Scholars to probe flaws and failings of Western thought

04-Sep-2017

Professorial Research Fellow Rolf Gerritsen

Professorial Research Fellow Rolf Gerritsen will moderate the panel discussion.


Charles Darwin University will explore the limitations of Western thought with the help of two eminent European intellectuals at a public event at Alice Springs campus next week.

Northern Institute Professorial Research Fellow Rolf Gerritsen said the panel discussion would be the first of three events in Australia this month, presented by the prestigious Goethe-Institut.

“We are delighted to be assisting the Goethe-Institut with their project ‘Responsibility and Humanity – Nature, Culture and Terror’, which is investigating several philosophical questions that have the capacity to challenge and move society,” Professor Gerritsen said.

“The over-arching question we’ll examine in Alice Springs is ‘where has Western thought gone wrong?’

“We’ll pose the question to two visiting intellectuals and to two local thinkers: journalist and author Kieran Finnane and Alice Springs Desert Park Director Paul Ah Chee Ngala.”

Professor Gerritsen said the debate was particularly appropriate in Alice Springs, which for nearly 150 years had seen the interplay between two contrasting worlds.

“We have a society that is largely based on Western neo-liberalism, and which views humanity through people’s relationship with work, and we have an ancient Aboriginal world view, which is defined by family and social and cultural obligations.”

The visiting panellists will be Dr Andreas Weber, a Berlin-based philosopher and nature writer, and Dr Charlotte Klonk, Professor of Art History and New Media at the Institute of Art and Visual History at Humboldt University, Berlin.

Professor Gerritsen will moderate the discussion, which will take place in the Higher Education Theatre at Alice Springs campus on Monday 11 September between 5pm and 6pm.

The event is free and open to the public.