Articles in the category People


(c. 279–c. 206 BCE) Chrysippus of Soli was a Greek Stoic philosopher. Although Chrysippus believed in fate, divination and gods, he believed reason, sympathy and knowledge were the tools human beings should use when addressing ethical problems. The British Museum, London contains a bust of Chrysippus. See also… Wikipedia biograpy of Chrysippus

Matthew Arnold

(24 December 1822 – 15 April 1888) Matthew Arnold was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. Sometime during his adolescence, Matthew Arnold abandoned Christianity, apparently on ethical grounds and turned to agnosticism. He thereafter spent a good bit of his life trying to tell others about it in a gentle, gentlemanly way […]

Chapman Cohen

(1 September 1868 – 4 February 1954) Chapman Cohen was a leading English atheist and secularist writer and lecturer. He was the elder son of Enoch Cohen, a Jewish confectioner, and his wife, Deborah, and in his own words had “little religion at home and none at school” Cohen moved to London in 1889, and soon […]

Jacob Bronowski

(18 January 1908 – 22 August 1974) Jacob Bronowski was a humanist, polymath and all round Renaissance man. He was born in Poland in 1908 to Jewish parents who moved to Germany during the first World War and then on to England in 1920. Bronowski won a scholarship to study Mathematics at Cambridge but was […]

C.E.M. Joad

(12 August 1891 – 9 April 1953) Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad was an English philosopher and broadcasting personality. Joad was born in Durham and shortly after he moved with his family to Southampton, where he received a very strict Christian upbringing. In 1910, Joad went up to Balliol College, Oxford where he developed his skills as a […]

Thomas Paine

(February 9 1737 – June 8 1809) Thomas Paine was an English republican, anticlerical deist and social reformer who became involved in the American and French revolutions. “The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” Early years Thomas Pain, as his name was most often spelt before […]

William Johnson Fox

(1786-1864) William Johnson Fox was a religious and political orator, born near Southwold, Suffolk. He was trained for the Independent ministry, at Homerton College (then in London). He later seceded to the Unitarians, and in 1817 Fox became minister of a nonconformist congregation which subsequently went on to become the non-religious South Place Ethical Society. In 1831, Fox bought the journal […]

Ernest Gimson

(21 December 1864 – 12 August 1919) Ernest William Gimson was a furniture designer and architect. His brother Sydney Gimson was president of Leicester Secular Society and their father Josiah was the main force behind the building of Leicester’s Secular Hall. Ernest met William Morris at the Hall and later became one of the most influential designers in Morris’s […]

Benjamin Franklin

(January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest figures in the American Enlightenment and the struggle for American independence. He was born in Boston and was apprenticed to the printing trade — where he educated himself. He set up his own printing trade after a brief spell in Britain. He […]

Joseph McCabe

(12 November 1867 – 10 January 1955) Joseph Martin McCabe was born at 14 Chestergate, Macclesfield, Cheshire, but his family moved to Manchester, near Gorton Monastery, while he was a child. He trained there as a Franciscan Friar from the age of 15. Father Antony His novitiate year took place in Killarney, after which he was moved to St […]