An English philosopher, described as the “Fifth Horseman of New Atheism”, visited Brentwood School to broaden the minds of Sixth Form students on some of philosophy’s most intriguing questions.
Dr Anthony C Grayling is a humanist, secularist and atheist; the founder and current master of the recently opened New College of the Humanities; a director and contributor to Prospect Magazine and the author of approximately 30 books.
His lecture was organised by the Sir Antony Browne Society, (SABS) a forum that provides Sixth Formers at Brentwood with the opportunity to join intellectual discussions on a wide range of disciplines and cultural interests. Events in the past have witnessed talks by MPs, Art Critics, BBC Executives and trips to plays, concerts and debates.
Topics discussed at yesterday’s lecture included: the meaning of philosophy and its history; historic philosophers and their influence on today’s study and the three areas of most interest to Dr Grayling – epistemology, metaphysics and philosophical logic.
Naznin Ferdhusi, SABS Chairwoman, said: “Dr Grayling was very intellectual, very wise; a very articulate man. He has such an amazing educational background and so he was able to reciprocate with our audience but on a platform that meant we could understand his philosophy.”
After speaking, Dr Grayling lead a Q & A session with staff and students. Like the famous philosophers before him, he was able to confidently and clearly articulate his answers while still retaining everyone’s interests.
Headmaster Mr Ian Davies said: “Dr Grayling was a fascinating and inspirational speaker. As a previous university lecturer he was able to successfully captivate the attention and interest of our students. It was fantastic first event for the SABS and one which I’m sure will mark the standard for the rest of the year.”
Dr Grayling is the founder and current master of the New College of the Humanities, Central London. The college provides “personal enrichment, intellectual training, breadth of vision, and the well-informed, sharply questioning cast of mind needed for success in life in our complex and rapidly changing world”.
Dr Grayling claimed this kind of education is very important and it explained why he is such a “big fan” of the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
“The IB makes students think a bit, it gives them breadth which will stand them in really good stead when they have to continue and repeat their education again and again as new ideas, new technologies, new ways of working come on stream”.
For more information on the New College of the Humanities go to: http://www.nchum.org/