Biography

Anthony Clifford Grayling is an English philosopher who founded and became the first Master of New College of the Humanities, an independent undergraduate college in London. Grayling is a former Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, where he taught from 1991. He is also a supernumerary fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford.

Grayling is the author of about 30 books on philosophy, including The Refutation of Scepticism (1985), The Future of Moral Values (1997), The Meaning of Things (2001), and The Good Book (2011). He is a Trustee of the London Library, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is also a director of and contributor to Prospect Magazine.

Grayling earned a BA from the University of Sussex, as well as one in philosophy as a University of London as an external student. He went on to obtain an MA from Sussex, then attended Magdalen College, Oxford, obtaining his doctorate for a thesis on "Epistemological Scepticism and Transcendental Arguments."

Grayling’s principal interests in technical philosophy lie at the intersection of theory of knowledge, metaphysics, and philosophical logic, through which he attempts to define the relationship between mind and world, thereby challenging philosophical scepticism. Grayling uses philosophical logic to counter the arguments of the sceptic in order to try to shed light on the traditional ideas of the realism debate and developing associated views on truth and meaning.

He is also interested in both practical and theoretical questions of human rights and related ethical problems, and has been a contributor to philosophical pedagogy and scholarship through writing and editing.

Grayling has held various academic positions and fellowships. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Society of Arts, the World Economic Forum, a member of the editorial boards of Reason in Practice and Prospect, a British Academy visitor to the Institute of Philosophy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Director of the Sino-British Summer School in Philosophy in Beijing, a Jan Hus Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Grayling earned a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship, has been named Honorary Secretary of the Aristotelian Society, worked as a Gifford Lecturer at the University of Glasgow. He is the past chairman of June Fourth, a human rights group concerned with China. Grayling is an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, a Patron of the British Armed Forces Humanist Association UK Armed Forces Humanist Association (UKAFHA), a Representative to the UN Human Rights Council for the International Humanist and Ethical Union, the Vice-president of the British Humanist Association, and a Member of the C1 World Dialogue group on relations between Islam and the West.