AC 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.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 15 Aug 2008 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterKirsty Young
Interviewed GuestAC Grayling

Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes


Desert island discs 75th anniversary 1920x1080

Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs at 75 1920x1080

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?