A panel discussion on the work of prominent Australian philosopher Raimond Gaita at Flinders University today (July 13) will have a highly expert participant – the philosopher himself.
In addition to his academic work, Professor Gaita has taken on the role of public intellectual through his writing in newspapers and magazines on ethical issues such as euthanasia, racism, the role of universities, and the Iraq war. His early life was documented in the successful film Romulus, My Father, itself based on Gaita’s acclaimed biography of his father.
The public symposium at Flinders will feature Professor Gaita, Flinders University philosophy academic Dr Andrew Gleeson and philosopher Associate Professor Alice Crary of the New School, New York.
Professor Gaita will respond to commentary on aspects of his work on ethics. Dr Gleeson will discuss Professor Gaita’s writing on the lives of those who live with severe irreversible affliction and suffering; Associate Professor Crary will talk about a sense of the preciousness of animal life that does not detract from the uniqueness of humanity.
“In much of my work I have explored the implications of the fact that we often come to see something as precious only in the light of someone’s love for it,” Professor Gaita said.
“Against the tendency of philosophers to thinks this is a psychological fact of little philosophical importance, I have tried to show that it is fundamental to the most important of our ethical concepts. Two very interesting papers, one by Alice Crary, the other by Andrew Gleeson, explore this aspect of my work.
”It is my pleasure and honour to respond to their discussion.”
The symposium will be held on Monday, 13 July from 6pm to 7pm at Flinders University Victoria Square, Room 2, Level 1.