Picture of author.

A. C. Grayling

Autor(a) de Wittgenstein: A Very Short Introduction

57+ Works 6,809 Membros 81 Reviews 14 Favorited

About the Author

Anthony Clifford "A. C." Grayling is a British philosopher. In 2011 he founded and became the first Master of New College of the Humanities, an independent undergraduate college in London. Until June 2011, he was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London, where he taught from 1991. mostrar mais Grayling was born and raised in Luanshya, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). After moving to England in his teens, he spent three years at the University of Sussex, but said that although he applauded their intention to educate generalists, he wished to be a scholar, so in addition to his BA from Sussex, he also completed one in philosophy as a University of London external student. He went on to obtain an MA from Sussex, then attended Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was taught by P. F. Strawson and A. J. Ayer, obtaining his doctorate in 1981. He lectured in philosophy at St Anne's College, Oxford, before taking up a post in 1991 at Birkbeck, University of London, where in 1998 he became reader in philosophy. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos
Image credit: From Wikipedia


Obras de A. C. Grayling

The History of Philosophy (2019) 425 cópias
Towards The Light (2007) 199 cópias
Democracy and Its Crisis (2017) 98 cópias
Friendship (2013) 83 cópias
War: An Enquiry (2017) 50 cópias
The Refutation of Scepticism (1985) 11 cópias
China: A Literary Companion (1995) 7 cópias
Bertrand Russell (2015) 2 cópias
The God argument 1 exemplar(es)
A Epistemologia 1 exemplar(es)
Symposium 1 exemplar(es)

Associated Works

The Republic (0380) — Prefácio, algumas edições21,994 cópias
A History of Western Philosophy (1946) — Introdução, algumas edições6,783 cópias
The Analects (0070) — Prefácio, algumas edições6,138 cópias
Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) — Introdução, algumas edições2,855 cópias
The Conquest of Happiness (1930) — Prefácio, algumas edições1,813 cópias
A Arte de Ter Razão: 38 Estratagemas (1864) — Introdução, algumas edições; Posfácio, algumas edições1,287 cópias
Love (1822) — Prefácio, algumas edições897 cópias
The Atheist's Guide to Christmas (2009) — Contribuinte — 356 cópias
Philosophy Bites Back (2012) — Contribuinte — 64 cópias
The Meaning of Life and the Great Philosophers (2018) — Contribuinte — 8 cópias


ancient (210) Ancient Greece (271) ancient philosophy (257) atheism (141) biography (124) China (396) Chinese (143) Chinese literature (111) classic (338) classics (928) Confucianism (274) Confucius (146) ebook (133) essays (204) ethics (313) Folio Society (173) France (172) French Revolution (191) Greece (261) Greek (429) Greek literature (129) Greek philosophy (215) history (1,272) history of philosophy (206) Kindle (136) literature (336) non-fiction (1,932) own (110) philosophy (8,601) Plato (617) political philosophy (390) political science (258) political theory (287) politics (891) read (222) religion (474) to-read (1,816) translation (126) unread (168) utopia (115)

Conhecimento Comum



When readers want a current issue clarified, they can always turn to A.C. Grayling. The man has written clear, concise and insightful analyses of all sorts of current problem areas in several dozen books and I have no idea how many papers. This latest timely effort, Who Owns The Moon? deals with preventing mankind from ruining outer space, much as it has done to this planet. Because one thing we know for sure: without regulation, Man will ruin whatever he touches, in order to become richer.

What Grayling has going for him is the precedents of the Antarctic and the oceans. In those two cases, most of the countries of the world, including those without direct access to the oceans, have signed on to treaties making them agree to abide by sane rules. So much of the book is direct references to and from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (1967 & 1982) and the Antarctic Treaty (1961). It means there is hope.

Arguably the most important rules are those concerning law. Individuals are bound by the laws of their home country for any actions they take in the Antarctic or on the high seas. Otherwise, they would be above the laws of all countries. And the UN has no police.

The UN’s efforts are quite naturally diplomatic in nature. Their main strategy seems to be getting as many nations as possible to sign on. The result can be vague language instead of easily understood direction. For example, take nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Signatories “should refrain” from deploying them, rather than “all signatories are forbidden to deploy.”

The common principle that ought to be retained is “for the benefit of mankind as a whole.” As an operating principle, this is golden. It attempts to address the continuing tragedy of the commons, whereby someone or some country tries to scrape everything it wants from what is meant for all to share. It is endemic to mankind and can only be corralled by laws, enforcement, and penalties.

Yet the holes in the treaties are big enough to drive fracking equipment through. For example, anyone is allowed to explore Antarctica, but if a corporation decides to drill or mine, there is no one to stop it. And while people are supposed to be regulated by the laws of their own country, what if the country cannot be identified? What if it cannot manage such an investigation or prosecution? What if it has no space force or navy to physically seize the operation and shut it down? If Elon Musk fulfills his wish to explode nuclear bombs above Mars every five seconds over a period of years to heat the atmosphere and make it thicker, who back on Earth will be able to stop him today?

This kind of thing has already happened right here, Grayling says. “The Southern Ocean is an awful example of what happens when a common resource (the fishery) is open to commercial exploitation, and what might happen on the continent itself.”

Which leads to the air or space above. Grayling cites Arthur C. Clarke (who certainly informed my appreciation of outer space as a child): “As Earth rotated, every country would be claiming sovereignty over every region of space.” So everyone needs to agree to sane rules.

So far, countries have behaved remarkably civilly, but that could change at any moment. China, for one, is very big on privacy and total secrecy, which is totally opposite to what the treaties provide: open facilities for all to visit, mutual aid when needed, restitution to their native countries when humans are rescued, and so on. And then there are the wildcard billionaires like Musk, Bezos, Branson and their ilk, whose private agendas remain unknown, as well as how they might or might not co-operate with other billionaires and nations in space.

For years, nations kept signing treaty additions such as mutual aid and returning humans to their nations, until 1979, when only five signed on to the “Agreement concerning the activities of states on the moon or other celestial bodies.” This was a clear warning sign.

Grayling’s justified fear becomes clearer and more obvious with every passage and every act: “The truth is that space is not a separate warfighting domain, but a projection and continuation of Earth as the scene of almost continual warfare, somewhere or other, in most years of any decade.”

One of his biggest fears is the scramble. Suddenly, from the mid nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth, nations scrambled to lay claim, plant flags, build physical presence and declare loudly their possession of parts of Africa. All of it. King Leopold of Belgium actually did it for himself and not his country. It was enormously destructive, and of course, the ramifications are still very much felt today, two hundred years later. It’s all about grabbing resources for profit, and there is absolutely no reason to imagine it won’t happen on the moon or Mars, or even just beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Elon Musk continues to launch tens of thousands of his own satellites there, ever expanding the reach of his Starlink firm, from which he can cut off the entire country of Ukraine from the internet, for an unpaid bill. For all we know, he could be building Earth’s first ring; that’s how much hardware he flings out.

And while Antarctic treaties have taken care of some details quite well, there are time bombs abounding. No one is allowed to claim rights to the mineral wealth of Antarctica, for example, which is not now an issue because the land is miles below the ice, and current technologies cannot detect them. But there is a sunset to that clause – 2048. That should just be about the time the ice has sufficiently melted and the ice pack sufficiently broken up, that some country or company will want to make a grab for it. Almost certainly, this will result in another scramble, and/or wars.

This is major ugly stuff, but even the small stuff is a threat. The Law of the Sea waits until Article 194 (and 195) to mention that signatories must “prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment.” Who is going to police miners from cyanide heap leaching hills and chemical slag ponds on Mars? Who is going to stop them from cutting off mountain tops because there should be lithium underneath?

So on the one hand, we have a lot of experience on Earth with the issues of keeping the commons in good repair. On the other hand, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet, where the wild west of outer space multiplies those challenges. Not that we’ve done so well here, either, as the Cod Wars, the plastic floating islands, and the total overfishing of all of the oceans demonstrate so vividly. I was optimistic that Grayling could paint a path to success when I first began reading Who Owns The Moon? By the time I finished, not so much.

David Wineberg
… (mais)
DavidWineberg | Apr 28, 2024 |
While I appreciated the sentiment and most content, the lack of source citations for the individual writings was frustrating. I tried googling select quotes a number of times with limited success. I would have liked to have easy access to the source material. Also, the length of the histories seemed outsized compared to the other types of writings selected. I realize that this format mimics the bible itself well, but most readers of the bible that I know use bibles with footnotes and cross references. And i shudder to say that I would have liked to see the versification which is available in standard editions of most of the selections.… (mais)
bribri56 | 1 outra resenha | Feb 2, 2024 |
Very anti faith and anti Christian. Very biased in his opinions with wild generalisations.
FrankMurphy33 | Sep 21, 2023 |

1. Prefata - pag. 5
2. Abrevieri - pag. 7
3. Viata si opera - pag. 9
4. Logica si filozofie - pag. 33
5. Filozofie, minte si stiinta - pag. 63
6. Politica si societate - pag. 86
7. Influenta lui Russell - pag. 116

8. Bibliografie suplimentara - pag. 133
9. Index - pag. 135
Toma_Radu_Szoha | 1 outra resenha | May 8, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors


Also by

Tabelas & Gráficos