Lexington Books

This volume, which complements a collection of public lectures by Australian and New Zealand Philosophers, comprises separate interviews with fourteen prominent Australasian philosophers. Many general readers will be unfamiliar with the interviewees, the exception being Peter Singer, whose international reputation transcends academic philosophy. However, the subjects, and indeed many other Australasian philosophers not included here, have made a significant contribution to the discipline at an international level. Indeed, a good number of Australasian philosophers, including some of those interviewed here, hold, or have held, chairs at some of the top universities in the world. Although it is not widely appreciated in Australia and New Zealand, the antipodean philosophical community punches above its weight internationally. This is something both to reflect on and to celebrate.

... (read more)

It is hard to imagine that any reader of the text of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be unmoved by the nobility of its aspirations. Born of the determination that human beings would never again have to suffer the oppressions and indignities that reached so hideous a climax in the events of World War II, it promises a world in which all people can enjoy a range of fundamental freedoms in peace and harmony. To observe that the promise has not been kept is a patent under-statement. Even in the most advanced democracies, where notions of universal human rights are foundational, there is a sense of crisis. Here in Australia, as the Victorian government moves to institute a bill of rights, people of responsibility and integrity are forced to confront what appears to be a systemic disregard for human rights by the federal government in its treatment of asylum seekers.

... (read more)