Thursday, 17 July 2014

The deep Meaning of Eupraxsophy..

The majority of our peace instruction, natural activity, solid living rules, enthusiastic adjusting, and other comparative exertions are all coordinated towards the improvement of an eupraxsophy, utilizing the methods for the hand to hand fighting as a lens through which to center and perspective our teachings. 

The term eupraxsophy was instituted by Paul Kurtz, an educator at the University of New York at Buffalo and a patron to the written work of Humanist Manifesto II (a beneficial read, in itself!). It draws its importance from the aged Greek words eupraxis (right activity) and sophia (knowledge). An eupraxsophy, then, is a perspective or lifestyle which promoters carrying on with a moral and overflowing life through balanced and naturalistic means. 

Through carrying on with an eupraxsophic life, maybe we may achieve a state of eudaimonia: the best useful for an individual person; a state of perfection described by goal prospering over a lifetime, and achieved through the activity of good goodness, viable insight, and discernment.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Eupraxsophy Revisited

There is no word in the English language that adequately conveys the meaning of secular humanism. Secular humanism is not a religion; it represents a philosophical, scientific, and ethical outlook. I have accordingly introduced a new term, eupraxsophy, in order to distinguish humanistic convictions and practices from religious systems of faith and belief.

This term can be used in many languages. It is derived from Greek roots: eu-, praxis, and sophia.
Eu- is a prefix that means “good,” “well,” or “advantageous.” It is found in the Greek word eudaimonia, which means “well-being” or “happiness,” and it is also used in English terms such as eulogy and euphoria.

Praxis (or prassein) refers to “action, doing, or practice.” Eupraxia means “right action” or “good conduct.”

Sophia means “wisdom.” This word appears in philosophy, combining philos (“love”) and sophia (“wisdom”) to mean “love of wisdom.”

Eupraxsophy is designed for the public arena where ideas contend. Unlike pure philosophy, it focuses not simply on the love of wisdom, though this is surely implied by it, but the practice of wisdom. Moral philosophers should be interested in developing the capacity for critical ethical judgments. 

That is an eminent goal. But eupraxsophy goes further than that, for it focuses on creating a coherent ethical life stance. Moreover, it presents hypotheses and theories about nature and the cosmos that at any particular point in history were based on the best scientific knowledge of the day. Humanist eupraxsophy defends a set of criteria evaluating the testing of truth claims. It may espouse at any one time in history a particular set of political ideals. 

Eupraxsophy combines both a Weltanschauung (a worldview or personal philosophy of life) and a philosophy of living. But it takes us one step further by means of commitment; based upon cognition, it is fused with passion. It entails the application of wisdom to the conduct of life.

Thursday, 9 August 2012


Kurtz coined the term eupraxsophy (originally eupraxophy) to refer to philosophies or lifestances such as secular humanism and Confucianism that do not rely on belief in the transcendent or supernatural. A eupraxsophy is a nonreligious lifestance or worldview emphasizing the importance of living an ethical and exuberant life, and relying on rational methods such as logic, observation and science (rather than faith, mysticism or revelation) toward that end. The word is based on the Greek words for "good", "practice", and "wisdom". Eupraxsophies, like religions, are cosmic in their outlook, but eschew the supernatural component of religion, avoiding the "transcendental temptation," as Kurtz puts it. Although critical of supernatural religion, he has attempted to develop affirmative ethical values of naturalistic humanism.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Red-throated Loon

The Red-throated Loon or Red-throated Diver (Gavia stellata) is a migratory aquatic bird found in the northern hemisphere. It breeds primarily in Arctic regions, and winters in northern coastal waters. It is the most widely distributed member of the loon or diver family. Ranging from 55–67 centimetres (22–26 in) in length, the Red-throated Loon is the smallest and lightest of the world's loons. In winter, it is a nondescript bird, greyish above fading to white below. During the breeding season, it acquires the distinctive reddish throat patch which is the basis for its common name. Fish form the bulk of its diet, though amphibians, invertebrates and plant material are sometimes eaten as well. A monogamous species, the Red-throated Loon forms long-term pair bonds. Both members of the pair help to build the nest, incubate the eggs (generally two per clutch) and feed the hatched young.

The Red-throated Loon has a large global population and a significant global range, though some populations are declining. Oil spills, habitat degradation, pollution and fishing nets are among the major threats this species faces. Natural predators—including various gull species, and both Red and Arctic Foxes, will take eggs and young. The species is protected by a number of international treaties.

The Red-throated Loon is the smallest and lightest of the world's loon species, ranging from 55 to 67 cm (22 to 26 in) in length[nb 1] with a 91–110 cm (36–43 in) wingspan, and averaging 1.4 kg (3.1 lb) in weight. Like all loons, it is long-bodied and short-necked, with its legs set far back on its body. The sexes are similar in appearance, although males tend to be slightly larger and heavier than females. In breeding plumage, the adult has a dark grey head and neck (with narrow black and white stripes on the back of the neck), a triangular red throat patch, white underparts and a dark grey-brown mantle. It is the only loon with an all-dark back in breeding plumage. The non-breeding plumage is drabber with the chin, foreneck and much of the face white, the top of the head and back of the neck grey, and considerable white speckling on the dark mantle.

Its bill is thin, straight and sharp, and the bird often holds it at an uptilted angle. Though the colour of the bill changes from black in summer to pale grey in winter, the timing of the colour change does not necessarily correspond to that of the bird's overall plumage change. The nostrils are narrow slits located near the base of the bill, and the iris is reddish. One of the bird's North American folk names is pegging-awl loon, a reference to its sharply pointed bill, which resembles a sailmaker's awl (a tool also known as a "pegging awl" in New England).

Like the other members of its genus, the Red-throated Loon is well-adapted to its aquatic environment: its dense bones help it to submerge, its legs—in their set-back position—provide excellent propulsion and its body is long and streamlined. Even its sharply pointed bill may help its underwater streamlining. Its feet are large, its front three toes are fully webbed, and its tarsus is flattened, which reduces drag and allows the leg to move easily through the water.

When it first emerges from its egg, the young Red-throated Loon is covered with fine soft down feathers. Primarily dark brown to dark grey above, it is slightly paler on the sides of its head and neck, as well as on its throat, chest, and flanks, with a pale grey lower breast and belly. Within weeks, this first down is replaced by a second, paler set of down feathers, which are in turn replaced by developing juvenile feathers. The juvenile's plumage is similar to that of the adult, though with a few distinguishing features. It has a darker forehead and neck, with heavy speckling on the sides of the neck and the throat. Its back is browner and less speckled, and its underparts are tinged with brown. Its eyes are reddish-brown, and its beak is a pale grey. Though some young birds hold this plumage until mid-winter, many quickly become virtually indistinguishable from adults—except for their paler bills.
diagram of silhouette of Red-throated Loon in flight

In flight, the Red-throated Loon has a distinctive profile; its small feet do not project far past the end of its body, its head and neck droop below the horizontal (giving the flying bird a distinctly hunchbacked shape) and its thin wings are angled back. It has a quicker, deeper wingbeat than do other loons.


The adult Red-throated Loon has a number of vocalisations, which are used in different circumstances. In flight, when passing conspecifics or circling its own pond, it gives a series of rapid yet rhythmic goose-like cackles, at roughly five calls per second. Its warning call, if disturbed by humans or onshore predators, is a short croaking bark. A low-pitched moaning call, used primarily as a contact call between mates and between parents and young, but also during copulation, is made with the bill closed. The species also has a short wailing call, which descends slightly in pitch and lasts about a second; due to strong harmonics surrounding the primary pitch, this meowing call is more musical than its other calls. Another call—a harsh, pulsed cooing that rises and falls in pitch, and is typically repeated up to 10 times in a row—is used in territorial encounters and pair-bonding, and by parent birds encouraging their young to move on land between bodies of water. Known as the "long call", it is often given in duet, which is unusual among the loons; the female's contribution is longer and softer than her mate's.

Young have a shrill closed-bill call, which they use in begging and to contact their parents. They also have a long call used in response to (and similar to that of) the long call of adults.