All posts by Patrick Stokes

Deakin philosophers on consolation and COVID-19

The Conversation has just run two pieces by Deakin philosophers on seeking guidance and finding consolation during the COVID-19 pandemic: 

A/Prof Matthew Sharpe: “Guide to the Classics: How Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations Can Help Us In a Time of Pandemic”

All of these things may come to pass. Or they may not. But, just now, we cannot immediately avert them. What depends on us right now, always, is what we think and do. And there is, for the Stoic, a comfort in this.

A/Prof Patrick Stokes “Art for Trying Times: How a Philosopher Found Solace Playing Red Dead Redemption 2

Perhaps Red Dead Redemption 2’s most fundamental message is not about redemption at all, but something even more universal: the past is always there. All must die, but nothing can take away the fact of having lived.

New Book: The Selected Writings of Pierre Hadot

Deakin’s A/Prof Matthew Sharpe and Dr Federico Testa (postdoctoral fellow at the University of Warwick) have just released The Selected Works of Pierre Hadot: Philosophy as Practice (Bloomsbury, 2020), a new selection of Hadot’s work including material never before translated:

As a passionate proponent of philosophy as a ‘way of life’ (most powerfully communicated in the life of Socrates), Pierre Hadot rejuvenated interest in the ancient philosophers and developed a philosophy based on their work which is peculiarly contemporary. His radical recasting of philosophy in the West was both provocative and substantial. Indeed, Michel Foucault cites Pierre Hadot as a major influence on his work.


Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy statement on the Humanities

The Australian Society for Continental Philosophy (ASCP) has put out a statement on the recently announced changes to the funding of humanities degrees.

In the years ahead, the importance of humanities degrees in educating citizens how to read, interpret, and think for themselves, and to intelligently question the reliability of the information new media floods them with, will be paramount for the continuing health of Australia as a democracy in which informed discussions about a good life holds sway over demagogic pandering.

You can read the full statement here

New Philosopher’s Zone episode: ‘Dangerous Minds’

Last November, A/Prof. Matthew Sharpe ran a successful workshop on Philosophy and the Far Right: From Weimar to Charlottesville.

This week (15 March 2020, 5:30pm AEST), ABC Radio National’s Philosopher’s Zone program will broadcast Prof. Ronald Beiner‘s presentation from the event:

A lot of interpretative energy has gone into rescuing the reputations of Nietzsche and Heidegger from the clutches of their fascist acolytes. But sometimes, when considering these philosophers, it’s hard to ignore the facts in front of you. Heidegger was an unrepentant Nazi. Nietzsche’s later texts contain passages which openly advocated slavery and genocide. Today, with far-right extremism on the rise around the world, how worried should we be when reading – and teaching – the work of these canonical figures?

You can listen online anytime or download the program here.

James Bahoh begins Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship at Deakin

Deakin’s Philosophy and the History of Ideas group is delighted to welcome Dr James Bahoh as a visiting Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow

James Bahoh’s main work is in ontology, drawing especially on German and French philosophy since Kant. He received his PhD from Duquesne University in 2016 and – before coming to Deakin University – has held positions as VolkswagenStiftung / Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Bonn and Visiting Assistant Professor at Marquette University.

He is especially interested in the theories of events developed by Martin Heidegger and Gilles Deleuze and he recently published a book – Heidegger’s Ontology of Events – with Edinburgh. He has just begun a Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholarship here at Deakin, where he’ll continue work on a new book examining ways Deleuze and Heidegger developed their theories of events via intellectual engagements with earlier classical German philosophy (especially Kant and late 18th– / early 19th-century post-Kantianism). This project will focus on ways these theories of events challenge the primacy of the traditional logic of identity and its apparatuses of representation. James’ academic website can be found here.

New book series: Philosophy as a Way of Life

Matt Sharpe, together with Michael Chase (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and Eli Kramer (Warsaw) have signed with Brill to produce a series of translations of French, German and Italian language texts on philosophy as a way of life, including foundational works by Pierre and Ilsetraut Hadot.  The series will include critical introductions and essays accompanying the texts, and bring together a team of translators and editors from across three continents.