An Atheism that Is Not Humanist

In the wake of the World Wars, major French philosophers such as Kojève, Levinas, Heidegger, Koyré, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Hyppolite argued that man could no longer fill the void left by the “death of God” without also calling up the worst in human history and denigrating the dignity of the human subject. Corrupted, humanism appeared to many as an indefensible foundation of a modernity that needed to be overcome, contributing to a new belief—termed “philosophical antihumanism”—that man should no longer be viewed as the basis for existence, thought, and ethics and no longer act as the founder and guarantor of knowledge and thought.

In this book, Stefanos Geroulanos offers a history of the emergence of these intellectual developments, and argues that at their heart lay a new atheism that rejected humanism as insufficient and ultimately violent.