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 (which includes every “object”) 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'".David Malet Armstrong
David Malet Armstrong (8 July 1926 – 13 May 2014), often D. M. Armstrong, was an Australian philosopher. He is well known for his work on metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, and for his defence of a factualist ontology, a functionalist theory of the mind, an externalist epistemology, and a necessitarian conception of the laws of nature. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.Keith Campbell said that Armstrong's contributions to metaphysics and epistemology "helped to shape philosophy's agenda and terms of debate", and that Armstrong's work "always concerned to elaborate and defend a philosophy which is ontically economical, synoptic, and compatibly continuous with established results in the natural sciences".James Franklin (philosopher)
James Franklin (born 1953 in Sydney) is an Australian philosopher, mathematician and historian of ideas.Karola Stotz
Karola Stotz (born 8 September 1963 in Neumünster, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany) is a German scholar of philosophy of biology, cognitive science, and philosophy of science. With Paul E. Griffiths, she pioneered the use of experimental philosophy methods in the field of philosophy of science.Philosophy
Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom") is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras (c. 570 – 495 BCE). Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if one can get away with it)? Do humans have free will?Historically, "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge. From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy, medicine, and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy later became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize. In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology, linguistics, and economics.
Other investigations closely related to art, science, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics ("concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being"), epistemology (about the "nature and grounds of knowledge [and]...its limits and validity"), ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, logic and philosophy of science.Skeptics in the Pub
Skeptics in the Pub (abbreviated SITP) is an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and social networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, freethinkers, rationalists and other like-minded individuals. It provides an opportunity for skeptics to talk, share ideas and have fun in a casual atmosphere, and discuss whatever topical issues come to mind, while promoting skepticism, science, and rationality.Sue Knight
Sue Knight is an Australian philosopher, educator and academic whose research focuses on teaching reasoning skills and embedding philosophy within school curricula. She is the author of the Primary Ethics curriculum, which has been offered as an alternative to Scripture in New South Wales public schools for students from Kindergarten to Year 6 since 2010.Wendy Bacon
Professor Wendy Bacon (born 1946) is an Australian academic, investigative journalist, and political activist who was head of the Journalism Program at the University of Technology, Sydney. She was awarded Australian journalism's highest prize, a Walkley Award in 1984 for her articles about police corruption in New South Wales.
On her own website Bacon describes her approach to journalism and political activism:
I am an investigative journalist who is also a political activist. This means that I want my journalism to be useful to those who resist abuses of power and seek social justice rather than supporting existing power structures, which is what most journalism does. My emphasis is on information that I hope will empower people to take action.