Philosopher A.C. Grayling discusses his new book The Age of
Genius: The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind
Progress in Troubled Times: Learning from The Age of Genius
In the turbulent seventeenth century, science moved from the alchemy and astrology of John Dee to the painstaking observation and astronomy of Galileo, from the classicism of Aristotle, still favoured by the Church, to the evidence-based, collegiate investigation of Francis Bacon. And if the old ways still lingered and affected the new mind set – Descartes’s dualism an attempt to square the new philosophy with religious belief; Newton, the man who understood gravity and the laws of motion, still fascinated to the end of his life by alchemy – by the end of that tumultuous century ‘the greatest ever change in the mental outlook of humanity’ had irrevocably taken place. A. C. Grayling explains how, fueled by original and unorthodox thinking, war and technological invention, the seventeenth century became the crucible of modernity.
A.C. Grayling is the Master of the New College of the Humanities, London, and its Professor of Philosophy, and the author of over thirty books of philosophy, biography, history of ideas, and essays. His new book, The Age of Genius, was published by Bloomsbury in April 2016. He is a columnist for Prospect magazine, and was for a number of years a columnist on The Guardian and Times. He has contributed to many leading newspapers in the UK, US and Australia, and to BBC radios 4, 3, 2 and the World Service, for which he did the annual ‘Exchanges at the Frontier’ series; and he has often appeared on television. He has twice been a judge on the Booker Prize, in 2015 serving as the Chair of the judging panel. He is a Vice President of the British Humanist Association, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
AC Grayling has been brought to Australia by the World Science Festival Brisbane and we thank the Queensland Museum for working with us to make Professor Grayling available to our audiences.