Philosophy to be or not to be in schools?

Fri, Aug 2, 2013, 01:05

Sir, – Steven Lydon’s article (Opinion, August 1st) in support of philosophy as a formal subject in our secondary schools is very much to be welcomed.

One definition of evil is absence of thought.Much of the injustice and corruption in society is the result of either lack of thought or woolly thinking. Mr Lydon mentions some European countries which have philosophy as a subject in their secondary schools. Personally, I admire Quebec, where philosophy is studied by all in the two years between secondary school and third-level. Discussions of the problems faced by Irish society, ranging from suicide to rampant individualism, point to a transcendental lack of direction and a consequent confusion of values.

While studying philosophy in itself will not solve our problems, it would at least provide some of the tools necessary for acquiring the wisdom we all need to understand life. I hope Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn does something to redeem this utilitarian Government by doing something unquantifiably imaginative: deciding to include philosophy as a subject in Irish secondary schools. – Yours, etc,

DONAL DEASY,

Granville Avenue,

Richmond,

British Columbia,

Canada.