Books interview with AC Grayling: “A great philosophical mind is one that belongs to a childish heart – always curious, always open”

AC Grayling talks to Ellie Cawthorne about his new book on the history of philosophy, which explores how ideas have shaped the world, and how the world has shaped great thinkers

Master of the New College of the Humanities in London, Professor AC Grayling is a philosopher who has written and edited more than 30 books. (Image by Christian Sinibaldi-Eyevine)

Master of the New College of the Humanities in London, Professor AC Grayling is a philosopher who has written and edited more than 30 books, including The Age of Genius (Bloomsbury, 2016) and Democracy and its Crisis (Oneworld, 2017). He has also written columns for The Guardian and The Times


Ellie Cawthorne: Your book covers more than two millennia of philosophical thought. What are the biggest conundrums that philosophers have had to grapple with in that time?

AC Grayling: You can ultimately reduce philosophy down to two great questions: what is reality, and what is of value in the world? These two questions have driven the whole history of thought. From the very beginning of western philosophy, before Plato even, people were contemplating the nature of reality and of value, just as they are in philosophy today.

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