he calls humanist "eupraxsophy"--that is, the application of practical moral choices inspired by scientific wisdom. Emphasizing the dramatic character of the biosphere, human affairs, and the physical universe itself, Kurtz has structured the book in terms of an operatic scenario, with an overture, intermezzo, nine acts, and a grand finale. Citing the emergence of a new planetary civilization, he proposes the development of a planetary ethics based on universal human rights, free scientific inquiry unfettered by dogma, an attitude of exuberance toward human potentials, and courage and determination in the face of the daunting challenges of our time.
Kurtz concludes on an enthusiastic note: there is meaning to be found in creative human endeavors as well as a sense of awe and profound reverence inspired by the spectacle of the enormous universe and the prospects for the human adventure.
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 Prometheus Books, the Institute for Science and Human Values, 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.
"[An] eloquent call for 'humanist eupraxsophy,' a 'practical moral' system based on empathy and scientific knowledge. . . . With vigor and conviction, Kurtz lays out his vision of a civilization grounded in reality and compassion...his final work will give thoughtful readers plenty to think about."
“Paul Kurtz was a voice for a humane secularism before ‘the new atheism’ became fashionable, and his body of writings constitutes an articulate positive vision of what makes life meaningful, purposive, and worth living. We are lucky that he left us with this highly creative summation of his vision, filled with insights and bits of wisdom.”
New York Times bestselling author of The Better Angels of Our Nature