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Who is Dr. A. C. Grayling??

#16: Sept. - Oct. 2004 (Non-Fiction)
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Chris OConnor

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Who is Dr. A. C. Grayling??

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As usual we ought to all learn a little about the person behind the book. While surfing looking for information I stumbled across an excellent resource on Grayling. The site is called www.acgrayling.com, so I tend to trust the information.So what does he look like?Looks relatively distinguished, yet harmless. I think Peter mentioned having attended a literary festival where Dr. Grayling presented.If Grayling accepts our invitation to a chat session we may have to accommodate the time zone difference by having the chat session on a weekend morning. Those that recall, we did Dawkins on a Saturday at around 10:00am ET if my memory serves me correctly. Unless Grayling is a night owl, doing a 9:00pm ET chat would mean either 2:00 or 3:00am in England. I'll leave you to now read about Grayling and his academic endeavors. No need to copy and paste off that site. Just click on the link provided and read away. I'd pay attention to the Academic Interests link as this section gives you an excellent overview of the subjects upon which he seems to focus.I do have a feeling, after reading his site, that Grayling will not be an easy read. As Peter suggested we might do ourselves a service by having a dictionary handy throughout the reading process. I'm also under the impression that it will require some additional research to fully grasp everything within the text. But only time will tell.Chris "For Every Winner, There Are Dozens Of Losers. Odds Are You're One Of Them"Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 2/21/05 9:33 am
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A C Grayling

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Just to clarify the situation. I didn't actually meet Dr. Grayling but we saw him give two talks at a literary festival in Keswick (which is in the English Lake District near where we live). He certainly is a witty, informed and urbane speaker. I did speak to him, once: I asked a question at the end of one of his talks. I'd planned to get my book signed and to speak to him afterwards but he had to get away to catch a train.Peter
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Re: A C Grayling

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Dr. Grayling has authored several other books it seems. The Reason of Thingsby A.C. GraylingSynopsisThe most important question we can ask ourselves is: what kind of life is the best? This is the same as asking: How does one give meaning to one's life? How can one justify one's existence and make it worthwhile? How does one make experience valuable, and keep growing and learning in the process - and through this learning acquire a degree of understanding of oneself and the world? A civilised society is one which never ceases debating with itself aboutwhat human life should best be. Some would, with justice, say that if wewant ours to be such a society we must all contribute to that discussion. This book is, with appropriate diffidence, such a contribution. It consists of a collection of Grayling's regular 'Last Word' columns in the Guardian.This time topics include Suicide, Deceit, Luxury, Profit, Marriage, Meat-eating, Liberty, Slavery, Protest, Guns and War.From the Inside FlapThe most important question we can ask ourselves is: what kind of life is the best? This is the same as asking: How does one give meaning to one's life? How can one justify one's existence and make it worthwhile? How does one make experience valuable, and keep growing and learning in the process - and through this learning acquire a degree of understanding of oneself and the world? A civilised society is one which never ceases debating with itself about what human life should best be. Some would, with justice, say that if we want ours to be such a society we must all contribute to that discussion. This book is, with appropriate diffidence, such a contribution. According to A. C. Grayling, a fulfilled life is best achieved through art, love and the pursuit of knowledge. As in his bestselling The Meaning of Things, these short informal essays on aspects of ethics, ideas and culture, inspire us to begin the quest. 12.99 in UK only Dr A. C. Grayling is Reader in Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of numerous philosophical books and the acclaimed biography of William Hazlitt, and is also a distinguished literary journalist and broadcaster. He writes a regular column in the Guardian, and is a Contributing Editor of Prospect magazine. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandella
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Wittgenstein: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)by A. C. Grayling SynopsisLudwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) was an extraordinarily original philospher, whose influence on twentieth-century thinking goes well beyond philosophy itself. In this book, which aims to make Wittgenstein's thought accessible to the general non-specialist reader, A. C. Grayling explains the nature and impact of Wittgenstein's views. He describes both his early and later philosophy, the differences and connections between them, and gives a fresh assessment of Wittgenstein's continuing influence on contemporary thought. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandella
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Philosophy 2: Further Through the Subjectby A. C. GraylingSynopsisAn authoritative guide through important areas of philosophy that are typically studied in the later parts of an undergraduate course. It is a companion to "Philosophy: A Guide Through the Subject" and together the two volumes provide a complete accompaniment to the study of philosophy, orientating and assisting the reader at every stage. Thirteen extended essays introduce a major area and giving an accessible, sophisticated, and up to date account of the main debates. The authors include leading figures in contemporary philosophy. The first seven essays cover the philosophies of language, psychology, religion, and the natural and social sciences. The second part of the book completes the guide through the history of philosophy which was started in the first volume, and covers such famous thinkers as Aquinas, Kant, Hegel, Russell, and Wittgenstein. Full annotated bibliographies are provided to serve as guides for further reading. This book is intended for undergraduate and graduate students of philosophy and the general reader with an interest in philosophy.Book DescriptionThis companion to the highly successful Philosophy: A Guide through the Subject, (recently reissued as Philosophy 1) is a lively and authoritative guide through important areas of philosophy that are typically studied in the later parts of an undergraduate course. Thirteen extended essays have been specially commissioned, each introducing a major area and giving an accessible and up-to-date account of the main debates. The first seven cover the philosophies of language, psychology, religion, and the natural and social sciences. The second part of the book completes the guide through the history of philosophy begun in the first volume, covering later ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, Kant, continental philosophy from Hegel, Frege, Russell Wittgenstein, and Indian philosophy. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandella
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Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular Ageby A. C. Grayling From Library JournalGrayling teaches philosophy at the University of London, writes a weekly column for the Guardian, and frequently contributes to the New York Times Book Review, among other publications. Here he has written a primer designed to stimulate thinking on various aspects of "the problems and possibilities of being human," as he observes on the book jacket. Ranging in length from two to ten pages, the 60-plus essays are divided almost evenly into three categories: "Virtues and Attributes," "Foes and Fallacies," and "Amenities and Goods." They are balanced, intelligently written, at times caustic, and always (as intended) thought-provoking. Consider, for example, what Grayling has to say regarding love: "Despite appearances, the kinds of love that are most significant to us are not those that fill novels and cinema screens. They are instead those we have for family, friends, and comrades; for these are the loves that endure through the greater part of our lives, and give us our sense of self-worth, our stability, and the framework for our other relationships." This is a superb little book, partly because it reminds us of what we intuitively know but perhaps overlook and partly because it stimulates us to rethink beliefs we have perhaps held too long. Highly recommended. Terry Skeats, Bishop's Univ. Lib., Lennoxville, QuebecBook DescriptionMagnanimity is in short supply, writes A. C. Grayling is this wonderfully incisive book, "but it is the main ingredient in everything that makes the world a better place" And indeed Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular Age is itself a generous, insightful, wide-ranging, magnanimous inquiry into the philosophical and ethical questions that bear most strongly on the human condition. Containing nearly fifty linked commentaries on topics ranging from love, lying, perseverance, revenge, racism, religion, history, loyalty, health, and leisure, Meditations for the Humanist does not offer definitive statements but rather prompts to reflection. These brief essays serve as springboards to the kind of thoughtful examination without which, as Socrates famously claimed, life is not worth living. As Graying notes in his introduction, "It is not necessary to arrive at polished theories on all these subjects, but it is necessary to give them at least a modicum of thought if one's life is to have some degree of shape and direction." The book is divided into three sections-Virtues and Attributes, Foes and Fallacies, and Amenities and Goods-and within these sections essays are grouped into related clusters. But each piece can be read alone and each is characterized by brevity, wit, and a liveliness of mind that recalls the best of Montaigne and Samuel Johnson. Grayling's own perspective on these subjects is broadened and deepened by liberal quotations from Sophocles and Shakespeare to Byron, Twain, Proust, Simone de Beauvoir, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others. For those wishing to explore ethical issues outside the framework of organized religious belief, Meditations for the Humanist offers an inviting map to the country of philosophical reflection. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandella
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Philosophy 1: A Guide Through the Subjectby A. C. Grayling (Editor) SynopsisThis is the first volume of a two-volume introduction to and guide through philosophy. It is intended to orientate, assist and stimulate the reader at every stage in the study of the subject. Eleven extended essays have been specially commissioned from leading philosophers; each surveys a major area of the subject and offers an accessible but sophisticated account of the main debates. An extended introduction maps out the philosophical terrain and explains how the different subjects relate to each other. The first part of the book deals with the foundations of philosophical enquiry: epistemology; philosophical logic; methodology; metaphysics; and the philosophy of mind. The second part offers four historical chapters, two on ancient and two on modern philosophy, introducing great thinkers from the past, explaining and discussing their ideas, and showing the value of studying them today. The third part comprises two chapters devoted to questions of value, in ethics and aesthetics. Full annotated bibliographies are provided at the ends of chapters to serve as guides to further reading. This is intended to present real philosophy, not simplified philosophy; it will be accessible for the beginner but equally valuable for the third-year student. Deep and challenging questions are not shirked; the reader will be given a sense of involvement in the practice of philosophy today. This book is intended for undergraduate students of philosophy (first-year to third-year) and their teachers. Also general readers and readers from other academic disciplines. Book DescriptionThis is the best general book on philosophy for university students: not just an introduction, but a guide which will serve them throughout their studies. It is intended to orientate, assist, and stimulate the reader at every stage in the study of the subject. Eleven extended essays have been specially commissioned from leading philosophers; each surveys a major area of the subject and offers an accessible but sophisticated account of the main debates. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandella
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An Introduction to Philosophical Logicby A.C. Grayling SynopsisAn Introduction to Philosophical Logic has been a popular mainstay among students taking courses in philosophical logic and the philosophy of language since it was first published in 1982. Covering some of the most central topics in philosophy - the proposition, theories of truth, existence, meaning and reference, realism and anti-realism - it aims to be an accessible guide to the topic. This new edition keeps the same successful format, with each chapter as a self-contained introduction to the topic it discusses, but has been rewritten to include updated information. The author has also included a new chapter on identity, has revised his concluding comments and has completely updated the bibliography. Book DescriptionAn Introduction to Philosophical Logic has been a popular mainstay among students taking courses in philosophical logic and the philosophy of language since it was first published in 1982. Covering some of the most central topics in philosophy - the proposition, theories of truth, existence, meaning and reference, realism and anti-realism - it aims to be an accessible guide to the topic. This new edition keeps the same successful format, with each chapter as a self-contained introduction to the topic it discusses, but has been rewritten to include updated information. The author has also included a new chapter on identity, has revised his concluding comments and has completely updated the bibliography. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandella
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Russell: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)by A. C. GraylingSynopsisBertrand Russell (1872-1970) is one of the most famous philosophers of the 20th century. In this account of his life and work A.C. Grayling introduces both his technical contributions to logic and philosophy, and his wide-ranging views on education, politics, war, and sexual morality. Russell is credited with being one of the prime movers of analytic philosophy, and with having played a part in the revolution in social attitudes witnessed throughout the 20th-century world. This introduction gives a clear survey of Russell's achievements across their whole range. Book DescriptionBertrand Russell (1872-1970) is one of the most famous and important philosophers of the twentieth century. In this account of his life and work A. C. Grayling introduces both his technical contributions to logic and philosophy, and his wide-ranging views on education, politics, war, and sexual morality. Russell is credited with being one of the prime movers of Analytic Philosophy, and with having played a part in the revolution in social attitudes witnessed throughout the twentieth-century world. This introduction gives a clear survey of Russell's achievements across their whole range. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandella
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Life, Sex, and Ideas: The Good Life Without Godby A. C. GraylingBook DescriptionA distinctive voice somewhere between Mark Twain and Michel Montaigne is how Psychology Today described A.C. Grayling. In Life, Sex, and Ideas: The Good Life Without God, readers have the pleasure of hearing this distinctive voice address some of the most serious topics in philosophy--and in our daily lives--including reflections on guns, anger, conflict, war; monsters, madness, decay; liberty, justice, utopia; suicide, loss, and remembrance. A civilized society, says Grayling, is one which never ceases having a discussion with itself about what human life should best be. In this book, Grayling adds to this discussion a series of short informal essays about ethics, ideas, and culture. A recurring theme is religion, of which he writes ""there is no greater social evil."" He argues, for instance, that liberal education is better than religion for inculcating moral values. ""Education in literature, history, and appreciation of the arts,"" he says, ""opens the possibility for us to live more reflectively and knowledgeably, especially about the nature and variety of human experience. That in turn increases our capacity for understanding others better, so that we can treat them with respect and sympathy, however different their outlook on life."" Thought provoking rather than definitive, these essays don't tell readers what to think, but only note what has been thought about how it is best to live. A person who does not think about life, the author reminds us, is like a stranger mapless in a foreign land. These brief and suggestive essays offer us the outlines of a map, with avenues of thought that are a pleasure to wander down. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandella
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