News

  • 12 Oct 2016 10:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Vale György Márkus, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Sydney. Died October 5, 2016 at the age of 82.

    In 1978, the philosophical community in Sydney became the beneficiary of political conflict in Eastern Europe. Having been forced from his university post in Budapest in 1973, György Márkus arrived at the University of Sydney in 1978 to take up a lectureship in the then Department of General Philosophy. György soon become “George”, a warmly admired and widely respected philosophical presence in an otherwise fractious local environment.

    In Hungary, a younger Márkus had been a student of the well-known Georg (György) Lukacs, and not surprisingly his major philosophical commitments were to a type of a Hegel-inspired, humanist variant of Marxism that within the Eastern European context some had seen as an alternative to the state-sanctioned version. Colleagues and students at Sydney, however, soon came to appreciate a philosophical depth that transcended particular theoretical commitments. George’s massive erudition in the history of philosophy was most obvious in his command of philosophies of Kant and the German Idealists, but he also had a deep understanding of the main currents of Anglo-American philosophy—then unusual in central and eastern European trained philosophers. He had translated Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus into Hungarian, corresponded with the American neo-realist Roy Wood Sellars, and in the 1960s travelled to the US with the intention of studying with his son, Wilfrid, only to end up at Harvard with W. V. O. Quine.

    In the Sydney context, many philosophy undergraduates had their first exposure to social and political philosophy via his inspiring and powerful introductory first-year course. At higher levels, he introduced many to the history of Marxism, contemporary European philosophical philosophical movements such as Habermasian pragmatics and Gadamerian hermeneutics, but, especially, Kant and German idealism. Márkus’s teaching could simply be life-transforming, and it is difficult to capture the unique philosophical personality that many undergraduate and postgraduate students in these years were fortunate enough to experience at first hand. A former colleague, John Burnheim, perhaps comes closest in describing George’s “extraordinarily powerful combination of authentic sensibility and concern to get things right”.

    It was this refusal to cut intellectual corners and to be satisfied with merely convenient answers that inspired those with whom he came into contact. The recognition of his work, especially in Europe and the United States, later led to his election to both the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. After retirement from his position at Sydney in 1999 and the award of emeritus status, he continued to teach courses for a number of years, both in Sydney and in Budapest. In more recent years he concentrated his researches on a theory of culture, some of the results of which have appeared in the volume, Culture, Science, Society: The Constitution of Cultural Modernity, published by Brill in 2014.

  • 08 Jul 2016 7:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Stephen Gadsby - Winner of the 2016 AAP Post Graduate Presentation Prize.

  • 07 Jul 2016 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Boris Hennig - Winner of the 2016 AJP Best Paper Award.

  • 07 Jul 2016 12:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Scott Stephens and Waleed Aly - Winners of the 2016 AAP Media Professionals' Award.

  • 07 Jul 2016 12:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Dr Matthew Beard - Winner of the 2016 AAP Media Prize.

  • 07 Jul 2016 12:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Dr Ruth Boeker Winner of the 2016 Prize for Innovation in Inclusive Curricula.

  • 07 Jul 2016 11:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Monima Chadha - winner of the 2016 Annette Baier Prize.

  • 03 Jun 2016 4:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The AAP is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 AAP Postgraduate Presentation Prize  more>>

  • 25 May 2016 9:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The AAP is pleased to announce the shortlist for the Annette Baier Prize in 2016. more>>

  • 19 May 2016 6:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mary McCloskey, a long time member of the Philosophy Department at Melbourne University, died on the 11th of May of this year.

     Mary began her career in philosophy as a student at Melbourne University where she was inspired by Douglas Gasking to become a philosopher. She was hired as tutor by the Department in 1948. After marrying H.J. (John) McCloskey she moved with him to Western Australia where he took up an appointment at the University of Western Australia. Not able to get a job as a philosopher she taught for several years in a secondary school for girls. The McCloskeys returned to the Melbourne University Philosophy Department in 1955 and Mary worked as a tutor, senior tutor, and lecturer. She was promoted to a senior lectureship in 1965 and retired in 1988.

     Mary’s areas of expertise were Kant’s philosophy and aesthetics. She wrote articles on both and a book on Kant’s aesthetics. Mary’s interest in aesthetics had a practical side. She enjoyed sketching and painting with water colours and continued to do so up to the time of her final illness. She had a great interest in textiles and believed that aesthetics had not paid sufficient attention to the sensation of touch.

     Mary grew up in Echuca during the Depression. Her family was poor, her father was often unemployed and the family was constantly on the move. She later suspected that they often had to move because her father could not afford to pay the rent. She and her mother finally settled down near Melbourne so that she could get a proper secondary education. A teacher in her last year at school inspired her to take an interest in philosophy.

     Mary was one of the few women employed in philosophy in the 50s and 60s and she inspired, mentored and supported many women students during her career. She continued to do so after her retirement and the dinners she hosted for women in philosophy at University House are fondly remembered by participants. 


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