Historic Humanist Series

Corliss Lamont


March 1996

The 28th of March (1996) is the 94th anniversary of the birth of Corliss Lamont, author, educator, philosopher and definer for the philosophy of modern humanism. He was awarded a Ph.D. by Columbia University in 1932. His Ph.D. thesis was titled "Issues of Immortality." Three years later his first major book, based upon his thesis, was published with the title, The Illusion of Immortality. Dr. Lamont was fond of quoting George Santayana’s conclusion: "true wisdom consists in abandoning our illusions."

In 1949 He published The Philosophy of Humanism, which quickly became accepted as the defining work about humanism. Dr. Edwin H. Wilson, founder of the American Humanist Association and our own Utah chapter of AHA, was a close friend and associate of Dr. Lamont. In his foreword to the fifth edition of The Philosophy of Humanism, Dr. Wilson said: "Lamont shows that Humanism involves far more than the negation of supernaturalism."

Dr. Corliss Lamont died April 26, 1995.

--Flo Wineriter