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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