In his acclaimed columns in the London Times and Prospect, A. C. Grayling often responds to provocative questions posed by editors and readers. These questions serve as the basis for the essays in Thinking of Answers, among them searching examinations of the following:
- Are human beings especially prone to self-deception?
- If beauty existed only in the eye of the beholder, would that make it an unimportant quality?
- Are human rights political?
- Can ethics be derived from evolution by natural selection?
- If both sides in a conflict passionately believe theirs is a just cause, does this mean the idea of justice is empty?
- Does being happy make us good? And does being good make us happy?
As in his previous books on philosophy for the general public, including Meditations for the Humanist and Life, Sex and Ideas, rather than presenting a set of categorical answers, Grayling offers suggestions for how to think about every aspect of the question at hand and arrive at one's own conclusion. Nobody can read Thinking of Answers without being fully engaged, for Grayling challenges with his intellect and inspires with his humanity.
“Unlike many other academic philosophers, Grayling cares too much about philosophy to leave it in the classroom. Indeed, as he applies the philosophic habit of mind to the issues arising in ordinary life, he opens remarkably expansive horizons…. Because the author repeatedly echoes the antireligious diatribes of Dawkins and Hitchens, among others, devout readers will welcome the invitation to develop their own line of reasoning. A bracing miscellany.”—Booklist
A. C. Grayling is Master of the New College of the Humanities, UK. He has written and edited numerous works of philosophy and is the author of biographies of Descartes and William Hazlitt. He believes that philosophy should take an active, useful role in society. He has been a regular contributor to The Times, Financial Times, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Economist, Literary Review, New Statesman and Prospect, and is a frequent and popular contributor to radio and television programmes, including Newsnight, Today, In Our Time, Start the Week and CNN news. He is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum at Davos, and advises on many committees ranging from Drug Testing at Work to human rights groups.