Teaching philosophy in schools, and promoting it in society, is urgently needed to enable citizens “to discriminate between truthful language and illusory rhetoric”, President Michael D Higgins has said.
Speaking at a function at Áras an Uachtaráin to mark World Philosophy Day, which fell this week, the President expressed concern about an “an anti-intellectualism that has fed a populism among the insecure and the excluded”.
Amid claims that we have entered a “post-truth” society, he asked how we might together and individually contribute to a “reflective atmosphere in the classrooms, in our media, in our public space”.
“The dissemination, at all levels of society, of the tools, language and methods of philosophical enquiry can, I believe, provide a meaningful component in any concerted attempt at offering a long-term and holistic response to our current predicament.”
“The teaching of philosophy is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to empower children into acting as free and responsible subjects in an ever more complex, interconnected and uncertain world,” Mr Higgins said.
“A new politics of fear, resentment and prejudice against those who are not ‘like us’ requires the capacity to critique, which an early exposure to the themes and methods of philosophy can bring.”(From: “Teach philosophy to heal our ‘post-truth’ society, says President Higgins,” The Irish Times [2016-11-19].)
Also recently in Ireland, Irish Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin spoke out with appropriate moral indignation against the Trump victory in last week’s U.S. election (despite receiving 1.6 million fewer votes than Clinton according to the most recent tally). His speech on November 10th was excellent. Watch it!
Erin go bragh!