Centre for Ethics open with A.C. Grayling

May 10, 2017

The humanities are the key to cultivating our ability to think critically, to question and to evaluate the world around us said Professor A. C. Grayling at the first Centre for Ethics lecture for 2017.

Professor of Philosophy and Master of the New College of the Humanities, London, A. C. Grayling emphasised the importance of the Humanities in a climate where the study of STEM is championed for its future job prospects. “You are not only your job,” argued Professor Grayling, “You are also a neighbour, a voter, a traveller, a lover — the humanities nourish all those other dimensions of us.”

He explained that as we find it harder to foresee the future with increasingly rapid advances in technology, the Humanities are all the more important. “We can’t prepare students for what we don’t know. We can prepare them to be thinkers, learners, sharp critical evaluators,” he said.

Professor Grayling added that because the internet has opened up such an expansive range of information, “the primary task of education today should be to teach people how to evaluate information.”

He went on to explain how reading literature and philosophy exposes students to a range of ways of thinking and encourages them to critically examine the assumptions, beliefs and ethical constructs that they live by. “Literature is like a thousand windows into other lives, other experiences, other ways that things can be — to read is to gaze into many other ideas and possibilities.

“All great Literature has running through it a golden thread of philosophical insight,” Professor Grayling said.

He also explained that the humanities allow us to use the history of the past to make informed decisions that will affect the future, as after all “we are the creators of the future.”

At the next Centre for Ethics lecture, the College will welcome Australian cartoonist, writer, painter, philosopher and poet, Mr Michael Leunig. To reserve a place contact Newington College reception on 02 9568 9333 or email contact@newington.nsw.edu.au.