February 22, 2011
I don’t usually use my blog to make book recommendations, but I am compelled to make an exception. Stephen Law’s Humanism: A Very Short Introduction has recently become available in the U.S. Buy it or borrow it. It’s definitely worth the read.
It is very difficult to write a concise book on a broad topic. It is also very difficult to write a book with novel insights on a topic that has been discussed many times before. Law admirably overcomes both of these obstacles, and he succeeds in producing a book that may be the definitive brief guide to humanism.
This is not to say I agree completely with Law’s observations and analyses. In particular, I believe he may have made a misstep or two in his discussion of the meaning of life. (His criteria for “meaning” may be too demanding.) But even where I disagree with him, his exposition is admirably clear and free of rhetoric.
Full disclosure: Law is associated with CFI as the provost for CFI’s programs in the United Kingdom. However, neither CFI nor I have any financial stake in this book.
A longer review of this book will appear in a forthcoming issue of Free Inquiry .