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Raimond Gaita

Raimond Gaita

Raimond Gaita is a German-born Australian philosopher and award-winning writer. He was, until 2011, foundation professor of philosophy at the Australian Catholic University and professor of moral philosophy at King's College London.

'Why the Impatience? Genocide, ‘ideology’ and practical reconciliation', an essay by Raimond Gaita

July 2001, no. 232 01 July 2001
Querulous impatience has overtaken discussion of Aboriginal matters in some quarters. ‘If we apologise, they must forgive and then assimilate. Invite them to discussions about how to ameliorate their misery – the disintegration of community, the alcoholism, the glue sniffing. But they mustn’t talk “ideology”. We’ve had enough brooding over the past, heard enough about treaties and self ... (read more)

'Only as a Last Resort: Reflections on War and Justice' by Raimond Gaita

May 2003, no. 251 01 May 2003
The looter held a sign in one hand as he pushed a trolley overflowing with stolen goods in the other. His sign read, ‘Thank you, Mr Bush’. It was not, I suppose, the kind of gratitude George W. Bush had expected. The next day’s looting was not likely to raise a smile: private homes, great museums, and hospitals were ransacked. Vigilantes exercised rough and sometimes cruel justice. There wil ... (read more)

'Who speaks, about what, to whom, on whose behalf, with what right?' by Raimond Gaita

October 2000, no. 225 01 October 2000
‘We’ve given Ayers Rock back to the Aborigines!’ Perhaps I remember those words so clearly because a friend spoke them to me over the telephone when I was in England, surprised almost daily at the reforms of the Whitlam government and at the international interest they excited. Years later I reflected on the meaning of that ‘we’. Had he said the same words to an English person, the meani ... (read more)

Raimond Gaita reviews 'Tiger’s Eye' by Inga Clendinnen

April 2000, no. 219 01 April 2000
Ten years ago, when she was in her early fifties, Inga Clendinnen fell ill with a disease of the liver that would have killed her if transplant surgery had not improved in time to save her life. In hospital she began to write, as much to hold herself together as for any other reason. Without a trace of self-pity she tells of the frightening first symptoms of her illness, its diagnosis and the init ... (read more)

'Religion and Justice' by Raimond Gaita

November 2002, no. 246 01 November 2002
‘Dear God. Save us from those who would believe in you.’ Not long after the attack on the World Trade Centre on September 11 last year, those words were sprayed on a wall in New York. Knowing what provoked them, I sense fear of religion in them. Their wit does not dilute the fear, nor does it render its expression less unsettling. To the contrary, it makes the fear more poignant and its justif ... (read more)

Raimond Gaita reviews 'The President of Good & Evil: The ethics of George W. Bush' by Peter Singer

June-July 2004, no. 262 01 June 2004
On the face of it, this book represents a strange project: to elaborate for the reader’s consideration the moral beliefs of a man whom the author judges (and judged in advance, one suspects) to be shallow, inconsistent, lacking moral and intellectual sobriety, and to have failed so often to act on the moral principles he repeatedly professes that he can fairly be accused of hypocrisy. What inter ... (read more)