Turbulent times: 1970s

Aubrey Townsend

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Abstract

My task is to survey the development of analytic philosophy in Australia and New Zealand from around 1965-1980. At first I found this an intimidating task: there was just too much to cover, especially as I wanted to read everything I was to discuss. I had to find a way of restricting the task and chose to do so by focusing on work that was distinctively antipodean, so passing over work that had a more 'cosmopolitan' character. I count work as distinctively antipodean where it contributes to a discussion in which the principal players are philosophers living or working in Australia or New Zealand. So work in what is known as 'Australian Materialism' counts as antipodean. I count as cosmopolitan work that contributes to a discussion originating overseas, that conforms to paradigms derived from overseas philosophy, and where the principal players were located overseas. In our period, discussion of philosophical issues brought into focus in the work of Quine, Davidson and Kripke counts as cosmopolitan; though antipodean philosophers have made important contributions to the discussion of these issues, I choose mostly to ignore their work. That was a hard decision since it led me to ignore work in areas where I was most occupied in the period and that I knew best: especially work on Davidson's program by Lloyd Humberstone, Martin Davies and Barry Taylor. I considered adding a section in which I could discuss their work, but it would have had to be too brief to do them justice, and anyway it is well covered in an essay by John Burgess in the collection, Essays in Philosophy in Australia, edited by Jan Srzednicki and David Wood.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistory of Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand
EditorsGraham Oppy, N.N. Trakakis
Place of PublicationDordrecht The Netherlands
PublisherSpringer
Pages175-210
Number of pages36
Volume1
ISBN (Electronic)9789400769588
ISBN (Print)9789400769571
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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