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'Singing philosopher’ heads up arts and humanities at CDU

By Leanne Coleman

Professor Brian Mooney is a celebrated philosopher and talented musician Professor Brian Mooney is a celebrated philosopher and talented musician

An intrepid and celebrated philosopher, and talented musician has joined Charles Darwin University as the Head of the School of Creative Arts and Humanities.

Professor Brian Mooney took up the key leadership role this month and came to CDU from Singapore Management University where he was Associate Professor of Philosophy.

Growing up in Belfast, Northern Ireland during the sectarian conflict sparked Professor Mooney’s interest in philosophy, virtue and justice.

“Within my family at the time, there were some inter-marriages between Catholics and Protestants, which caused a lot of community conflict,” Professor Mooney said. “My interest in philosophy grew out of trying to understand community and personal relationships, and trying to conceptualise the role of these relationships in society.”

Professor Mooney has an international reputation in moral philosophy, the theory and practice of education, professional and applied ethics, political theory, jurisprudence and social justice, as well as ancient Greek and mediaeval philosophy. He has a distinguished teaching record in these areas.

In his position with CDU Professor Mooney said he hoped to expand interdisciplinary programs and research.

“Interdisciplinary research is central to helping understand and deal with the major problems of the contemporary world,” he said.

“I hope to further develop synergies between the School of Creative Arts and Humanities and other schools and faculties across the university and further integrate vocational education and training with higher education.”

Professor Mooney said he saw further engagement with Asia as a key dimension for the future of the School of Creative Arts and Humanities. He said looked forward to working with key stakeholders and government to build community engagement, as well as leveraging his knowledge and experience working in Asia to help establish and promote research opportunities.

He has published extensively on various aspects of applied philosophy, teaching and learning, critical thinking and the theory and practice of education, having eclectically published in Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Religion and History of Ideas. He is author, co-author and editor of 10 books and more than 50 articles.

He completed his PhD in 1993 on the “Philosophy of Love and Friendship” and since then has taught at a number of institutions including the University of Ghana, Melbourne, Deakin, Swinburne and Edith Cowan universities, and the University of Notre Dame Australia.

Professor Mooney is also a talented folk musician who sings and plays guitar, fiddle, concertina, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and tin whistle. He has toured widely playing concerts in Europe, America, Australia and Asia.