John Nicholas Gray (born 17 April 1948) is an English political philosopher with interests in analytic philosophy and the history of ideas. He retired as School Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Gray contributes regularly to The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement and the New Statesman, where he is the lead book reviewer. Gray has stated that he considers himself an atheist.
Gray has written several influential books, including False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism (1998), which argues that free market globalization is an unstable Enlightenment project currently in the process of disintegration, Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals (2003), which attacks philosophical humanism, a worldview which Gray sees as originating in religious ideologies, and Black Mass: Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia (2007), a critique of utopian thinking in the modern world. Gray sees volition, and hence morality, as an illusion, and portrays humanity as a ravenous species engaged in wiping out other forms of life. Gray writes that ‘humans … cannot destroy the Earth, but they can easily wreck the environment that sustains them.