Philosopher – Musician

Sam McAuliffe is a philosopher and musician living in Melbourne, Australia. Sam is currently undertaking an interdisciplinary PhD at Monash University, working at the intersection of philosophical hermeneutics, improvisation, place/topology, and music performance. His work has been published in leading academic journals such as Organised SoundCritical HorizonsThe Journal of Aesthetic Education, and Jazz Perspectives. He has also contributed articles to journals and magazines such as the Daily Review and NiTRO. Sam has worked as musical director for experimental theatre productions, composed music for short films, has performed at major Australian art festivals, and regularly plays guitar in a variety of ensembles.


Sam’s philosophical thought is grounded primarily in the hermeneutical and phenomenological traditions. His work draws from thinkers including Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Donald Davidson, and Jeff Malpas. He is currently working on topics including: the situated character of musical performance, the improvisation of truth and understanding, hermeneutical ethics, and the relationship between language and music.