Dr Aubrey Townsend


Career Highlights

Tutor, The University of Sydney, 1961-1962

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Monash University, 1966-2004

ANU Travelling Fellowship, 1969-70

College Head, Howitt Hall, 1986-99

Vice Chancellors Award for Distinguish Teaching (First Year), 1994


BA, Sydney, 1960

PhD, ANU, 1967


Aubrey and Thelma Townsend have a 20 acre property, Howitt’s End, in the Strzelecki Ranges east of Melbourne, where they grow trees, specializing in Australian natives, rainforest trees and Japanese maples. Other interests are in music, particlularly opera, wine, and dogs. A growing tribe of grandchildren is another interest.

Research Interests

History of Philosophy, especially Descartes and Hume,
Philosophical Logic,
Philosophical Pedagogy.


‘Survival in Cyberspace’, Foundation, vol 29, no 78, Spring 2000, pp.25-34.

‘Time Travel, Time Scapes, and Timescapes’, New York Review of Science Fiction, vol 12 no 12, August 2000, p.1 and pp 8-15. Symposium with Russell Blackford, Sean McMullin, Alison Goodman, Damien Broderick and Gregory Benfor

Works in Progress

Aubrey has various papers under way on Descartes, hopefully aimed at a book around his termination date.


Aubrey teaches or is otherwise involved in:

ATS1371 Philosophy: Introduction A

ATS1834 Philosophy: Life, Death and Morality

ATS1372 Philosophy: Introduction D

ATS1835 Philosophy: Introduction B (Time, self, and mind)

ATS2863 Descartes – Foundations of modern European philosophy

ATS3884 Philosophy: Themes from Hume and Leibniz