Where does philosophy of history fit?

Four ways to locate the philosophy of history Philosophy of history, as a sub-field, has little visible presence in mainstream philosophy. There are few courses on it. It’s not a faddish research area with job-postings aplenty. We just don’t know where it fits, and as a result we aren’t sure what it involves. But that… Continue reading Where does philosophy of history fit?

Forum: JHI Blog on Memory and History

The blog for the Journal of the History of Ideas is running a forum responding to Jeffrey Andrew Barash’s recent book, Collective Memory and Historical Understanding.  My own contribution will be appearing later today, with two already up. Michael Meng posted first, calling attention to the critical, democratic, role for history. Sophie Marcotte-Chénard then proposed –… Continue reading Forum: JHI Blog on Memory and History

The ‘new’ political distribution?

One of Australia’s major newspaper publishers, Fairfax (SMH, The Age), in conjunction with an ANU research centre, has recently published a major attempt to chart Australia’s current political distribution. They describe it as “a comprehensive attempt to examine Australian political attitudes, lifestyles and social values”. A bold claim. And it’s interactive. You can fill out… Continue reading The ‘new’ political distribution?

Doing Justice to the Past

New co-written article out in Philosophy & Social Criticism. Very pleased! Just in time for, and relevant to, Australia Day debates. Abstract In this article, we argue that the usual restriction of critical theory to ‘modern’ norms is subject to problems of coherence, historical accuracy and moral obligation. First, we illustrate how critical theory opposes… Continue reading Doing Justice to the Past

On Political Amnesia

Laura Tingle, “Political Amnesia: How we forgot how to govern”, Quarterly Essay 60 (Black Inc., 2015). Tingle’s essay is a lengthy investigation of the processes and mechanisms of current Australian government, especially of the way in which they enable or prevent the practical memory of political experience. She contrasts these with the history of these… Continue reading On Political Amnesia

Three, not two, concepts of liberty

“If being free merely means acting without external restrictions [one] or taking up a reflexive stance [two], then subjects can be seen as being sufficiently free even before they become involved in a social order. But if we grasp subjects as truly ‘free’ only on the condition that their aims can be fulfilled or realized… Continue reading Three, not two, concepts of liberty

Subjective and objective elements in justice for education

[Abstract for an upcoming workshop] Recent political discussion in Australia regularly raises concern over State support for education, from early childhood through to University and institutions for vocational training. The main reference is Australia’s relative decline in benchmarks compared to other OECD countries. Debate often focuses on the “Gonski” report, the funding and implementation of… Continue reading Subjective and objective elements in justice for education