Harry Redner 1937-2021: Commemoration of his Life and Work

Harry Redner

1937 -2021

This page celebrates the life and work of Thesis Eleven friend, colleague and collaborator Harry Redner. Below you will find obituaries, excerpts, unpublished works and Thesis Eleven book reviews of Harry’s work. Many thanks to Jill Redner and David Roberts for making this project possible. Vale Harry!

Introductory Remarks

David Roberts

Harry Redner was long a friend and associate of Thesis Eleven. Indeed, one could say that he was one of the journal’s spiritual fathers. Along with Alistair Davidson and Zawar Hanfi in the Department of Politics at Monash University, he was one of the teachers of its founding editors, Peter Beilharz and Julian Triado. It is therefore only fitting that we should respond to Harry’s sudden unexpected death in September 2021 by paying a first tribute to his life’s work with the aim of giving readers some indication of the breadth and depth of his original contributions to the philosophy, science, politics and culture of European modernity.

We start with obituaries from colleagues of Harry at Monash, followed by reviews of his work published in Thesis Eleven, which are complemented by an early review from Gernot Böhme, who was working on a review of Harry’s Ethical Life for this commemoration when he too died suddenly in January 2022 (see the photos of Gernot and Harry at the conference on ‘Ethics in Practice’ they jointly convened in Darmstadt in July 1998), and by Professor Miguel Candel Sanmartin’s evaluation of Harry’s last book, Quintessence of Dust. The Science of Matter and the Philosophy of Mind. This section concludes with Jill Redner’s reconstruction of Harry’s intellectual trajectory across his entire oeuvre together with a list of his publications.

When Harry died he had just completed a final trilogy of books. In the last section on his unpublished work, I have written a short introduction to the trilogy in order to set the context for the following extracts from the three books. They were chosen not only for their intrinsic interest but also in order to illustrate the cross-disciplinary scope of Harry’s conception of the task of the scholar and intellectual today.


Harry Redner, ColleagueDenis White

Vale Harry Redner, FriendAlastair Davidson 

Harry Redner, TeacherPeter Beilharz 

Harry Redner, ScholarDavid Roberts

Unpublished works: Extracts 

‘East and West’ (from Politics, Ethics and Culture in our Time: A Post-Civilizational Perspective, forthcoming with Brill)

[coming soon] ‘The Birth of Science’ (from Art and Science: A Parallel History, forthcoming)

[coming soon] ‘Theory Babble’ (from The Humanities, the Social Sciences and the University: A Study in Knowledge Production, forthcoming with Routledge)

Thesis Eleven Book Reviews [coming soon]