School of Philosophy Highlights

School of Philosophy Highlights

The School of Philosophy focuses on the research and education in many areas, more notably the philosophy of mind, science, moral and political philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, and European philosophy. The heart of the School is the thriving research culture and Philosophy was a foundation discipline for the Research School of Social Sciences.

Events, Conferences and Exhibitions

  • The School of Philosophy hosted a 2017 John Passmore lecture entitled “Can we be rational and fair under risk and uncertainty?” The lecture was delivered by Professor Marc Fleurbaey on August 10 2017 and focused on leading the audience through key three problems of relying on other approaches than expected utility, the relevative importance of ex ante fairness and ex post inequalities, and whether individuals bear the consequences of the risks they take.
  • Also in August 2017 came the public lecture of “Animnal bodies and animal minds” in conjunction with the launch of the Centre for Philosophy of the Sciences. The lecture was presented by Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith and paid special attention to the octopus regarding the nature and origins of the mind.
  • Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith also presented a 2017 Jack Smart Lecture entitled “Materialism, subjectivity and evolution” which focuses on the first versions of Australian materialism and how the landscape of debate changed over time.
  • Over 300 people attended a lecture by Professor Peter Singer, AC, from Princetoin University on “Living ethically in the 21st Century - Philosophy and Public Policy Lecture Series”. Professor Singer highlighted in his lecture that it is not enough to abide by conventional moral rules and that due to a changing world, our responsibilities towards global poverty, climate change and animals have changed.

Consultancies and Outreach

  • Professor Christian Barry from the School of Philosophy was the lead consultant on the ABCTV series Ethics Matters, a series for young people that explores the rights of an individual and their consequences.
  • ANU’s own Fiona Jenkins joined other Professors from around the world in a discussion on “Terror and Art - Can Violence Be Divine?” at the Heide Museum of Modern Art. The presentation was broadcasted for ABC RN Bigonsultancies and Outreach


  • Professor Daniel Stoljar from the School of Philosophy had  his detailed study of Philosophical Progress: In Defence of a Reasonable Optimism published at Oxford University Press. The publication is a much needed defence of philosophy against disparagement and self-doubt.


  • Professor Bob Goodin received the Chancellor’s Peter Baume Award recognising eminent achievement and merit of the highest order. Professor Daniel Stoljar received the CASS Supervisor award, and Dr Bronwyn Finnigan recieved the CASS Education award.
  • Professor Philip Pettit recieved two awards, including being named the Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecturerer for 2019, and the Companion of the Order of Australia, an award given for eminent achievement and merit oif the highest degree in service to Australia or humanity at large.

Updated:  28 September 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications