Welcome. The study of philosophy has always been strong at Maynooth, since the foundation of St Patrick’s College in 1795. Today, the Philosophy Department of Maynooth University strives to cover the Western philosophical tradition as a whole, from its beginnings in ancient Greece, through the medieval and modern periods, right into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The department has particular depth in medieval and Renaissance thought, on the one hand, and contemporary Continental philosophy, on the other.

Departmental Vision. Socrates annoyed his fellow Athenian citizens to such an extent that they sentenced him to death—for impiety and corruption of the youth. Philosophy can be an uncomfortable enterprise, questioning prejudices and challenging people to come up with better answers than those provided by the unexamined assumptions that pervade everyday life. However, in addition to its critical function philosophy also has a constructive one. Philosophy tries to generate answers to some of the ‘big questions’ that, sooner or later, arise in every human life: What is happiness? What is the meaning of it all? Can we know the truth, or are different worldviews just a matter of opinion? Why do intelligent people often differ fundamentally in the way they see reality? Is there a god? Philosophy, then, is a quest for wisdom regarding the fundamental principles of human life and reality. That it is a quest implies that it is an ongoing search. All the members of our Department are engaged in this search. The answers they give differ. Welcome to philosophy!

 

LEAGAN GAEILGE
 

Fáilte. Is fada bonn láidir faoin fhealsúnacht i Má Nuad ó bunaíodh Coláiste Phádraig in 1795. San am i láthair, féachann Roinn Fealsúnachta Ollscoil Mhá Nuad le plé a dhéanamh ar thraidisiún fealsúnachta an Iarthair ina iomláine, idir a thús sa tSean-Ghréig, thréimhsí na Meánaoise agus na Nua-aoise anuas go dtí an fichiú haois agus an t-aonú haois is fiche féin. Tá saineolas ar leith ag lucht na Roinne ar smaointeachas na Meánaoise agus an Renaissance, ar thaobh amháin, agus ar fhealsúnacht chomhaimseartha na Mór-Roinne ar an taobh eile.

Fís na Roinne. Chuir Socrates an oiread sin oilc ar a chomhshaoránaigh san Aithin gur ghearr siad pionós an bháis air – as míchráifeacht agus as truailliú na hóige. Is tionscnamh míshuaimhneach í an fhealsúnacht ar uairibh, ina dtugtar dúshlán don réamhchlaonadh ionas go lorgóidh an duine freagraí níos fearr ná na tuiscintí gan cheistiú a fhaightear go hiondúil sa saol laethúil. Mar sin féin, má tá feidhm chriticiúil ag an fhealsúnacht, tá feidhm chuiditheach aici fosta. Féachtar san fhealsúnacht le freagraí a thabhairt ar chuid de na 'ceisteanna móra' a chastar orainn luath nó mall i saol an duine. Cad is sonas ann? Cad is brí leis an saol trí chéile? An féidir eolas a chur ar an fhírinne, nó an bhfuil a bhailíocht féin ag gach saoldearcadh? Cad chuige ar minic difear suntasach idir an dóigh a dtuigeann daoine meabhracha an réaltacht? An ann do dhia? Is é atá san fhealsúnacht, mar sin, lorgaireacht na gaoise maidir le bunphrionsabail shaol an duine agus na réaltachta. Mar is dual don lorgaireacht, is lorgaireacht leanúnach í seo. Tá baill uile na Roinne páirteach sa lorgaireacht seo. Ní hionann na freagraí a thugann siad. Sin agat an fhealsúnacht, fáilte romhat isteach!