In the beginning was the beginning, and beginning again

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–Hutchings, Sophia Editorial

Patrick Æ Hutchings (Oxon), was a longtime Editor-in-Chief (Australasia) of Sophia and a cherished member of both the journal’s philosophical community and the international philosophy community more broadly.

With a deep intellectual and academic history (with prior studies in the University of Wellington and Oxford University), Patrick was at the time of his passing an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne. Over the years, he also lectured in the Philosophy of Art at the University of Melbourne. He also lectured at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). From 1978–1994, Patrick served as Reader in the School of Humanities at Deakin University, (working closely with his esteemed colleagues Prof Max Charlesworth and Purushottama Bilimoria; known as the ‘intellectual mischiefs’); together they moved Sophia to the Department of Philosophy in the University of Melbourne, and he also joined the University of Melbourne as a Visiting Lecturer in the Philosophy of Art from 1993–1998 (working closely with Christopher Cordner, Graeme Marshall, Brian Scarlett , Tony (AJC) Coady, and Elvira Schnabel). Prior to coming eastwards, Patrick taught at the University of Western Australia in Perth, Western Australia, for some twenty years. He gave lectures on philosophy and arts at the University of Sydney and at the University of Otago (Dunedin, NZ), and he taught English Literature and Philosophy classes at a number of universities around the world, including at Edinburgh, London, California (Irvine), New Zealand, Japan, and India.

During his life and over the course of his career, Patrick wrote prolifically in topics spanning philosophy, literature, and aesthetics for many journal publications, including Art International, The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Landfall, Islands, The Age, The Journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Sophia, Philosophical Studies (Dublin) and the Art Monthly Australasia. He also published a monograph on the Melbourne sculptor, Peter Corlett, co-authored books on Guy Boyd and Kate O’Connor, and contributed chapters in monographs on figures such as Gordon Walters, Heather Busch, Klaus Zimmer, George Johnson, Tom Gibbons, and Thornton Walker.

Routledge (Taylor & Francis) republished Patrick’s 1972 ground-breaking book Kant on Absolute Value (Kant’s ‘Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals’ and of his Ontology of Personal Value), which remains in print (2019). His 2021 article ‘Has God Been and Gone?’ was his last main piece published in Sophia, and he also had a 2022 review in Sophia, ‘Religious Doubt in New Zealand.’ Forever prolific in his writing and editing, Patrick continued to publish into 2023 with another two pieces appearing in Literature and Aesthetics: The Journal of the Sydney Society of Literature and Aesthetics (SSLA) and the Art Monthly Australasia.

Patrick is survived by his dear wife Heng (Kitty) Hutchings and was also memorialized recently by a wide range of scholars and friends in both actual and virtual ceremonies held in September 2023. Although Patrick’s funeral service was kept as simple as possible, just as Patrick would have liked it to be, Fr. Michael Elligate led the Requiem Mass; the Ensemble from the Australian Chamber Choir and organist Douglas Lawrence provided glorious music, Peter Wong chanted from the beautiful 'Heart of Great Perfection of Wisdom' from Heart Sūtra to mark the finalé:- Gaté gaté paragaté parasamgaté Bodhi svāhā! (Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond, enlightenment!).