Asking the relevant questions

A meditation on the work of three philosophers

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  • Published 20200726
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-50-4
  • Extent: 304pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THE FIRST QUESTION. Why European thinking – again?

My exchange with Europe goes back to the beginning: my father fled the country of his birth – the Netherlands – before the dust could settle after World War II. As a young boy, he was a direct witness to fatal military conflict in the streets of his own neighbourhood. As a teenager, he and 4.5 million of his compatriots nearly starved to death in the Hongerwinter (hunger winter) of 1944–45. At the age of twenty-­one, mostly recovered from a mild dose of polio, he left for Australia on the SMN Gaasterkerk with a work ticket for a job in a state-­run native-­plant nursery in Sydney’s West Pennant Hills. In a letter written in July 1952 to his mother back home in The Hague, he says: ‘The guys working at the nursery are “good blokes”, real Australians: the only problem is they are not easy to understand.’

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