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Message from Michael D. Higgins for World Philosophy Day 2020

Date: Thu 19th Nov, 2020 | 08:30

In a statement issued today from Áras an Uachtaráin, President Higgins suggested that marking World Philosophy Day 2020 had a special significance, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.


“The spread of the Coronavirus has had profound and devastating consequences for people across the world, with many people losing their lives, or losing family members, and many more being deeply affected by the measures necessary to combat the spread of the virus.

As President of Ireland, I want to express my sympathies with everyone who has had their lives so deeply affected by the pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us of our shared vulnerabilities and of the importance of the decisions we make, as individuals and as societies.

On this World Philosophy Day, the meaning of values such as Solidarity, Compassion, Care and Kindness, has a special significance. In the present situation, there is a renewed urgency about all the questions regarding the ethical basis of the policies and actions we advocate in addressing the pandemic, and how we might respond.

Today, on United Nations ‘World Philosophy Day’, let us reflect and draw from the lessons to be learned from the Covid-19 pandemic, the questions it raises about how we might best organise our lives together, and in such a way that we care better for each other and for our vulnerable planet.

World Philosophy Day invites us to celebrate those who are working to promote greater reflection and debate about ethics, and who celebrate creative thought and critical thinking as core values of our society, now and into the future.

How we use, abuse or neglect philosophy affects everything.”