Positive Humanism: A Primer

Positive Humanism 2.0:

Living the Good Secular Life


Albert Camus

The first known usage of the phrase “positive humanism” that resembles its modern usage can be found in a 1956 article, in the Journal of Religion, where the author was describing religious philosopher Albert Camus as a “non-Christian thinker” who is preoccupied with “questions of the nature and meaning of men, their hopes, their possibilities, and their destiny” (Hanna, 1956, p. 224).  From 1956 to the late 70s, the phrase appeared sporadically in writing until in 1978 when Gerald A. Larue, published an essay simply titled, “Positive Humanism,” in which he eloquently illustrated the joy, freedom, and meaning in life that he largely credits to his humanistic values.  In June of 1989, Dr. Larue expanded his views on positive humanism and compiled them into a short book called The Way of Positive Humanism.  Since then, there has been very little mention of positive humanism.

Much has changed since 1989.

My goal is to pick up where the late Dr. Larue left off by focusing on where the findings of the area of psychology known as positive psychology overlap with the values of humanism (see Figure 1).


Figure 1. Venn Diagram

Previous PageNext Page