AUSTRALIAN TEMPERANCE:

 
A MINICONFERENCE ON THE VIRTUES OF SELF-CONTROL AND MODERATION IN AUSTRALIAN LIFE PAST AND PRESENT

Date: Saturday December 6th, 2008

Location: University of New South Wales (Old Main Building 144A, enter through east end of Red Centre Building)

Key Presentations:

 Sons of Temperance march, Hill End 1872
National Archives of Australia

The virtue of self-control or temperance is useful in situations such as resisting drug offers, preventing abuse of power and escalation of violence, in being faithful in sexual relationships, friendships and workplace relations, and in not spending more than one can reasonably expect to earn. There has been a solid tradition of philosophical debate about the virtue of temperance, from Plato and Aristotle to modern authors such as MacIntyre. However since the Sixties, public discussion of this virtue and attempts to educate people in it have greatly diminished in favour of a libertarian or unrestrained attitude to opportunities or temptation, though it is still widely practiced in private. We are investigating the changes over time and the present relevance of this virtue in Australia, whose unique social history includes strong positions both for and against temperance. We hope to provide a resource for discussion of such difficult problems as addictions, chronic debt, violence in remote communities and safe sex campaigns.

This conference is funded by the ARC Discovery Grant: "Restraint: Recovering the Virtue of Self-Control or Temperance to Strengthen the Australian Social Fabric". For further information, please see our website: http://web.maths.unsw.edu.au/~jim/restraintproj.html

Registrations and enquiries: email Cathy Legg: clegg@waikato.ac.nz.