Donald Trump

IS YOUR NAME NOT BRUCE?

Nature or nurture? Peter Godfrey-Smith takes us back to the jacaranda tree in the quad and considers whether Australia’s contribution to late 20th-century philosophy reflects any kind of national character or is just the arbitrary consequences of the invariably male academics who showed up (is there any Australian university Karl Popper didn’t apply to?). The art accompanying the article, intriguingly, shows some philosophers contemplating how the Opera House was moved to the other side of the Harbour Bridge.

As my favourite university teacher Iain Cameron once noted about Braudel’s The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, such magisterial books often meet with an academic reply along the lines of “that’s all very well but it overlooks what happened in one village in north Crete in autumn 1576”. Lorraine Daston laments (I’m not sure correctly) that no one writes such great books that range widely and synthesise and popularise scholarship anymore.