The list that follows is a record of every known article, address or public lecture that Anderson wrote between 1939 and 1962. While the intellectual activity recorded here does not match the frenetic pace of the thirties, the extent and detail of his activity for this period is surprising given our previous understanding of the situation. Anderson clearly led an active academic life during the war years, was initially overwhelmed by the influx of students after the war, but gradually began producing again during the late forties. His involvement in student societies came to an end in 1951 although he could still gather a crowd of several hundred if it was known he was going to speak in public.
During the early war years, Anderson was pre-occupied with the implications of his rejection of Trotskyism (or Proletarianism, to use the broader term) and he gradually articulated a theory of liberal democracy. At the same time, he remained active in both the Literary and Freethought societies, although his interest in the Literary Society waned after he was defeated for the presidency in 1941. The Freethought Society remained a central focus of his attention although he was often asked to speak on educational issues at public forums and symposiums. Very few of his addresses appeared in the Union Recorder after 1939 and the main source of his public addresses on campus was Honi Soit. The reports for the paper written during the war were generally by students familiar with and sympathetic to Anderson’s position, although after the war most students were not sympathetic to Anderson’s increasingly strident anti-Communism. Annual conferences and congresses of the A.A.P.P. also provided a forum for Anderson to speak at, although he published no articles in the journal between 1943 and 1952. There were also small annual meetings of the Sydney branch of the A.A.P.P. at Newport during the summer New Year break during the war, although after the war the Newport congresses became increasingly professionally oriented and grew in size. The annual August congresses of the A.A.P.P. alternated between Melbourne and Sydney and although Anderson gave papers regularly, most records of these papers are rough notes in Anderson’s hand. Anderson’s activities were also reported in the daily press, particularly during the 1943 controversy.
Apart from 1946, for the five years after the end of the war, Anderson’s intellectual activity was constant and he regularly gave addresses to student groups and papers at philosophy conferences, although the written record of this activity is sparse. This was a period of increasing anti-Communism and conservatism and he came into increasing conflict with the student body. During this period, Anderson was also active in the W.E.A., especially the Newcastle branch centred around Harry Eddy. During 1950/51, the tension between John and the student body reached breaking point and after the cessation of the Freethought Society at the end of 1951, he was not formally involved with any political or educational organisation except for the university. From 1952 until his retirement, John’s intellectual interests became more general and historically inclined. Ruth Walker’s sabbatical in 1952 and his own in 1953, gave him more time for reading and writing and between 1952 and 1954 he wrote a number of significant articles and lectures across a wide range of subjects. In 1957 he became interested in the Orr case although there is no public record of him discussing the issue after his retirement in 1958. After his retirement, he continued his academic writing and in 1961 began preparing a collection of articles for publication. In that year, he was the subject of an attack by the Anglican Archbishop Dr. Gough which was widely reported in the daily press. In June 1962 he was presented with his portrait by Dobell and died the following month. Studies in Empirical Philosophy was published posthumously.