A lighter side of philosopher Grayling

A lighter side of philosopher Grayling

British philosopher Anthony Clifford "A.C." Grayling has discovered the meaning of life and he revealed it to a rapt audience last Saturday at the Singapore Writers Festival.

"The meaning of life is what you choose to make of it," the 64-year-old said to an audience of close to 500 at the School of the Arts' Drama Theatre. "The really significant thing is choice, living a life that is considered, which is your own, not choices you've adopted because you were born in a particular community or place in time."

The one-hour afternoon lecture, A Good Life In A Bad World?, covered his well-known position as a secular humanist who does not favour organised religion but believes humans have a moral duty and responsibility to one another nevertheless.

It was sold out, as was an Eat Your Words With A.C. Grayling session later that evening, where 20 ticket-holders got to share a meal with the writer.

Plenty of food for thought was also dished out at the afternoon lecture, which ran 30 minutes over time as listeners peppered him with questions.

Some asked him whether he thought a study of philosophy should be part of school curriculum. The former professor of philosophy at London's Birkbeck College replied: "The answer, emphatically, is yes. After all, the great aim of education should be to teach people how to think, not what to think."

This was reportedly why, after teaching philosophy at the college for 20 years from 1991 to 2011, he founded an independent university two years ago. The New College Of The Humanities in London boasts a star-studded faculty including famed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

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