J. Alexander Gunn
Born in Liverpool in 1896 of Scotts parentage, J. Alexander Gunn did his undergraduate studies at the University of Liverpool from 1913-1916, then served on the Western Front 1916-1919. He returned to Liverpool and submitted his MA thesis on Bergson, published in 1920. He then returned to Paris, where he was appointed a research scholar at the Sorbonne in the Ecole des Haute Etudes Sociales. Returning to Liverpool, he submitted his Ph.D. "Modern French Philosophy: a Study of the Development Since Comte," published in 1922. He was appointed a Fellow of the University of Liverpool and Lecturer in Psychology to the Liverpool University Extension Board, before accepting an appointment at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 1922. At Melbourne he was appointed Chairman of the Extension Board and Director of Tutorial Classes with rank and title of Professor, working alongside W.R.Boyce Gibson. Second in line for the job Gunn got was Douglas Copland, then at the University of Tasmania, who went on to get a job at Melbourne in 1925. A fierce debate developed between Gunn and Copland concerning the understanding of the foundations of the burgeoning field of economics, Gunn maintaining that economics ought to be integrated into the humanities through its interrelations with sociology and the social sciences on the one hand, and into philosophy via its inseperable relation to ethics on the other, as outlined here. Copland argued to the contrary that economics is an independent science more basic than "the social aspect," and as such set up the Faculty of Economics and Commerce both at The University of Tasmania and The University of Melbourne, paving the way for this fallacious objectivity to be used as a mask for the legitimation of a culture of ruthless philarguria as foreseen by Nietzsche who wrote in 1878: "Private companies will step by step absorb the business of the state: even the most resistant remainder of what was formerly the work of government (for example its activities designed to protect the private person from the private person) will in the long run be taken care of by private contractors." The year after his arrival at Melbourne, Copland made a study tour of England and North America on a Rockerfeller fellowship, during which tour he reports "I shall have a plan on my return." (Macintyre p.16) The plan was to bring about a restructuring of the study of sociology such that it was under Copland's jurisdiction from the Faculty of Commerce, not Gunn's from the faculty of Arts, effectively dissolving Gunn's professorship and promoting Gunn's two former tutors to be in charge of sociology under Copland's supervision, changes which came into effect in 1928. Copland went on to become Vice-Chancellor of the ANU and to receive a kinghthood, whereas Gunn was increasingly marginalized at Melbourne University, his appointment being finally terminated in 1937. To quote Helen Bourke's excellent essay, "Gunn died destitute in an old people's home in St. Kilda in May 1975. The University of Melbourne paid for the funeral." (p.34)

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Bergson and His Philosophy
(London: Methuen; New York: E.P. Dutton & Co, 1920).

Modern French Philosophy: a Study of the Development Since Comte
(London: T. Fisher Unwin; New York: Dodd, Mead & Co, 1922)
PhD submitted to the University of Liverpool in 1921,
published 1922 with a foreward by Henri Bergson

The Philosophy of Emile Boutroux
The Monist, 1922

Social Progress
Inaugural lecture, University of Melbourne, 16th May 1923

Benedict Spinoza
(Melbourne: Macmillan in association with Melbourne University Press, 1925)

The Problem of Time: An Historical & Critical Study
(London: Allen & Unwin; New York: R. R. Smith Inc, 1929)

"The Problem of Time"
Philosophy (1929):180-191

Spinoza, The Maker Of Lenses: a play in three acts
(London: Allen & Unwin, 1932)

Gunn also published Livelihood (Melbourne: A.H.Massina & Co, 1927),
which were his
notes for his lectures to the Commonwealth Accountant's Student's Society in his capacity as the Director of Extra-Mural Work at the University of Melbourne 1923-1926, printed for student cirulation as seven seperate pamphlets, then collected into a single volume in 1927.