• ISSN: 2382-6282 (Print); 2972-3108 (Online)
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Lang. Lit. Linguist.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL
    • Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Jason Miin-Hwa Lim
    • Executive Editor:  Jennifer X. Zeng
    • Indexed by:   CNKI, Google Scholar, Crossref,
    • E-mail: ijlll@ejournal.net
IJLLL 2023 Vol.9(2): 116-123
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2023.9.2.390

Freedom Delimited: An Analysis of Humanist Manifestos

Ross A. Jackson* and Brian L. Heath
Abstract—Freedom is ambiguous and elusive. Context is useful for delimiting this ideal, though the notion of delimited freedom is itself paradoxical. Humanism, with its emphasis on humans as the basis of inquiry and understanding, places significance on self-defined pursuits of meaning and happiness. Freedom is essential to that endeavor. Given the centrality of freedom to humanist philosophy, an analysis of a strategic subset of their major writings and manifestos holds potential for unlocking insights about freedom. An author-created, corpus of humanist manifestos was collected, comprised of twelve texts from three organizations. Specifically, the corpus contains documents from the following organizations: the American Humanist Association (n = 3), Humanists International (n = 7), and the Center for Inquiry (n = 2), with publications ranging from the year 1933 to 2022. Frequency analyses of words of merit provided context for the centrality of freedom in humanist literature. The term freedom was analyzed in terms of time, organization, and functional form to determine the degree of consistency in usage. These insights make explicit what was ambiguous and provide a foundation from which individuals and organizations can articulate and pursue the type of humanist freedom defined in their literature.

Index Terms—Analytics, corpus linguistics, organizational studies, philosophy, semantics

R. A. Jackson and B. L. Heath are with Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH 45501 USA. E-mail: heathb@wittenberg.edu (B.L.H.)
*Correspondence: jacksonr@wittenberg.edu (R.A.J.)


Cite:Ross A. Jackson and Brian L. Heath, "Freedom Delimited: An Analysis of Humanist Manifestos," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 116-123, 2023.

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