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date: 17 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Atheism, humanism, and naturalism are three expressions of nontheism. They are “ideal types,” abstractions from the empirical messiness of the phenomena they describe. These types represent three levels of complexity and depth. Humanism sublates atheism, that is, transforms and lifts it higher. In turn, naturalism sublates (aufheben) humanism. At its best, naturalism assumes a pragmatic form. After an arguing for a serial relationship of increasing sophistication and intensification among atheism, humanism, and naturalism, the chapter culminates with an overview of George Santayana’s pragmatic religious naturalism. The thesis of the chapter is that Santayana provides the most sophisticated and capacious account of anti-supernaturalism and nontheism as a religious orientation.

Keywords: atheism, humanism, naturalism, Dewey, Santayana, piety, spiritual, pragmatic, supernaturalism, poetry

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