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The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times

The Challenge of Things: Thinking Through Troubled Times

A. C. Grayling's lucid and stimulating books, based on the idea that philosophy should engage with the world and make itself useful, are immensely popular.

The Challenge of Things joins earlier collections like The Reason of Things and Thinking of Answers, but this time to collect Grayling's recent writings on the world in a time of war and conflict. In describing and exposing the dark side of things, he also explores ways out of the habits and prejudices of mind that would otherwise trap us forever in the deadly impasses of conflicts of all kinds.

Whether he is writing about the First World War and its legacy, free speech, the advantages of an atheist prime minister or the role of science in the arts, his essays are always enlightening, enlivening and hopeful.


Destructions and Deconstructions

The First World War

The Ethics of Drones

Irredentism and Associated Evils


The Berlin–Baghdad Railway

The Killing of Osama Bin Laden

The Future of the World

When China Rules the World

China and Human Rights

China’s Games


A Christian Nation?

Unjust Justice

What We Owe the Dead

Black Poison

Death and Taxes

Religion and Education

‘Many Faiths, One Truth’

Religion and Public Service

The Power of the Press and the Press of a Button

Irrationality, Immaturity, Braggadocio, Putin

Spain and Rome


The Advantages of Atheist Political Leaders

Hard-Wired for God?

The Prophetess

The New Puritanism

The Global Financial Crisis

Climate Change

The Force of Nature

Constructions and Creations

The Public Intellectual

Wisdom, Mind and Brain


The Brain and History

The Triumph of Science

Science and Democracy

Making Mistakes and Apologising

Does Government Know Best?

Beyond Subsistence

A Hard Choice

Archiepiscopal Ethics

Free Speech

The Care and Maintenance of Friends

The Book of the Dead

Darwin in Scotland

Tocqueville on America

Quantum Dirac




Edmund Burke

The Unity of the Good

H. G. Wells and Mr Lewisham

Fishing with a Golden Hook







Education and Rationality

What is the Point of the Arts?


The Hinges of History

The Whole Life: The Point of the Humanities


Making the World a Better Place

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