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Biosophy, meaning wisdom of life, is a humanist movement heavily influenced by the 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza. It is "the science and art of intelligent living based on the awareness and practice of spiritual values, ethical-social principles and character qualities essential to individual freedom and social harmony."[1]

The term was probably first used by Ignaz Paul Vitalis Troxler, a Swiss philosopher, in 1806. It was later used by other philosophers like Peter Wessel Zapffe (1899-1990), who used biology as the foundation of his philosophy. Zapffe first set out his ideas in Den sidste Messias (en. The Last Messiah) (1933); later a more systematic defence was given in his philosophical treatise Om det tragiske (en. On the tragic) (1941). The Biosophical Institute claims that Dr. Frederick Kettner (1886-1957) was the founder of biosophy[2].

Zapffe's arguments have been understood in relation to philosophical pessimism and existentialism; he is also sometimes regarded as a nihilist.

The Biosophy Program was presented on the Internet by Anna Öhman & Svenolov Lindgren in January 1998 [3]. They noted that "the term biosophy was previously used by Zapffe (1941) in a literary context for the analysis of human social life based on philosophy of existence and biological facts. Such a narrow circumscription of biosophy is in our opinion no obstacle to widen the definition to encompass all systematic thinking on biological issues."

The Biosophy Program was intended to circumscribe and systemize biological studies in a philosophical framework to support teaching at courses on philosophy and courses on biology. The biosophical thinking is defined by Öhman & Lindgren in five philosophical fields and discriminated from Næss’ ecosophy.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • To create biosophical groups for character and peace education where the individual has opportunities of self-improvement.
  • To encourage integration among individuals based on their mutual interest in a spiritual purpose in life.
  • To network with other groups and organizations interested in character and peace education working cooperatively with them.
  • To replace the blind acceptance of theological beliefs, superstitions and dogmas with the cultivation of spiritual intelligence as the basis for the Religion of Freedom and Friendship.
  • To create a world-fellowship of peace-loving human beings who have overcome religious, national, racial and social prejudices who can work creatively for the growth of democracy, spiritual personal growth and world peace.
  • To work for the synthesis of religion, philosophy, science, education and art.
  • To perpetuate and advance Dr. Frederick Kettner's principles and work for the development and cultivation of the character and peace nature in young people.
  • To create a Peace Department in the national governments headed by a Secretary of Peace, and to establish peace universities.
  • To establish a world-fellowship of thinking human beings who can work creatively for the growth of spiritual democracy and world peace.
  • To cooperate in the advancement of humanity from civilization to the age of soulization.

See also[edit | edit source]


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