Max Charlesworth (1925-2014), AO, FAHA, was one of the great figures in Australasian philosophy. Areas in which he worked included: philosophy of religion, bioethics, European philosophy, social studies in science, studies of indigenous Australian religions, and political philosophy (with a particular focus on relations between church and state, and the activities and organisation of the Catholic Church).
Max obtained a BA (Hons) (1946) and an MA (1949) from the University of Melbourne, and a PhD (1955) from the University of Louvain. He was Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Auckland (1956-1958); Lecturer (1959-1961), Senior Lecturer (1962-67) and Reader (1968-1974) in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne; and Planning Dean of Humanities (1975-1980) and Professor of Philosophy (1980-1990) at Deakin University. From 1990, he was Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Deakin. He held various visiting appointments in the course of his career, including at the University of Notre Dame (1968-9) and the University of Louvain (1972).
Max was the founder of Sophia, and its co-editor from 1962-1990; he was also founder and co-editor of The Catholic Worker. His major books include: Philosophy and Linguistic Analysis (1959); St. Anselm’s Proslogion (1965); Life among the Scientists (1989); Life, Death, Genes and Ethics (1989); Bioethics in a Liberal Society (1993); Religious Business (1998); and Philosophy and Religion (2002).
Positions of responsibility that Max held included: membership of the Charles Strong Trust (1975-2014); Chairperson of the Advisory Committee of the Centre for Human Bioethics (1987-1990); member of the Victorian Government Standing Review and Advisory Committee on Infertility (1985-2014), and member of the National Bioethics Consultation Committee (1988-1990)
A fuller account of Max’s life from which all of the above has been cribbed may be found at: http://download.springer.com/static/pdf/468/art%253A10.1007%252Fs11841-012-0345-x.pdf?auth66=1402102405_b1202bd7fa702bea8c1f0b412c095e7a&ext=.pdf
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