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Kai Nielsen (philosopher)

Kai Nielsen (born 1926) is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Calgary. Before moving to Canada, Nielsen taught at New York University (NYU). He specializes in metaphilosophy, ethics, and social and political philosophy. Nielsen has also written about philosophy of religion, and is an advocate of contemporary atheism. He is also known for his defense of utilitarianism, writing in response to Bernard Williams's criticism of it.

Nielsen got his B.A. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Ph.D. at Duke University. He is the author of some 32 books and 415 articles. Member of the Royal Society of Canada, and past president of the Canadian Philosophical Association. Nielsen is also one of the founding members of the Canadian Journal of Philosophy.

In 1973 Nielsen was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto II.[1]

In 1991, he debated William Lane Craig on the subject 'God, Morality and Evil'.[2]


  • Books 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Sources 4
  • External links 5


  • "Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will: The Political Philosophy of Kai Nielsen", Edited by David Rondel and Alex Sager, 2012, ISBN 978-1-55238-530-2
  • Wittgensteinian Fideism?, 2006, ISBN 0-334-04005-1
  • Atheism And Philosophy, 2005, ISBN 1-59102-298-3
  • Globalization And Justice, 2002, ISBN 1-59102-054-9
  • Naturalism and Religion, 2001, ISBN 1-57392-853-4
  • Exploitation, 2001, ISBN 0-391-04000-6
  • Why Be Moral?, 1997, ISBN 0-87975-519-9
  • Naturalism Without Foundations, 1996, ISBN 1-57392-076-2
  • On Transforming Philosophy: A Metaphilosophical Inquiry, 1995, ISBN 0-8133-0666-3
  • God and the Grounding Of Morality, 1991, ISBN 0-7766-0328-0
  • After the Demise of the Tradition: Rorty, Critical Theory, and the Fate of Philosophy, 1991, ISBN 0-8133-8044-8
  • Ethics without God, 1990, ISBN 0-87975-552-0
  • God, Skepticism and Modernity, 1989, ISBN 0-7766-0241-1
  • Marxism and the Moral Point of View: Morality, Ideology, and Historical Materialism, 1989, ISBN 0-8133-0653-1
  • Equality and Liberty: A Defense of Radical Egalitarianism, 1986, ISBN 0-8476-7516-5
  • Philosophy and Atheism, 1985, ISBN 0-87975-289-0
  • An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, 1983, ISBN 0-312-43310-7
  • Marx and Morality, 1981, ISBN 0-919491-01-4
  • Scepticism, 1973, ISBN 0-333-10263-0
  • Reason and Practice: A Modern Introduction to Philosophy, 1971, ISBN 0-06-044836-9
  • Contemporary Critiques of Religion, 1971, ISBN 0-333-06963-3
  • Ethics Without God, 1971, ISBN 0-301-73021-0

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^


  • Pojman, L. The Moral Life, OUP, 2001. ISBN 0-19-516608-6

External links

  • Transcript of debate with theist William Lane Craig
  • Nielsen page at Calgary
  • Nielsen page at Concordia
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