Jurgen Lawrenz: Sydney, Australia

Jurgen Lawrenz Although I've been a "philosopher" since the age of 17, when I read Kant's Critique of Pure Reason with all the enthusiasm (and cocky confidence) of a youngster wishing to storm the world's challenges in a single bound, I did not become a "serious" philosopher until I encountered Pathways to Philosophy and its presiding genius, Geoffrey Klempner.

I was a little older by then (57 to be exact!), but had only a basic BA and no achievements worth mentioning in a philosophical fraternity. All that changed after I got my diplomas from Pathways. I went on to BA Honours, Masters Honours and PhD at Sydney University in the space of five years. In the next three years I wrote three books, realising at last my long-standing ambition to send children of my philosophical spirit into the world.

I think philosophy is important. But I also believe that routine kills it. To be serious about it means to engage with real problems and not to trifle with them. Ontology, metaphysics, aesthetics, human nature, the mind, life itself: these will still occupy us in another 2000 years — if we are still around, and no longer deluded by the belief that science has no need of, and indeed replaced philosophy!

These are concerns that have animated me since the year Dot. The answers I contribute to student questions thrive on them, and my books give expression to them. Here are links: