Academic to discuss contemporary barbarianism


Professor John Haldane will visit CDU this week to share his views on the challenges of barbarianism

An internationally renowned philosopher will visit Charles Darwin University this week to share his views on the challenges of barbarianism in today’s society and into the future.

John Haldane has been Professor of Moral Philosophy at St Andrews University in Scotland for 25 years and is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame Australia (Sydney). He will visit CDU to present a free public lecture on Thursday, 8 April.

A philosopher of international stature, he has made important contributions across a wide range of fields: aesthetics, philosophy of religion, epistemology, philosophy of education, and the history of philosophy, as well as moral philosophy.

In the public lecture titled “The Challenge of Barbarianism”, Professor Haldane will explore the idea of barbarianism in an extended sense as referring to those whom one finds so morally and culturally alien that what they say seems incomprehensible.

“I want to explore the idea that we now face serious challenges of barbarianism and to consider strategies for dealing with these,” he said.

During his lecture Professor Haldane will approach the issues through historical, literary and philosophical avenues.

“In this usage the status of ‘barbarian’ may be assigned in mutual accusation between members of one and the same polity, as well as between members of very different societies,” he said.

Professor Haldane is Senior Fellow of the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs at St Andrews University, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and Chairman of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, London. In 2015 he became J. Newton Rayzor Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University, Texas.

He has published more than 200 academic papers. In addition to academic work, Professor Haldane also writes for newspapers and periodicals and appears on radio and television. He has contributed a monthly column to the (London) Times and is a frequent contributor to BBC radio and television, including the much praised history of ideas series “In our Time”.

The public lecture “The Challenge of Barbarianism” will be held on Thursday, 7 April at 5pm in building Blue 5.1.01, Casuarina campus. All welcome.

During his visit to CDU Professor Haldane will meet with students and staff and also deliver a postgraduate seminar for students titled  “Beauty, Art and Philosophy: The Return of the Repressed” on Friday, 8 April. For more information about the postgraduate lecture contact Ashlee Brown T: 8946 7404.

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