Talk:John Anderson (philosopher)

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Anderson and the CP[edit]

I query the statement in para 2 that Anderson became a member of the Communist Party. I have always understod that he was a frequenter of CP meetings, to the point of dominating them, but without being formally a member. The ADB says "he associated with the communist movement. He wrote for their journals, sometimes under a nom-de-plume, but became disillusioned with the Stalinist party-line".[1] When he eventually saw through the Stalin régime, he simply parted company with Lance Sharkey and fellows. This is just one item which could benefit from a citation--Bjenks 05:34, 26 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good call. I've adjusted the wording to reflect the info in one of the existing external links but have left your citation request in place as some further parts of this par may benefit from further reference support? --Wm 09:18, 26 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Triffic, that satisfies my query, though I agree the tag can stay there in the hope that a suitable ref can be found.


  1. ^ [1]

Next: Anderson and the Push[edit]

I'm not happy with the statement Anderson was a significant figure in the group of intellectuals known as the Sydney Push. It's misleading in that (a) it implies Anderson was a 'member' or associate of the Push--which is quite untrue in my experience; and (b) only some of the Push could be called intellectuals. A much greater number of others were anti-intellectuals, artists, musos, journos, crims, sexual opportunists, etc. Before John's retirement in 1958, the Libertarian Society held its weekly meetings in the Psychology Room. That was specifically because John did not approve of Jim Baker's breakaway group from the former Free Thought Society. More than once at lunchtime I witnessed Anderson entering or leaving his study (which was next door) and casting a distasteful gaze on those coming or going from the Libertarian meeting. Only after his retirement were meetings able to be held in the nearby Philosophy Room--the preferred venue. There was (to a newcomer like myself) something quite mysterious about why such a gulf should exist between people with almost identical views about politics and morality, etc. But the fact is that Anderson never attended any Libertarian or Push gathering. He was held in respect but not love by his libertarian disciples. We had a lot of fun singing his wonderful pet songs, such as Professor John Glaister but he was never there, not in the '50s, and older Push habitués like Lex Banning, Dick Appleton and Harry Peters never alluded to his being there in the '40s. --Bjenks 13:19, 27 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The last expansion and changes to the article were mine--I forgot to sign in. Bjenks 11:01, 1 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jim Baker[edit]

I would like to start an article on Jim Baker in view of his central importance to the Sydney Push and to the teachings of John Anderson. It may be that his notability will be questioned but, imho, he deserves equal ranking with David Armstrong, David Stove, J. L. Mackie and Eugene Kamenka, who each have separate biogs. Comment is invited. Bjenks (talk) 01:41, 28 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Coming back to this, I note with approval that there is now a stub on A J (Jim) Baker. Cheers Bjenks (talk) 05:35, 1 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Freethought Society[edit]

I've recently had occasion to study J. G. Packer's exhaustive Andersonian bibliography (now added to the Bibliography section of the article) from which is clear that Freethought was always one word in the society's title. The SMH got it wrong in citation 11. This is confirmed by the usage of former Society member Jim Baker in this article. Bjenks (talk) 05:39, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]