2023 holiday reading and listening list: curated by Cranlana’s Moderators

Our Moderators are our Moderators because of the different ways they demonstrate ethical leadership in their professional and personal lives. Their expertise in ethics means they’re always tapped in when it comes to the best content to make you think. Here’s some of the Moderating team’s recommendations, with your festive season break in mind. 

Holiday reading and listening list 💫

Front cover of Ideas to save your life by Michael McGirr

Ideas to Save Your Life: Philosophy for Wisdom, Solace and Pleasure by Michael McGirr

“It’s the sort of philosophy book you can read lying down (ie, it’s not so difficult that it’ll put you to sleep) and is a series of chapters linking the thinking of a particular philosopher with a real life experience. Quite a few Cranlana favourites get a guernsey; Plato Aristotle, Weil, Nussbaum etc. It’s accessible, thoughtful and pleasantly quirky.”

– Recommended by Carl Murphy

Wandering with Intent by Kim Mahood

Essays about art, culture, mapping, environment and intercultural (mis)understandings, drawing on Mahood’s long-term collaborations with First Nations peoples in various parts of Australia over many decades. Winner of the 2023 Age Book of the Year:

– Recommended by Peter Mares

Ethics in the Real World: 90 Essays on things that matter by Peter Singer

“Clear, pithy essays on contemporary, practical ethical issues, written in a page-turning style by a renowned ethical philosopher. Great for the beach!”

– Recommended by Frank Di Giorgio

Philosophy and Life: Exploring the Great Questions of How to Live by A.C. Grayling

How should I live my life? What sort of person should I be? What values should I live by? Grayling draws on the lives, experiences and works from an eclectic range of thinkers – Aristotle, Confucius, Seneca, through to Shakespeare, Ursula Le Guin and Martha Nussbaum, to help us think through the answers for ourselves.

– Recommended by Frank Di Giorgio

Power and Love, a theory and practice of social change by Adam Kahane

“An oldie but a goodie, for those who have thought about giving up on social change given the disastrous debate about the Voice this year.”

– Recommended by Rhys Edwards

Sleepwalk to war: Australia’s unthinking alliance with America by Hugh White, in the Quarterly Essay

“Although on the topic international relations rather than philosophy, a disturbing tract.”

– Recommended by Rhys Edwards

Additional recommendations: 

Telling Tennant’s Story: the strange career of the great Australian silence by Dean Ashenden

In an elegant mix of personal memoir and deep scholarship, Dean Ashenden explains how frontier violence and the dispossession of First Nations’ peoples were sidelined in the telling of Australian history. In a significant contribution to the process of truth telling, Ashenden brings this troubling past back into view.

Libertarianism: The Philosopher’s Zone

An engaging conversation about history of liberatarian thinking and the tensions between the different strands of a philosophical approach that seeks to minimise the role of government and maximise individual freedom.

Banality, Deception and Evil. The Philosopher’s Zone

Philosopher Matthew Sharpe offers a critique of Hannah’s Arendt’s reading of the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. Was he a mindless functionary, devoid of ideology, and unable to think clearly – or did he manage to pull the wool over the eyes of one of the 20th Century’s greatest philosophers. And if he did, does Arendt’s theory about the banality of evil nevertheless hold up?

Simone de Beauvoir, Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil and Ayn Rand all felt ‘different’ in the world – and changed the way we think.

A review of a new book about four of the 20th Century’s most influential philosophers and their very different ideas.

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