President Higgins call for ‘independent thought’

Joe Humphreys        –          Nov 27th 2012       –       The Irish Times

A new wave of “independent thought” and “emancipatory scholarship” is needed to deliver Ireland’s recovery, President Michael D Higgins has said.

Speaking at his enrolment today as a member of the Royal Irish Academy, the President said public intellectuals faced “a moral choice – to be part of a passive consensus that accepts an insufficient and failed model of life and economy or to seek to recover the possibility of alternative futures”.

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http://www.irishtimes.com/news/higgins-calls-for-independent-thought-1.751106

http://www.irishtimes.com/news/president-among-his-own-at-ria-ceremony-1.557656

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Finding out Ireland’s favourite philosophical saying

Joe Humphreys         –         Nov 15th (World Philosophy Day) 2012          –          The Irish Times

Philosophy Day video

Ireland has a reputation for anti-intellectualism. Even The Irish Times has (until now) failed to report the existence of World Philosophy Day, which is being celebrated internationally for the 10th time today. “You can’t plough a field by turning it over in your mind,” runs an old Irish proverb, and for many this sums up the value of philosophy: as it can’t be obviously monetised, it must be worthless.

“In France, people know their Marx, Freud and Camus; people will engage intelligently with each other,” says Paul O’Grady of TCD’s philosophy department.

“In a way, we have gone from a premodern to a postmodern society without a long period of modernity. We’ve gone from John Charles McQuaid to Father Ted without anything in between.”

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http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/art-and-design/i-think-in-aphorisms-therefore-i-am-irish-1.552095