Welcome to the Humanist Philosophers’ pages of the BHA website. We are a group of philosophers from all over the UK who advise the BHA on ethical matters and relevant issues of public debate. We contribute rational argument and written submissions to assist the BHA in its role as a unique watchdog and lobbying organization. We organise conferences and lectures and meet every 6 weeks to discuss current issues. We publish pamphlets and try to answer questions thoughtfully and approachably. We hope you enjoy our site. Please email us and let us know what you think.
– Peter Cave, Chair of the Humanist Philosophers
The Humanist Philosophers’ Group was established in 2000 and since then has published pamphlets, press releases, articles in serious newspapers and journals, letters to the press and government departments, individually and collectively supporting Humanist principles.
Members of the group have wide ranging interests, which helps keep debate alive. See books and publications for some of their work and see the Humanist Tradition pages for more on humanist contributions to philosophy, as well as philosophy’s role in the development of Humanism. The Humanist Philosophers organise four public lectures a year on topics to inspire and interest those who are supportive and those who are unsupportive of Humanist principles.
The BHA sponsors the Humanist Philosophers’ Group in order to promote a critical and rational approach to public ethical issues. With their support we are able to contribute to debate on a wide range of ethical issues from sex education to gene therapy. The support of the HPA means the BHA is a uniquely equipped organization, able to approach public debate with informed reflection.
– Polly Toynbee, President of the British Humanist Association
The interests of the Humanist Philosophers cover all areas of philosophical thought relevant to humanism. Their conferences and publications have addressed such topics as: the definition of humanism; the concept of the sacred; science, evolution and creationism; objections to humanism; death and dying; paternalism; religious schools; education about beliefs and values; secularism and the separation of religion and state; and values and community cohesion.
Their aims are both to support the BHA in its campaigning work and to explore some of the complexities in the humanist alternative to religious belief. The group’s aims are not, therefore, purely theoretical, but also practical – bringing humanist values of toleration, fellow-feeling, and the importance of evidence and reason, to bear on society.