Magical Thinking : An Anthropological Excursus

1. The relationship between philosophy and anthropology
1.1 If philosophy, narrowly defined, is the study of ontology, epistemology, and logic, then these have a relationship with anthropology, broadly defined, as the study of humankind. For particular aspects of human behaviour must have a relationship with the higher level philosophical issues - thus this represents a tangential excursus from our usually studies in philosophy.

Rational Thinking and Emotional Attachments: How can we admit error?

Gods rest ye, Unitarians, let nothing you dismay;
Remember there's no evidence there was a Christmas Day;
When Christ was born is just not known, no matter what they say,
O, Tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact,
Glad tidings of reason and fact.

Our current Christmas customs come from Persia and from Greece,
From solstice celebrations of the ancient Middle East.
This whole darn Christmas spiel is just another pagan feast,
O, Tidings of reason and fact, reason and fact,
Glad tidings of reason and fact.

The Pragmatic Limits of Scientism in New Atheism

I would like to begin this presentation by giving my thanks to David Miller for inviting me to speak here tonight and for the range of philosophical organisations that he convenes; such as the Melbourne Atheist Society, the Existentialist Society, and the Agnostic Society. David, a little like myself, is a person of many hats.

Why Atheism and Atheophobia Matter

Talk given to the Atheist Society, Melbourne, on 8 October 2013.

Thank you for coming to hear me this evening.

In recent years we have heard or read complaints in the media about Christianophobia and Islamophobia, so I think it is time to give some consideration to atheism and atheophobia.

The Epistemology of Living Organizations

Presentation by Bill Hall to The Philosophy Forum, Sunday October 5, 2013

This presentation is based largely on material drawn from a hypertext book I am writing: Application Holy Wars or a New Reformation - A Fugue on the Theory of Knowledge.

Presentation continues as PDF attachment.

Sunday Assembly : Some Serious Reservations

I note with interest the recent review of The Sunday Assembly and its establishment in Melbourne, Australia (Freethinker, July). As a person who was going to be involved on the committee of said establishment, I am obviously supportive on the desire to create a non-theistic church which retains 'church-like' community. However I have some serious reservations about The Sunday Assembly which lead to my resignation from the organising committee.

Because the issue is a public one, rather than a personal one, I have a duty to bring the reasons for my resignation to public attention.

The Philosophy of Education

Presentation to the Melbourne Philosophy Forum, Sunday September 1st, 2013

1.0 Definitions
1.1 The Philosophy of Education is an applied philosophy that examines the aims, forms, methods, and results of education as both a process and a field of study. It concerns itself primarily with epistemological questions (e.g., learning methodologies), and ontological questions (e.g., cognitive facts of being), and the logical relationships in education. It also connects with moral reasoning and institutional requirements, as the sociology and economics of education, and issues in learning and motivation, the psychology of education.

The Inspirational Malala Yousafzai


A presentation held on August 4th, 2013 at the Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church

Apparently those with patriarchal religious beliefs do not like educated women. Such beliefs find their expression in numerous sources, such as the demonic temptress Lilith in Judaism, the recommended treatment of women in Paulian Christianity, the the Quran's verse 34 of Surah an-Nisa, which establishes hierarchy and allows domestic violence. In some cases those people with such misogynist attitudes, derived from such texts, are prepared to engage in the worst sort of violence to further their hateful ideas. Such misogyny has a particular place in history due to its prominence in religious thought often used in the union of thinking that both hates women and fears the concept that they are deserving of equal rights.

Muscular Christianity and the English Boarding School System

I am a member or supporter of a number of organisations in Australia and Britain. One of them, in the United Kingdom, is Boarding Concern, founded in 2002. It arose out of Nick Duffell’s work with Boarding School Survivors, which he started in 1990.2 Boarding Concern publicises the adverse effects boarding schools can have on children.

Knowledge vs Belief - Justification and Truth

What scientific knowledge is and how it works. A Presentation to the Melbourne Philosophy Forum on July 7th, 2013

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