I take this opportunity to welcome readers, subscribers and contributors to the newly established journal, South Pacific Journal of Philosophy and Culture. The principal aim of this journal is to consider the philosophical implications and issues associated with events and developments in the South Pacifica or those which impact upon the region. These developments may be political, social or generally cultural. Our primary interest will be in those developments which impact upon indigenous people and so we intend to focus on those countries with a predominance of indigenous peoples, for example, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga. We will be less focused on Australia and New Zealand, where the dominant population and culture is European, however, as events in these two major Pacific nations reverberate throughout the South Pacific, it would be wrong headed to ignore their philosophical importance to the area.


Because we intend to concentrate on diverse regional political social and cultural phenomena, this journal will be interdisciplinary in nature. Though we wish to give emphasis to the philosophical treatment, we welcome works which can be broadly interpreted as having philosophical interest. In this sense, political, historical and anthropological studies which raise philosophical issues, though do not necessarily offer technical philosophical discussion, will find a place in this journal. In accordance with these remarks, we have assembled a highly competent international yet interdisciplinary editorial board. This board consists of three professional philosophers, a psychologist, a political scientist and a sociologist. This group shares a common interest, in that nearly all these individuals, despite difference of discipline, have done significant work on issues relevant to the third world or aboriginal peoples.


Though the contents of this volume appear to be eclectic there is a common family resemblance which unites the collection. Most of the papers in this volume offer interpretations of first world educational and intellectual trends focusing upon post modernism, hermeneutics, feminism, feminist studies, gender politics, political correctness and recent preference for communitarian rather than liberal discourse.


It should be appreciated that most of the contributors to this volume are based at the University of Papua New Guinea and therefore feel themselves distanced from many of the most recent trends and developments in the first world tertiary education and intellectual life. At the same time this distancing, though regrettable in some ways, allows one a perspective which would not be available to those who find themselves immersed within these events and developments. In a certain respect, therefore, this volume offers a South Pacific and third world evaluation of recent trends in first world tertiary education, social theory and intellectual life.


David R. Lea

Port Moresby, P.N.G.