More than 120 leading philosophers have signed a letter asking the home secretary to reconsider the case of a Pakistani humanist whose asylum application was rejected because he failed to correctly answer a question about Plato and Aristotle.

The letter, a shortened version of which is published by the Guardian, says: "Knowledge of Plato and Aristotle is not a reliable test for whether someone is a humanist."

Its signatories include AC Grayling of Oxford University; Simon Blackburn of Cambridge University; Helen De Cruz of Oxford Brookes University; Julian Baggini, the author of A Short History of Truth, who runs the Microphilosophy website; Peter Cave, chair of the Humanist Philosophers' Group; and Matthew Duncombe, a specialist in ancient Greek philosophy at Nottingham University.

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