Australian philosophy

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Australian philosophy refers to the philosophical tradition of the people of Australia and of its citizens abroad. [1] [2] [3] [4]



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The Australasian Journal of Philosophy is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal of philosophy and "one of the oldest English-language philosophy journals in the world". It was established in 1923 as the Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, obtaining its current title in 1947.

Australian realism, also called Australian materialism, is a school of philosophy that flourished in the first half of the 20th century in several universities in Australia including the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of Sydney, and whose central claim, as stated by leading theorist John Anderson, was that "whatever exists … is real, that is to say it is a spatial and temporal situation or occurrence that is on the same level of reality as anything else that exists". Coupled with this was Anderson's idea that "every fact is a complex situation: there are no simples, no atomic facts, no objects which cannot be, as it were, expanded into facts." Prominent players included Anderson, David Malet Armstrong, J. L. Mackie, Ullin Place, J. J. C. Smart, and David Stove. The label "Australian realist" was conferred on acolytes of Anderson by A. J. Baker in 1986, to mixed approval from those realist philosophers who happened to be Australian. David Malet Armstrong "suggested, half-seriously, that 'the strong sunlight and harsh brown landscape of Australia force reality upon us'".

Nick Trakakis is a philosopher at the Australian Catholic University, where he is Assistant Director of the recently established Centre for Philosophy and Phenomenology of Religion. He has previously taught at Monash University and Deakin University, and during 2006–2007 he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Philosophy of Religion at the University of Notre Dame. He works mainly at the intersections of philosophy, religion, and theology.

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The Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAP) is the peak body for philosophy in Australasia. The chief purpose of the AAP is to promote philosophy in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Among the means that it follows to achieve this end, the AAP runs an annual conference, publishes two journals, awards various prizes, sponsors postgraduate and undergraduate philosophical activities, maintains affiliations with numerous other organisations that aim to promote philosophy and philosophical activity, and promotes philosophy in schools, cafes, pubs, and everywhere else that philosophy may be found.

Brian Ellis is an Emeritus Professor in the philosophy department at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia, and Professional Fellow in philosophy at the University of Melbourne. He was the Editor of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy for twelve years. He is one of the major proponents of the New Essentialist school of philosophy of science.

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Charles B. Martin (1924–2008) was an Australian philosopher noted for work in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind.

Rae Helen Langton, FBA is an Australian and British professor of philosophy. She is currently the Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. She has published widely on Immanuel Kant's philosophy, moral philosophy, political philosophy, metaphysics, and feminist philosophy. She is also well known for her work on pornography and objectification.


  1. Monash University - A History of Australasian Philosophy
  2. Daniel Russell (2010). Oppy, Graham; Trakakis, N. N. (eds.). A Companion to Philosophy in Australia & New Zealand. Clayton, Australia: Monash University Publishing. p. 575. ISBN   978-0-9806512-0-1.
  3. James Franklin, (2003), Corrupting the Youth: A history of philosophy in Australia, ISBN   1-876492-08-2
  4. Godfrey-Smith, Peter. "Why does Australia have an outsized influence on philosophy?". Aeon. Retrieved 2019-03-21.