Students Meet Philosophy Heavyweight
Senior philosophy students from CCGS and St Hilda’s were given the privilege of hearing from Professor Anthony Grayling, courtesy of the Centre for Ethics, on Tuesday evening.
Professor Grayling MA, DPhil (Oxon) FRSL, FRSA is Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. He has written and edited over 20 books on philosophy and other subjects. For several years, he wrote the Last Word column for The Guardian newspaper and now writes a column for The Times. He is a frequent broadcaster on BBC Radios 4, 3 and the World Service. He writes the Thinking Read column for New York’s Barnes and Noble Review; is the Editor of Online Review London; and a Contributing Editor of Prospect magazine. In addition, he sits on the editorial boards of several academic journals and was the Honorary Secretary of the Aristotelian Society, the principal British philosophical association, for nearly 10 years. He is a past chairman of June Fourth, a human rights group concerned with China, and is a representative to the UN Human Rights Council for the International Humanist and Ethical Union. He is a Trustee of the London Library, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts respectively. In 2003, he was a Booker Prize judge and in 2010, is a judge of the Art Fund prize.
Despite his unassuming manner, Professor Grayling is a genuine ‘heavyweight’ in contemporary analytic philosophy and this event was nothing short of a coup for CCGS as he rarely addresses school students. Professor Grayling had been asked to present on two topics - ‘truth, realism and non-realism’ and ‘the concept of rights’. These topics feature in the Philosophy and Ethics course of study so students were keen to develop their understanding of them further. The academic rigour, logical analysis and informed understanding of Professor Grayling’s approach certainly broadened students’ thinking. Most of them ventured off into the night with the impression that perhaps I was correct when I declared at the start of year; ‘On occasions, philosophy may be confusing but at least you are confused at a higher level.’
Mr Dominic Hodnett
HEAD OF PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS AND RELIGION