Utopian Tragedies : Cautionary Tales for the Philosophy of Politics

Presentation to the Melbourne Unitarian Philosophy Forum, Sunday 4th November, 2012

1.0 Politics and Philosophy
1.1 A definition of the relationship is the contribution of political theory (the management of the polis, the community of people) to philosophy (ontology, epistemology, logic) and the application of philosophy to political theory. Political theory is the point of intersection between politics and philosophy.
1.2 As a pragmatic complex political theory must account for individual behaviour towards the social world (i.e., moral reasoning), the systematic considerations of institutional effectiveness and efficiency, and where these positive claims meet normative claims in law. As an applied knowledge, political philosophy will review questions of liberty, property rights, and legitimacy.

Animal Ethics, Rights and Welfare

Most of you know me well enough probably to be aware of my prejudices and commitments regarding today’s topic. But as I have been asked to lead the discussion I will make my vested interests clear: I have been a vegan for about 32 years and I am a member of Animal Liberation Victoria.

The Book of Amos and the Arab Spring

Address to the Melbourne Unitarian Church, August 12, 2012

Wine and Philosophy

Wine and Philosophy: From Orphic Mysticism and Hellenic Symposiums, to Enlightenment Salons, and beyond.

Presentation to The Philosophy Forum, August 6, 2012

Domestic Violence: What Can Be Done?

Service to the address given by Virginia Geddes, July 22nd, 2012, Melbourne Unitarian Church

Opening Words

Findings from the 2006 Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey show that among the female victims of physical assault, 31 percent were assaulted by a current or previous partner. Among male victims, 4.4 percent were assaulted by a current or previous partner. Thirty per cent of people who had experienced violence by a current partner since the age of 15 were male, and seventy per cent were female.


Terrorism: A Unitarian-Universalist Response

Address to the Melbourne Unitarian Church, Sunday July 8, 2012

Beyond Zero Emmissions

Service for Peter Castaldo's address on Beyond Zero Emmissions, Melbourne Unitarian Church, Sunday 9th June, 2012

Opening Words

Science fiction author Ray Bradbury died this week. A regular attender and presenter at American Unitarian-Universalist churchers, he was one of the most celebrated writers of speculative fiction, and a recipient of the the Congressional Medal of Honour. Some people (not safe for work) have described him as the 'greatest science fiction writer in history'.

Celtic History and Mysteries

Presentation to the Melbourne Interfaith Philosophers in conjunction with the Coven of the Eternal Goddess, May 14, 2012

1. Who Are The Celts?

Before one can engage in any sensible discussion of Celtic "histories and mysteries", one needs to establish a working definition of who the Celts are. As with all definitions of nationalism there are three main approaches. The first recorded use of the word "Celts" (Keltoi) to refer to an ethnic group was by Hecataeus of Miletus, the Greek geographer, in 517 BCE.

1.1 "Blood and Soil"

Ex nihilo nihil fit

Ex nihilo nihil fit: Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?

Presentation to the Unitarian Philosophy Forum, Sunday May 6, 2012

1.0 Historical Approaches to Nothing

Great Unitarian Political Leaders of Australia and New Zealand

Address at the Melbourne Unitarian Church, Sunday, April 8, 2012


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