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Message from Michael D. Higgins for World Philosophy Day 2019

Date: Thu 21st Nov, 2019 | 11:36

In a statement issued today from Áras an Uachtaráin, President Higgins suggested that marking World Philosophy Day 2019 had a special significance this year in terms of both the challenges and opportunities 2019 and the years to follow offer. 


“There is a serious return of militarism, conflict, old divisions revived, new conflicts found, weakening of diplomacy and undermining of multi-lateralism, yet there is too, and it is a source of hope, a perceptible acknowledgement that wherever we live we must change our connection between economy, society and ecology, and there is an encouraging inter-generational support for those changes we must make together.

Today, as the world marks World Philosophy Day, we are invited to remind ourselves of the importance of creative thought and critical thinking, as core values of our society, as informing principles of the lives we live together on a vulnerable planet, and of the need to care for it and each other.

As our societies are increasingly struggling with the impacts of information overload and at times deliberate disinformation, the need to be able to distinguish between information, knowledge and understanding has become ever clearer.

World Philosophy Day reminds us too of the connection between forms and sources of ethics and knowledge, of the value of a critical eye, a well-placed question, by celebrating the ability not only to wonder, query and challenge, but also reflect and respect the viewpoints of others, and to see the value of not allowing false certainties defeat attempts of discovering the multiplicity of insights that are in the narratives of the world.

The benefits and great relevance of philosophy to our contemporary circumstances, and of binding our insights together are so obvious. Let us together resolve to work for a connection between our thoughts, ethics, words, actions, and relationships, seek to put an end to aggression in words and violence in all its forms.

Let us renew our efforts across cultures and histories to build a world no longer scarred by global poverty, deep inequalities, exclusions and vulnerabilities, and build a harmony we can achieve together.”



Michael D. Higgins
Thursday, 21st November 2019