The Future of Humanism

“Humanism is now facing an existential challenge and the idea of “free will” is under threat.” 

This is an excerpt from an article by the Israeli academic and thinker Yuval Hariri who book “Homo Deus” I’ve been reading recently. 

The article in the Financial Times is well worth reading for anyone who thinks that Humanism as a philosophy is somehow the ultimate conclusion of a long history of philosophical development. 

Hariri echoes recent discoveries in neuroscience that cast doubt on the existence of free will and show that reason is not the opposite of emotion but the result of it and he goes on to suggest that we’re now facing a crisis as Big Data threatens to know us better than we know ourselves. 

I’m not sure that his use of the word ‘humanism’ exactly lines up with my own understanding of it but he’s a fascinating thinker. I’m more than a bit surprised that none of the Humanist magazines seem ever to have interviewed him.

So – is Humanism an outdated philosophy? Discuss!

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