Idealist Origins: 1920s and Before

In Graham Oppy & Nick Trakakis (eds.), History of Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 15-54 (2014)
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Abstract

This paper explores early Australasian philosophy in some detail. Two approaches have dominated Western philosophy in Australia: idealism and materialism. Idealism was prevalent between the 1880s and the 1930s, but dissipated thereafter. Idealism in Australia often reflected Kantian themes, but it also reflected the revival of interest in Hegel through the work of ‘absolute idealists’ such as T. H. Green, F. H. Bradley, and Henry Jones. A number of the early New Zealand philosophers were also educated in the idealist tradition and were influential in their communities, but produced relatively little. In Australia, materialism gained prominence through the work of John Anderson, who arrived in Australia in 1927, and continues to be influential. John Anderson had been a student of Henry Jones, who might therefore be said to have influenced both main strands of Australian philosophical thought.

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Martin Davies
University of Melbourne

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