Science, history and psychology – according to philosopher A.C. Grayling these are the three fundamental areas of knowledge that teach us about ourselves and the world around us. And he poses two key questions about them: How do we know what we know about these areas of study? And how do we know what we don’t know about them?
In May 2021 Grayling came to Intelligence Squared to take us on a journey through the history of these three pivotal disciplines. In a special lecture drawing from his new book Frontiers of Knowledge he will describe how each field has advanced to where it is now: from the rise of technology to quantum theory; from the dawn of humanity to debates around national histories; from ancient ideas about the brain to modern theories of the mind.
Each advance in these subject areas has further exposed what Grayling calls the paradox of knowledge: that the more we know, the greater becomes the extent of our ignorance. Many of us like to think that enquiry diminishes ignorance: Grayling says the opposite is true. And with this ever-increasing awareness of what we know and what we do not, Grayling also made the urgent case for connecting the different branches of knowledge so that we do not lose an overall sense of ourselves and our world – which is something we can ill-afford during such turbulent times.