An existentialist reads Grayling

As I mentioned a few days ago, I didn’t attend philosopher A. C. Grayling’s Melbourne talk, but instead read his book, For the Good of the World. I think he nailed some issues and perspectives in the first two-thirds of the book, and then I appreciated how he handled an issue that perplexes me endlessly. As an existentialist, who believes we make our own meaning, how do I insist on joint action, something vital in this global climate crisis (and central to Grayling’s book)? His encapsulation (p. 174) grabs the essence:

Relativism is a natural corollary, perhaps indeed it is the defining characteristic, of postmodernism. A commendable motivation for it is the desire to promote reciprocal respect between different cultures and value systems, and to make amends for cultural as well as other imperialisms of the past. The price paid for this worthwhile motive is a lack of guide-rails for dealing with the very real problems faced by the world and people in it.