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The first complete introduction to the subject ever published, A History of Irish Thought presents an inclusive survey of Irish thought and the history of Irish ideas against the backdrop of current political and social change in Ireland. Clearly written and engaging, the survey introduces an array of philosophers, polemicists, ideologists, satirists, scientists, poets and political and social reformers, from the anonymous seventh-century monk, the Irish Augustine, and John Scottus Eriugena, to the twentieth century and W.B. Yeats and Iris Murdoch. Thomas Duddy rediscovers the liveliest and most contested issues in the Irish past, and brings the history of Irish thought up to date. This volume will be of great value to anyone interested in Irish culture and its intellectual history.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415206921
ISBN-10: 0415206928
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 23mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 26-Apr-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » Even academics who would retreat in horror from the idea of cracking an Irish joke suffer, Duddy argues, from a tendency to underestimate the Irish as thinkers. According to him, they assume that unlike, say, France, Germany, England or Japan, Ireland lacks the 'continuities of culture, institution, and civic life that are the prerequisite for a national, ethnically distinctive intellectual history'. This book aims to make them reconsider. To do this, Duddy provides an ambitious intellectual history, stretching from the seventh century to the 20th. Along the way, we meet the Irish Augustine, who attempted to explain all the miracles in the Bible as God operating within, rather than violating, the laws of the universe; John Scottus Eriugena, who thought that reality could be interpreted in five different, mutually exclusive ways; Robert Boyle, who is included on the grounds that he had large landholdings in Ireland; a few famous names like George Berkeley and Jonathan Swift; and modern Princeton philosopher Philip Pettit, who makes a relatively convincing argument for supporting what he calls republicanism over liberalism. As this is a history of thought, rather than of writing (Ireland's credentials in the poetry department always having been widely known to be top notch), Wilde and Yeats, although present, get short shrift; and Joyce does not appear at all. This is a lucid, if somewhat dry, work of intellectual history that presents a number of intriguing capsule descriptions of its various thinkers. It is possible that 'Irish Thought' is a meaningless category in the first place, and Duddy's defence of it is one of the weakest points in the book. Nevertheless, it's a well-written and interesting textbook which should be of use to students of philosophy and Irish history. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Thomas Duddy

Thomas Duddy teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is author of Mind, Self and Interiority (1995).

Books By Author Thomas Duddy

Dictionary of Irish Philosophers by Thomas Duddy

Dictionary of Irish Philosophers

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History of Irish Thought by Thomas Duddy

A History of Irish Thought

Paperback, April 2002
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