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”.


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.”