The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times

The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times

by A. C. Grayling
The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times

The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times

by A. C. Grayling


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A. C. Grayling's lucid and stimulating books, based on the idea that philosophy should engage with the world and make itself useful, invariably cause discussion.

The Challenge of Things joins earlier collections such as The Reason of Things and Thinking of Answers, collecting Grayling's recent writings on the world in a time of war and conflict. In describing and exposing the dark side of things, he also explores ways out of the habits and prejudices of mind that would otherwise trap us forever in the deadly impasses of conflicts of all kinds.

Whether he is writing about the First World War and its legacy, free speech, the advantages of an atheist prime minister or the role of science in the arts, his essays are always enlightening, enlivening, and hopeful.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632862471
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 12/08/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 320
File size: 352 KB

About the Author

A. C. Grayling is Professor of Philosophy at and Master of the New College of the Humanities, London. He has been a regular contributor to the Times, Financial Times, Economist, New Statesman, and Prospect. His books include Among the Dead Cities: The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan, Toward the Light of Liberty: The Struggles for Freedom and Rights That Made the Modern Western World, Liberty in the Age of Terror, The Good Book: A Secular Bible, and The God Argument.
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.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Destructions and Deconstructions

The First World War 7

The Ethics of Drones 10

Irredentism and Associated Evils 13

Guns 16

The Berlin-Baghdad Railway 20

The Killing of Osama Bin Laden 27

The Future of the World 29

When China Rules the World 33

China and Human Rights 42

China's Games 45

Opium 47

A Christian Nation? 50

Unjust Justice 55

What We Owe the Dead 57

Black Poison 59

Death and Taxes 62

Religion and Education 65

'Many Faiths, One Truth' 69

Religion and Public Service 70

The Power of the Press and the Press of a Button 72

Irrationality, Immaturity, Braggadocio, Putin 75

Spain and Rome 77

Superstition 80

The Advantages of Atheist Political Leaders 82

Hard-Wired for God? 86

The Prophetess 89

The New Puritanism 97

The Global Financial Crisis 102

Climate Change 107

The Force of Nature 109

Constructions and Creations

The Public Intellectual 115

Wisdom, Mind and Brain 117

Neurophilosophy 124

The Brain and History 127

The Triumph of Science 131

Science and Democracy 149

Making Mistakes and Apologising 151

Does Government Know Best? 158

Beyond Subsistence 163

A Hard Choice 165

Archiepiscopal Ethics 169

Free Speech 171

The Care and Maintenance of Friends 174

The Book of the Dead 180

Darwin in Scotland 182

Tocqueville on America 185

Quantum Dirac 190

Thucydides 196

Montaigne 200

Socrates 209

Edmund Burke 215

The Unity of the Good 222

H. G. Wells and Mr Lewisham 235

Fishing with a Golden Hook 241

Speeches 245

Sleep 246

Success 248

Retirement 251

Happiness 252

Teachers 257

Education and Rationality 261

What is the Point of the Arts? 263

Darkness 269

The Hinges of History 272

The Whole Life: The Point of the Humanities 274

Optimism 280

Making the World a Better Place 284

Index 289

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