John Gray

John Gray is among Britain’s best-known philosophers, whose work on liberalism, humanism and the Enlightenment has gained widespread attention. He retired from his position as Professor of European Thought at the LSE in 2008 and is now chief book reviewer for the New Statesman. After initial work on liberalism and Hayek, which made his reputation as a subtle interpreter of modern political theory, he has since focussd on undermining the premises of humanism, an argument outlined in his famous book Straw Dogs, and what he sees as the dangerous consequences of the values that European civilization inherited from the Enlightenment. He holds that the Enlightenment and its utopian emphasis on progress represented a form of secularized religion that found its truest heir in the grotesque crimes of high Stalinism, and indeed the excesses of contemporary neoliberal ‘Market Utopianism’. Polity has published his The Two Faces of Liberalism and Endgames.