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John Gray

John Gray - foto Justine Stoddart
John Gray - foto Justine Stoddart

(England, 1948) is a political scientist and a philosopher. In his work he is pessimistic about the future. Thus in Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia he slashes the 'neoconservative project' which, through invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan, tries to estasblish a new world order: a dangerous cocktail of apocalyptic religion and utopias, inspired by the Enlightenment. In Strawdogs, Thoughts on Humans and other Animals he argues that people are strawdogs, who will cause their own ruin by new technologies and by exhausting the earth. In Al Qaida and What it Means to be Modern Gray warns that wars can be more dangerous than ever by the lethal mix of ethnic and religious enmity, the growth of the world population, growing scarcity and continuing industrialisation in the non-Western world. Gray was a professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. He publishes in The Guardian, New Statesman and The Times Literary Supplement.

(WU 2012)

Archive available for: John Gray

  • John Gray meets Bas Heijne: Can We Change the World?

    John Gray meets Bas Heijne: Can We Change the World?

    With: Bas Heijne, John Gray

    If you really want to achieve something, you can – or so we desperately want tobelieve. Every human deed starts with a desire and faith in one's own abilities. People want to change the world, but can they do so? Or do they underestimate the powers that thwart their intentions? Can people change the world or does the world change people? In his latest book, The Soul of the Marionette, British author and philosopher John Gray examines this question using examples from political and religious practice, philosophy and literature. 'Gray really makes you think – most welcome', according to the Dutchnewspaper NRC Handelsblad.

    John Gray (1948) is Emeritus Professor of European Thought and one of the G8 – the eight greatest political philosophers of our time. He has published in The Guardian, New Statesman and The Times Literary Supplement, and has written a number of influential books including Straw Dogs, Al Qaeda and What it Means to be Modern, Heresies, False Dawn, Black Mass, Gray's Anatomy, The Immortalization Commission and The Silence of Animals.

    Bas Heijne (1960) is an author, thinker, translator and interviewer. He is an essayist and writes a weekly column for NRC Handelsblad. He has published a number of books. Heijne recently received the J. Greshoff Award for the best essay for his Angst en schoonheid (fear and beauty). Like John Gray, he loves to ponder the major questions of our day.

    This evening is organised by Writers Unlimited in cooperation with The Hague PublicLibrary and mbo|Anthos publishers. Language: English

  • Winternachten 2012 – Winternacht 1

    Should we love one another?

    Writer Bas Heijne and the British philosopher John Gray take a closer look at the secret of the success of populist parties, against the background of ongoing globalisation and the changing balance of power. Populist parties consider freedom of paramount importance. What do they mean when they talk about freedom? Why do they meet so much response and what do they have to offer that other parties, sticking to the ideals of the Enlightenment, liberty, equality and solidarity, are overlooking? Are they probably right when they say that we're losing a feeling of cultural identity and that the ordinary citizen is not being listened to? Do they have a sharper antenna for the human need to feel at home and be heard and seen? A dialogue interspersed with film fragments. In English.