Question Time with A.C. Grayling


Prof AC Grayling, Philosopher and Master of New College of the Humanities

AC Grayling c Rugby SchoolQ. Which other EAFOL 2016 participant are you most excited about?

There are so many highly talented and fascinating participants that it would be invidious to select just a few – I hope to meet as many of them as possible and to attend as many talks as possible.

Q. Which book(s) are you reading now?

For pleasure I am reading the short novels of John Steinbeck, for instruction The Knowledge Wars by Peter Fogerty and Human Evolution by Robin Dunbar, and for current research on the book I’m writing a large collection of books and papers on conflict and just war theory.

Q. Which literary character would you invite to dinner? And why?

Odysseus, to hear his own account of the Trojan War and his adventures afterwards, and his views of his fellows and comrades in both adventures.

Q. There have been some interesting additions to the dictionary over the years. Which word would you remove?

‘Prebook’ because it means exactly the same thing as ‘book’ (as in ‘book a table for dinner’) but is an example of how ignorance creeps into and influences the economy of thought, to its detriment.

Q. Who would write/ illustrate the story of your life?

Not all lives are worth a biography! But for those that are: Claire Tomalin, Michael Holroyd and Hermione Lee would head the list. In my own case just one of Martin Rowson’s cartoons would do the job.