David Stove was a philosopher strong on argument and polemic. His work on the logical intepretation of probability led to a defence of induction in The Rationality of Induction (1986). It resulted too in his denunciation of Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyeraband as irrationalists because of their "deductivism" (the thesis that the only logic is deductive logic). Stove also defended controversial views on the intelligence of women and on Darwinism. The article surveys his life and work.
David Armstrong (1926-2014) was much the most internationally successful philosopher to come from Sydney. His life moved from a privileged Empire childhood and student of John Anderson to acclaimed elder statesman of realist philosophy. His philosophy developed from an Andersonian realist inheritance to major contributions on materialist theory of mind and the theory of universals. His views on several other topics such as religion and ethics are surveyed briefly.
John Anderson Scottish-Australian philosopher John Anderson was a passionate defender of a philosophy typically described as Realism. Anderson exercised a significant and lasting influence over several generations of students, including such later philosophers as John Passmore, J.L. Mackie, and D.M. Armstrong. These students criticised and developed several key features of Anderson’s own philosophy such … Continue reading Anderson, John →.
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 a history of philosophy in Australia in the first decade of the twenty-first century. It considers, among other things: (1) the state of the higher education sector; (2) the state of the humanities; (3) the state of philosophy in the academy; (4) support for philosophy in the academy; (5) the role of philosophy beyond the academy; (6) changes in philosophical practice in this decade,; (7) changes in the teaching of philosophy in this decade; and (8) the domains (...) of inquiry in which philosophers worked in this decade. (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 Australian philosophy (...) 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)
A tribute, originally given at David Armstrong's retirement in 1991 as Challis Professor of Philosophy at Sydney University. Stove recalls Armstrong's role in the "Sydney disturbances" of the 1970s when under attack from Marxists.
This work is a companion to philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. It contains over two hundred entries on: Australasian philosophy departments; notable Australasian philosophers; significant events in the history of Australasian philosophy; and areas to which Australasian philosophers have made notable 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.
"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 is 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." The article develops some of the themes of the author's 2003 book, Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia, as they relate to the realist currents of Sydney philosophy. (shrink)
This article is about the history of logic in Australia. Douglas Gasking (1911?1994) undertook to translate the logical terminology of John Anderson (1893?1962) into that of Ludwig Wittgenstein's (1921) Tractatus. At the time Gilbert Ryle (1900?1976), and more recently David Armstrong, recommended the result to students; but it is reasonable to have misgivings about Gasking as a guide to either Anderson or Wittgenstein. The historical interest of the debate Gasking initiated is that it yielded surprisingly little information about Anderson's traditional (...) (syllogistic or Aristotelian) logic and its relation to classical (first-order predicate or Russellian) logic, the ostensible topic; but the materials now exist to interpret Anderson's logic in classical logic, possibly as an algebra of classes. This would be of little interest to contemporary logicians, but it might shed some light on Anderson's philosophy. (shrink)
A collection of articles on the the principles of social justice from an Australian Catholic perspective. Contents: Forward (Archbishop Philip Wilson), Introduction (James Franklin), The right to life (James Franklin), The right to serve and worship God in public and private (John Sharpe), The right to religious formation (Richard Rymarz), The right to personal liberty under just law (Michael Casey), The right to equal protection of just law regardless of sex, nationality, colour or creed (Sam Gregg), The right to freedom (...) of expression (Damian Grace), The right to choose and freely maintain a state of life, married or single, lay or religious (Marita Winters), The right to education (Anthony Cleary), The right to petition government for the redress of grievances (Paul Russell), The right to a nationality (Andrew Hamilton), The right to have access to the means of livelihood, by migration when necessary (Brenda Hubber), The right of association and peaceful assembly (Michael Hogan), The right to work and choose one's occupation (Ian Blandthorn), The right to personal ownership, use and disposal of property subject to the right of others (Brian Coman), The right to a living wage (Garrick Small), The right to collective bargaining (Keith Harvey), The right to associate by industries and professions to obtain economic justice (Henrik Jurisevic), The right to assistance from society, if necessary from the State, in distress of persons and family (Catherine Althaus), Afterword (James Franklin). (shrink)
David Armstrong is one of Australia's greatest philosophers. His chief philosophical achievement has been the development of a core metaphysical programme, embracing the topics of universals, laws, modality and facts. This book offers an introduction to the full range of Armstrong's thought. It begins with a discussion of Armstong's naturalism.
A polemical account of Australian philosophy 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)
Collection of essays by the conservative Australian philosopher David Stove, author of Popper and After: Four Modern Irrationalists and The Rationality of Induction. Some are on philosophy and some not. They include his controversial essays "The intellectual capacity of women" and "Racial and other antagonism", his "Judge's report on the competition to find the worst argument in the world", and an attack on the anti-conservative "Columbus argument" (that "they said Columbus was mad", so let's approve change in general).
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.