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