Greek, Latin and Ancient History. Instead, after a good result in mathematics, I decided to pursue that instead. That left me with an extra subject to choose to fill up first year. What was this "Philosophy" on offer? I couldn't understand where there was something in the spectrum of knowledge for philosophy to be about. Biology was about cats, English was about language and literature, mathematics was about numbers (I was not yet philosophically smart enough to realise there (...) was a problem as to what numbers were, given that you can't observe them like cats.) But what topics were left over for philosophy? (shrink)
The introduction of Philosophy and Ethics to the Western Australian Certificate of Education courses in 2008 brought philosophy into the Western Australian secondary school curriculum for the first time. How philosophy came to be included is part of a larger story about the commitment and perseverance of a relatively small number of Australian educators and their belief in the value of introducing philosophical communities of inquiry into school classrooms through a revised pedagogy which could (...) sit comfortably with an outcomes-based education system. (shrink)
This book outlines the realist and pluralist philosophy of John Anderson, Australia's most original thinker. His teaching at Sydney University and his arti6es have deeply influenced Australian intellectual life. Several main themes run through his work, but Anderson never gave an overall account of his views. This is remedied here: exhibiting the range of Anderson's thought from logic, epistemology and theory of mind, to language and social theory, this volume sketches realism as a systematic philosophical position, while showing (...) something of the history of ideas in Australia. (shrink)
An interview that addresses the issue of the development of philosophy in schools in Australia, that suggests it is the educational culture that has had the most effect on modifying Matthew Lipman's philosophy for children, leading to a proliferation of new materials.
Botanical illustration combines scientific knowledge and artistic technique. However, whereas illustrated botanical images record static visual qualities, such as form and color, written botanical narratives supply crucial sensory, ecological, historical, and cultural contexts that complement visual representation. Understanding the text-image interface—where images and words intersect—contributes to humanities-based analyses of botanical illustration and illustrators. More specifically, a process philosophy perspective reveals the extent to which botanical representations engage the temporality, cyclicality, and contextuality of the living plants being illustrated. This article (...) takes up these themes through a comparative theoretical study of three female Western Australian botanical illustrators, Georgiana Leake, Emily Pelloe, and Philippa Nikulinsky, whose lives together span the 183 year history of the Swan River Colony and the state of Western Australia. I apply a processist framework to examine the text-image interface of their works. All three illustrators use some form of textuality: marginalia, annotations, written accompaniments, introductory statements, and other narrative materials. In examining their written commentaries and traces, I identify the emergence of a process mode of botanical illustration that represents plants as ecological, historical, cultural, and temporal organisms. (shrink)
This book outlines the realist and pluralist philosophy of John Anderson, Australia's most original thinker, whose articles and teaching at Sydney University have deeply influenced Australian intellectual life. Several main themes run though his work, but Anderson never gave an overall account of his views. This is remedied here: in exhibiting the range of Anderson's thought, from logic, epistemology and theory of mind, to language and social theory, Baker's work sketches realism as a systematic philosophical position and shows (...) something of the history of ideas in Australia. This book will be of particular interest to historians of modern philosophy and those studying realism. (shrink)
A polemical account of Australianphilosophy up to 2003, emphasising its unique aspects (such as commitment to realism) and the connections between philosophers' views and their lives. Topics include early idealism, the dominance of John Anderson in Sydney, the Orr case, Catholic scholasticism, Melbourne Wittgensteinianism, philosophy of science, the Sydney disturbances of the 1970s, Francofeminism, environmental philosophy, the philosophy of law and Mabo, ethics and Peter Singer. Realist theories especially praised are David Armstrong's on universals, (...) David Stove's on logical probability and the ethical realism of Rai Gaita and Catholic philosophers. In addition to strict philosophy, the book treats non-religious moral traditions to train virtue, such as Freemasonry, civics education and the Greek and Roman classics. (shrink)
Let me tell you what philosophy is about, then about how Sydney does it in its own special way. Does life have a meaning, and if so what is it? What can I be certain of, and how should I act when I am not certain? Why are the established truths of my tribe better than the primitive superstitions of your tribe? Why should I do as I’m told? Those are questions it’s easy to avoid, in the rush to (...) acquire goods and prestige. Even for many of a more serious outlook, they are questions easy to dismiss with excuses like “it’s all a matter of opinion” or “let’s get on with practical matters” or “they’re too hard”. They are questions that may be ignored, but they do not go away. They’re philosophical questions. There’s a right way to approach them – you read the writings of the classical and recent philosophers and consider carefully their arguments back and forth. There are many wrong ways to approach them, such as choosing at random among the ideas your parents or friends or gurus have, or ideas that feel good. Or you can just not bother. Sydney has a certain reputation for superficiality in this regard. A character in David Williamson’s Emerald City says “No-one in Sydney ever wastes time debating the meaning of life — it’s getting yourself a water frontage”, says If you have a Writers Festival or a conference on Happiness in Sydney, you don’t normally expect philosophers to be invited. Caroline Jones’ radio series, ‘The Search for Meaning’. (shrink)
This two volume works provides a comprehensive history of philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. Volume one provides a chronological history, with one chapter devoted to the early years in which idealism dominated Australasian philosophy, and then chapters that cover each of the decades from the second world war. Volume two provides a thematic history, with treatment of most of the major areas to which Australasian philosophers have made significant contributions.
Companion to philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. (Revised edition.) Covers: department, people, institutions, and topics that have been prominent in philosophical work in Australia and New Zealand.
This paper explores early Australasian philosophy in some detail. Two approaches have dominated Western philosophy in Australia: idealism and materialism. Idealism was prevalent between the 1880s and the 1930s, but dissipated thereafter. Idealism in Australia often reflected Kantian themes, but it also reflected the revival of interest in Hegel through the work of ‘absolute idealists’ such as T. H. Green, F. H. Bradley, and Henry Jones. A number of the early New Zealand philosophers were also educated in the (...) idealist tradition and were influential in their communities, but produced relatively little. In Australia, materialism gained prominence through the work of John Anderson, who arrived in Australia in 1927, and continues to be influential. John Anderson had been a student of Henry Jones, who might therefore be said to have influenced both main strands of Australian philosophical thought. (shrink)
This paper is about the work of a long forgotten philosopher and his views which have surprising relevance to discussions in present-day philosophy of mind and cognitive science. I argue that, far from being a traditional idealist, Mitchell advanced a very subtle position best seen as marking a transition from idealist views and later materialist accounts, the latter popularly attributed to Australian philosophers in the second half of the 20th century.
The honour of being the first to teach philosophy in Australia belongs to the Congregationalist minister Barzillai Quaife (1798–1873), in the 1850s, but teaching philosophy did not formally begin until the 1880s, with the establishment of universities (Grave 1984). -/- Two approaches have dominated Western philosophy in Australia: Idealism and materialism. Idealism was prevalent between the 1880s and the 1930s, but dissipated thereafter. It was particularly associated with the work of the first professional philosophers in Australia, such (...) as Henry Laurie (1837–1922), Francis Anderson (1858–1941), William Mitchell (1861–1962) (who rejected the label) and a second generation including W. R. Boyce Gibson (1869–1935). Idealism in Australia often reflected Kantian themes, together with the British, particularly Scottish, revival of interest in Hegel through the work of the ‘Absolute Idealists’ T. H. Green (1836–1882), F. H. Bradley (1846–1924) and Henry Jones (1852–1922), the latter of whom conducted a popular lecture tour of Australia (Boucher 1990). -/- A number of the early New Zealand philosophers, including Duncan MacGregor (1843–1906), William Salmond (1835–1917), and Francis W. Dunlop (1874–1932) were educated in the Idealist tradition and were influential in their communities, but produced relatively little. William Anderson (1889–1955), at Auckland, brother of John at Sydney, was the only New Zealand philosopher that seemed to retain Idealist views. -/- In Australia, materialism gained prominence through the work of John Anderson, who arrived in Australia in 1927, and continues to be influential. John Anderson had been a student of Henry Jones, who can be said to have influenced both strands of Australian philosophical thought. (shrink)
The subject of this book is the work of Scottish-born Sir William Mitchell, the Hughes Professor of Philosophy and Vice Chancellor at the University of Adelaide, and the first major philosopher who lived in South Australia. Mitchell worked at Adelaide University during the years 1895-1940 and died in 1962. Mitchell is a major, yet long forgotten, historical figure and intellectual, and an important figure in the history of Scottish and Australianphilosophy. He was a part of Scottish (...) schools of thought that influenced early Australian intellectual and cultural life. (The same influence is behind the work of the more famous figure, John Anderson, former Professor of Philosophy at Sydney University.) Anderson’s work recently underwent a revival due to the publication of a recent biography (A Passion to Oppose: John Anderson, Philosopher, by Brian Kennedy, Melbourne University Press, 1995). However, there has never been a serious scholarly appraisal of the work of William Mitchell. At the time of preparation of this book there was no recent published material on Mitchell’s life, work or influence. -/- This book fills this need. I argue that Mitchell’s work is surprisingly relevant to current concerns among cognitive scientists and philosophers of mind. He wrote on issues that are only today being discussed by philosophers and psychologists under the auspices of ‘cognitive science’. His major work: Structure and Growth of the Mind (MacMillan, 1907) is a major treatise on philosophical psychology. The topics that concerned Mitchell are only now being revisited in the form of contemporary debates. -/- The specific aims of the book are as follows: • To assess the impact of late nineteenth/early twentieth century science (especially neurology, psychology and physics) on Mitchell’s philosophical work and trends in philosophical psychology during that period. • To demonstrate the importance of Mitchell’s philosophical work in the context of contemporary theories of mind and content, cognitive science, and the philosophy of science and perception. • To make clear the extent of Mitchell’s philosophical influence on others at the time • To locate Mitchell’s work in relation to other influences on philosophy in Australia. (shrink)
We offer an overview of the development and production of the diverse range of Australian P4C literature since the introduction of philosophy in schools in the early 1980s. The events and debates surrounding this literature can be viewed as an historical narrative that highlights different philosophical, educational, and strategic positions on the role of curriculum material and resources in the philosophy classroom. We argue that if we place children’s literature and purpose-written materials in opposition to one another, (...) we could be missing valuable opportunities to develop further what might be considered a new genre in educational literature. (shrink)
If Australasian philosophers constitute the kind of group to which a collective identity or broadly shared self-image can plausibly be ascribed, the celebrated history of Australian materialism rightly lies close to its heart. Jack Smart’s chapter in this volume, along with an outstanding series of briefer essays in A Companion to Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand (Forrest 2010; Gold 2010; Koksvik 2010; Lycan 2010; Matthews 2010; Nagasawa 2010; Opie 2010; Stoljar 2010a), effectively describe the naturalistic realism of (...)Australianphilosophy of mind. In occasional semi-serious psychogeographic speculation, this long-standing and strongly-felt intellectual attitude has been traced back to the influences of our light, land, or lifestyle (Devitt 1996, x; compare comments by Chalmers and O’Brien in Mitchell, 2006). Australasian work in philosophy of mind and cognition has become more diverse in the last 40 years, but is almost all still marked, in one way or another, by the history of these debates on materialism. (shrink)
David Stove reviews Selwyn Grave's History of Philosophy in Australia, and praises philosophers for thinking harder about the bases of science, mathematics and medicine than the practitioners in the field. The review is reprinted as an appendix to James Franklin's Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia.
David Lewis's untimely death on 14 October 2001 deprived the philosophical community of one of the outstanding philosophers of the 20th century. As many obituaries remarked, Lewis has an undeniable place in the history of analytical philosophy. His work defines much of the current agenda in metaphysics, philosophical logic, and the philosophy of mind and language. This volume, an expanded edition of a special issue of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, covers many of the topics for which (...) Lewis was well known, including possible worlds, counterpart theory, vagueness, knowledge, probability, essence, fiction, laws, conditionals, desire and belief, and truth. Many of the papers are by very established philosophers; others are by younger scholars including many he taught. The volume also includes Lewis's Jack Smart Lecture at the Australian National University, "How Many Lives has Schrodinger's Cat?," published here for the first time. Lewisian Themes will be an invaluable resource for anyone studying Lewis's work and a major contribution to the many topics that he mastered. (shrink)
Collection of articles on themes of Australian Catholic philosophy and history. Articles of philosophical interest include 'Catholic thought and Catholic Action: Dr Paddy Ryan MSC' (on the scholastic philosopher and anti-Communist), 'Catholic schooldays with philosophy', 'Traditional Catholic philosophy: baby and bathwater', 'Secular versus Catholic conceptions of values in Australian education', 'Accountancy as computational casuistics', 'The Mabo High Court and natural law values', and 'Stove, Hume and Enlightenment'.
In Chronopathologies, the Australian philosopher Jack Reynolds gives an exciting analysis of the intimate connection between time and politics in three trajectories of contemporary philosophy: analytic philosophy, poststructuralism and phenomenology. These trajectories are incompatible in the sense that internalizing the norms of any one of them 'makes taking the other(s) seriously very difficult' (p. 225). Given this incompatibility, Reynolds convincingly argues that the only way forward is to draw out the differences between these trajectories, in order to (...) address the problems and limitations of each from the perspective of the others. Reynolds's fruitful approach uncovers that each trajectory is threatened by a disease of time or 'chronopathology' (a key term that is never fully defined). Such a chronopathology can be characterized as a pathological condition that is the result of two factors: the reduction of the plurality of time to only one of its dimensions; a biased and one-sided view on ethics and politics. Reynolds convincingly identifies the root of the threat. He develops his diagnosis in three steps. 1. Analytic philosophy over-emphasizes the synchronic dimension of time, without making any room for its diachronic dimension. 2. Poststructuralism acknowledges the necessity of a reciprocal relation between the synchronic and the diachronic dimension of time, but ultimately privileges the latter (i.e., the relation remains asymmetrical). 3. An embodied phenomenology opens up a way to bring the synchronic and diachronic dimension of time in a reciprocal and symmetrical relation that does not privilege the one over the other. (shrink)
The international community has long been affected by the political, philosophical and ethical issues surrounding the practice of tyrannicide, defined as the targeted killing of a tyrant. However, there exists no specific international legal instrument that concerns the practice of tyrannicide, rendering the legitimacy of the practice ambiguous. This paper aims to investigate the issue of tyrannicide and offers a number of speculative arguments concerning its legal-philosophical status. It finds that there are essentially two arms of international legal jurisprudence that (...) may regulate the practice of tyrannicide. The first is largely prohibitive and is based on the derived legal arguments against assassination involving the element ofperfidy, relevant extradition law, provisions in the Hague, Geneva and New York Conventions, and the prohibition on the use of force in the UN Charter. The second position, though far more radical and speculative, is more permissive regarding the moral legitimacy of tyrannicide. This position is based on arguments from the classical international theorists Gentili, Grotius and Vattel, contemporary human rights standards, the principle of humanitarian intervention, the duty to protect, and legal category of hostis hutnani generis. It is argued that though the vast majority of international legal principles are indicative ofthe illegality oftyrannicide, that the practice may nevertheless be philosophically legitimated under humanitarian principles. (shrink)