In the latest Mercers’ lecture at Dauntsey’s School, Professor AC Grayling offered some food for thought.
One of the UK’s most prolific public intellectuals was invited to engage in lively debate with pupils at Dauntsey’s.
The professor, who is master of New College of the Humanities, delivered a lecture entitled The Ethics of War. Pupils and the local community were invited to join the audience, and encouraged to deliberate the ethical questions posed by war. Professor Grayling provided them with a thought-provoking interpretation of what constitutes ‘a just war’, then made recommendations for bath-time reading. Titles included Homer’s Aeneid, Plato’s Republic, and The Communist Manifesto.
‘Some of us were lucky enough to meet the Professor before the lecture for a discussion which was wide-ranging and informative,’ said sixth-former, Betty. ‘The questions discussed ranged from Professor Grayling’s interesting beliefs regarding the legality of Brexit, the ethics of artificial intelligence, and the possibility of a communist state. We were all struck by the Professor’s knowledge and insights across such a wide scope of material.’
Professor Grayling’s lecture was organised as part of the school’s Mercers’ Lecture series. Previous speakers have included Dr David Starkey, Michael Portillo, Chief Constable Sue Sim and Alastair Hignell. The Mercers’ Lectures are named in recognition of the links between Dauntsey’s and the Mercers’ Company, which go back to Mercer founder Alderman William Dauntesey, master of the Worshipful Company of Mercers, who founded the school in West Lavington in 1542.