Currents in Naturalism

May - June 2009

~ Center for Naturalism Newsletter ~


Additions to Naturalism.Org

~ Consciousness Revolutions - review of The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger.

~ Bad Cop: The Case Against Contempt -- why naturalists shouldn't heap scorn on supernaturalists.

~ Correspondence on Naturalism - with students from Heritage Christian School in Oregon.


Heads Up

~ American Humanist Association conference, June 5-7, Phoenix, AZ.

~ Freethought events, courtesy of the Secular Web and Jason Torpy.

Interview with Daniel Dennett at Nirmukta.

Center for Naturalism joins 239 (!) NGO's in signing the UN Watch statement against the OIC's “defamation of religions” campaign.

~ Manuel Vargas on Challenges to Free Will at Philosophy Talk radio.

~ Final episode of Reasonable Doubts on determinism - the hosts reply to critics and adduce some humanistic implications of not having contra-causal free will.

~ Julian Barbour and Craig Callender discuss the nature of time at Blogginheads.

~ Brights revisited: still Not a very bright idea, by Jeremy Stangroom.

~ Books of note:

~ Supersense, by Bruce Hood, on why we're prone to beliefs in the paranormal and supernatural, including free will.

~ Punk rocker and scientist Greg Graffin to author a new book on naturalism, interview here, his first is here.

~ Good Without God, forthcoming by Harvard Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein.

~ The Nature of Being Human: From Environmentalism to Consciousness, by Harold Fromm.

~ Beyond Revenge - psychologist Michael McCullough describes the evolution of the "forgiveness instinct" and how it can be harnessed to create a less dangerous world - a wonderful read.

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Ongoing Activities

~ Naturalism Meetups - monthly get-togethers for those wanting to explore and meme naturalism.

~ Philosophy Cafe @ Harvard Book Store - monthly philosophical discussions on any number of topics; moderated, with refreshments. No worldview commitment required.

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For those interested in learning more about naturalism, or in participating in outreach, research, and writing in collaboration with the CFN, here are a few resources, online and otherwise.


Causality Consulting - practical philosophical consultation that's science-based, short-term, and results-driven.

Encountering Naturalism: A Worldview and Its Uses - "the little orange book of naturalism" is in its second printing, available at Amazon. About the book, see

Naturalism: The Next Step for Humanists? - online video presentation about naturalism for the Freethought Association of Western Michigan; works as a spoken introduction to the philosophy and its implications.

Applied Naturalism Group - a forum to explore the personal and social applications of naturalism; membership by application.


Naturalism Philosophy Forum  - to facilitate the investigation of scientific naturalism, its assumptions, structure, and logical implications; open membership.

Naturalism as a World View - Richard Carrier's page devoted to explaining and defending naturalism.


Religious Naturalism - an online group explores the spiritual implications of naturalism, see Religious Naturalism and its associated Yahoo group.


Psychological Self-Help - an excellent resource, see in particular two chapters on determinism applied to issues of self-acceptance and self-control.  


Cause and Effect World - a smart and skeptical take on this crazy thing called life with host Samantha Clemens; her radio shows, including one on naturalism, are linked here.


Garden of Forking Paths - a free will/moral agency blog with knowledgeable contributors on the leading edge of current academic debates.


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