Cohen, Chapman

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COHEN, CHAPMAN (1868–1954) English philosopher. Born in Leicester, Cohen became involved in the free thought movement in England as a result of the work of Charles Bradlaugh and G.W. Foote. He began writing on religious topics in the 1890s. He attacked religious beliefs and the activities of religious organizations. In 1915 he became the editor of the Freethinker and president of the National Secular Society. Cohen was an advocate of materialism, and lectured against and debated religious thinkers. He opposed the English laws against blasphemy. Cohen wrote many books and pamphlets including Determinism or Free Will? (1912), Religion and Sex: Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development (1919), Theism or Atheism (1921), A Grammar of Freethought (1921), The Other Side of Death (1922), Materialism Re-Stated (1927), and Essays in Freethinking (1923–39). In 1940 he published a work about himself, Almost an Autobiography: The Confessions of a Freethinker.

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[Richard H. Popkin]