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Australian realism


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Australian realism, also called Australian materialism, is a school of philosophy that flourished in the first half of the 20th century in several universities in Australia including the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of Sydney, and whose central claim, as stated by leading theorist John Anderson, was that "whatever exists … is real, that is to say it is a spatial and temporal situation or occurrence that is on the same level of reality as anything else that exists". Coupled with this was Anderson's idea that "every fact is a complex situation: there are no simples, no atomic facts, no objects which cannot be, as it were, expanded into facts." Prominent players included Anderson, David Malet Armstrong, J. L. Mackie, Ullin Place, J. J. C. Smart, and David Stove. The label "Australian realist" was conferred on acolytes of Anderson by A. J. Baker in 1986, to mixed approval from those realist philosophers who happened to be Australian. David Malet Armstrong "suggested, half-seriously, that 'the strong sunlight and harsh brown landscape of Australia force reality upon us'".
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