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AC Grayling

Kirsty Young's castaway is academic and philosopher A C Grayling.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the philosopher Professor A C Grayling. He was a child growing up in Africa when he was first drawn to philosophy because it offered, he says, a licence to study 'the whole horizon of human knowledge and endeavour'. It's a study he has undertaken seriously and practically - he has tried his hand at composing music, writing plays and painting - not because he wanted to master those skills, but to acquire a greater understanding of the talents of musicians, writers and artists.

He lives in London with his wife and young daughter and teaches at Birkbeck College, but he remains evangelical about taking philosophy out of the ivory towers and into people's homes - so that it is a practical tool to help people live lives that are engaging and fulfilling. He is motivated, he says, by the knowledge that the human life-span is fewer than a thousand months - and with our time so limited, it is incumbent upon us all to use it thoughtfully and well.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: The adagio from the Violin Concerto in D Major by Johannes Brahms
Book: The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil
Luxury: A good piano.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 15 Aug 2008 09:00

Music Played

  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Johannes Brahms

      Violin Concerto in D major - 2nd movement

      Soloist: Yehudi Menuhin Orchestra: The Berlin Philharmonic Conductor: Rudolf Kempe

      • Great Violin Concertos.
      • Dclassics.
  • Robert Schumann

    Träumerei (from Scenes from Childhood)

    Soloist: Vladimir Horowitz

    • Horowitz in Moscow.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • The Kinks


    • The Kinks: The Ultimate Collection.
    • Sanctuary Records.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphony No.4 in B flat major - 2nd movement

    Orchestra: The Berlin Philharmonic Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwängler

    • Wilhelm Furtwangler.
    • RCD.
  • The Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford

    Nunc Dimittis

    • Music for Evensong.
    • Oxford.
  • Camille Saint‐Saëns

    Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor - 1st movement

    Soloist: Mstislav Rostropovich

    • Mstislav Rostropovich Cello Concertos/Encores.
    • Deutsche Grammophon.
  • Frédéric Chopin

    Nocturne in E flat Major

    Soloist: Vladimir Ashkenazy

    • Chopin Favourites: Vladimir Ashkenazy.
    • Decca.
  • Giacomo Puccini

    Un bel di vedremo (One fine day) (from Madama Butterfly)

    Soloist: Angela Gheorghiu

    • Opera Scenes and Arias.
    • Royal Opera House.
  • Book Choice

    • The Man Without Qualities - Robert Musil

  • Luxury Choice

    • A good piano


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest AC Grayling


  • Sun 10 Aug 2008 11:15
  • Fri 15 Aug 2008 09:00

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