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A MANIFESTO FOR A CRITICAL HUMANISM

IN 

SOCIOLOGY

ON QUESTIONING THE HUMAN SOCIAL WORLD

 Ken Plummer

(Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Essex, U.K.)

 This was First Presented at the VI Congreso Andaluz de Sociologiá, University of Cadiz, November 2012

In June it was  published in

Daniel Nehring: Sociology: A Text and Reader ( Pearson, 2013).


This is the first edition; it is now under revision for a 2nd version. Comments are welcome

Contact Ken Plummer at plumk@essex.ac.uk

 

_________________________________________________ 

Thou shalt not answer questionnaires
Or quizzes upon World-Affairs,

            Nor with compliance
Take any test. Thou shalt not sit
With statisticians nor commit

            A social science

– W.H. Auden  ‘Under Which Lyre’. 1946

 

We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace, 1869

These then are my last words to you. Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. William James:  The Will to Believe. 1896

 

SUMMARY

  1. Prologue: A very human animal in an all too human world
  2. On the Human Search for Meaning
  3. On Sociology
  4. The Challenge of Humanism
  5. Righting the Troubles with Humanism
  6. On Critical Humanism
  7. The Human Condition: Obdurate Features of the Human World
  8. On Human Potentials, Capabilities and Rights
  9. The Challenge of Plural Worlds, Ethnocentrism and Cosmopolitanism
  10. On Becoming Human: The Process of Humanization
  11. A Sociology of the People:  Being Practical and Pursuing the Wise Society
  12. We are the Story Telling Animals
  13. The Politics and ethics of Humanism: Living a Better Life and Making a Better World
  14. Dark Hope and Dreaming Ahead in Perpetually Troubled Timers: Key Directions For a Future Humanistic Agenda
  15. Further Reading

 Click here for the rest

 

 

Hate begets hate,

violence engenders violence,

hypocrisy is answered by hypocrisy,

war generates war,

and love creates love

Pitirim-Sorokin

Pitirim A Sorokin, 1954, The Ways and Power of Love

 

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Kalama Sutra

“Rely not on the teacher/person, but on the teaching. Rely not on the words of the teaching, but on the spirit of the words. Rely not on theory, but on experience. Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything because it is written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and the benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

– the Buddha

 

Is that all there is?

 

Unknown-2

( This can be sung along with Peggy Lee to the song by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and inspired by a short story by Thomas Mann: Disillusionment. I used to play this a lot when I was young; and I even played it to my first year students for many years. I was a cheery little soul. Here I write my own little lyric for it!).

When I was fifteen, I discovered homosexuality.

They said it was a crime.

And a sickness, a sin, a shame and a sadness.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

When I was twenty-five, I discovered liberation.

It was GLF; we were out and proud; we made demands.

We were modern homosexuals out to change the world.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

When I was thirty, I discovered research.

Transvestites and paedophiles and sado-masochists and more:

The conflicting meanings of the whole damn thing!

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

When I was thirty-five, I discovered AIDS and feminism.

I knew the tragedy of AIDS: twenty five millions dead and still counting

And the tragedy of feminism: its interminable divides.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

When I was forty-five, I went global and postmodern.

Queer had come around again;

And rights was on the world agenda.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

When I was sixty, I nearly died: but I didn’t.

Starry starry nights and the incorrigible plurality of snow.

The multiplicities of life, of death, of suffering.

And I said to myself: is that all there is?

 

So life goes on as I look to seventy.

The inevitability of disappointment

and the importance of hope.

And I say to myself: is that all there is?

So let’s keep dancing.

Return to contingencies: It’s a wonderful life?

holidays at the blog! have  a wonderful holiday It’s a Wonderful Life Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he. Clarence ,the angel, as he shows George Bailey what the world would look like if he had not lived.    …

QUOTING HUMANISMS: INSPIRATIONS

CHARLES HORTON COOLEY (1964-1929)


         ‘We live in the minds of others without

                          knowing it’

Quoting Humanisms: Let’s Hope!

I am a pessimist because of intelligence

but an optimist because of will    Antonio Gramsci

 

Poem for the day: All Things Pass

All Things Pass – Lao-Tzu All things pass A sunrise does not last all morning All things pass A cloudburst does not last all day All things pass Nor a sunset all night All things pass What always changes?Earth…sky…thunder… mountain…water… wind…fire…lake… These change And if these do not last Do man’s visions last? Do man’s…

Quoting Humanisms

We are all the same race: the human race.

 

I recently found this image and slogan: it was new to me.

I found it on an interesting site for for scholars researching the queer diaspora:

You can find this at:

Queer Migration Research Network  (Click)

http://queermigration.com/

(I have tried to approach the photographer – but no success yet)

So here is the image – and the quote:

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