John Anderson’s articles and addresses fall into two broad groups. In the decade from 1927 to 1937, Anderson was prolific in both his academic writing and addresses to student societies and these writings are extensively documented. All his published philosophy can be found in the pages of the Australasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy, of which he was editor from 1935 to 1946. His Freethought and Literary Society addresses were reported regularly in both the Union Recorder and Honi Soit. The reports for the Recorder were submitted by the secretary of the society and were either written by Anderson himself or by a student who had taken detailed notes and probably submitted the report to Anderson for vetting. The reports for Honi Soit were of variable quality depending on who was on the editorial staff of the paper. There were no known Andersonians on the staff during the thirties. Anderson’s political articles are found primarily in the Workers Weekly, The Communist, and The Militant, although there are also extensive handwritten addresses, articles, and letters on politics in Anderson’s hand in the University Archives. While it is still too early to say that there is a complete list of his intellectual activity during this period, there is an excellent representative sample of his work for this decade available in published form. Four fifths of the articles and addresses in Studies in Empirical Philosophy, Art and Reality and A Perilous and Fighting Life were written in the thirties. One dominant feature of almost any year during the thirties is that one will find a presidential address to the Freethought Society, a presidential address to the Literary Society, an article for a radical political journal, and an important article for the AJPP.
After 1939, John’s academic writing began to fall away, and, after 1943, stopped completely for another nine years. Similarly his addresses to student societies also decreased in number although there was a brief flurry of activity in the years immediately following the end of the war until the end of the Freethought Society in 1951. His academic articles became more regular after 1952, although his addresses to students occurred only occasionally after that time. Even though Anderson’s intellectual output was regular from his return from sabbatical in 1939 until his death, there is very little published work available from this period. Only one fifth of Studies, Art and Reality and A Perilous and Fighting Life contain articles or addresses from this period and even if we include the articles collected for Education and Inquiry, the situation does not improve significantly. Hence, any assessment of Anderson’s thinking based only on his published work will be biased heavily towards his writings of the thirties when he was in his late thirties and early forties. Given that he continued writing until he was sixty eight, this emphasis overlooks some of his most developed writings.