Rationalist Association

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The Rationalist Association, formerly the Rationalist Press Association, is an organisation of the United Kingdom, founded on 26 May 1899 to promote what it calls freedom of thought and inquiry and the principles of rationalism, defined as 'the mental attitude which unreservedly accepts the supremacy of reason and aims at establishing a system of philosophy and ethics verifiable by experience and independent of all arbitrary assumptions or authority'.

From 1929 until 1951, the R.P.A. published, through Watts & Co. the groundbreaking Thinker's Library series of books.

The RPA publishes the bi-monthly New Humanist magazine.

The RPA changed its name to the 'Rationalist Association' in 2002.

In 2006, Sir Jonathan Miller was chosen to be its president. He said in response to being chosen, "Not believing in religion is very widespread but I think this community gets overlooked. I am flattered and honoured".


  • Cooke, Bill (2003). The Blasphemy Depot: A Hundred Years of the Rationalist Press Association. London, Rationalist Press Association. ISBN 0-301-00302-5
  • Gould, F.J. (1929). The Pioneers of Johnson's Court. London, Watts & Co.
  • Whyte, Adam Gowans (1949). The Story of the R.P.A. 1899-1949. London, Watts & Co.
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