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.

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