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Kurt Baier

1917 – 2010

Professor Kurt Baier (1917-2010) was a moral philosopher. A German Jew, he fled to London from Vienna to escape Nazi persecution three months before his final legal examinations. Declared an 'enemy alien' at the outbreak of war, Baier was deported to Australia and interned at Hay Internment camp. Here he came in contact with and was inspired by academic German Jewish refugees who had been working at Cambridge University and the London School of Economics prior to the war. At the camp he formed a strong friendship with Fred Gruen, who later became one of Australia's leading economists. In 1941 Baier was admitted to Melbourne University, where he majored in Philosophy. In the 1950s he joined the Philosophy Department at the Canberra University College (now the Australian National University) and it was here that he wrote The Moral Point of View (1955). He has published a number of other influential books on the subject of philosophy, including Defining Morality without Prejudice (1981) and The Rational and the Moral Order: The Social Roots of Reason and Morality (1994).

Updated 2018
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