In Memoriam: Thomas Duddy

Thomas Duddy, philosopher, teacher and poet, died on this day last year (15th June, 2012), aged 62.

Frequent readers of this blog will know that Dr Tom Duddy is something of a patron saint of this site. His Dictionary of Irish Philosophers (2004) is used both for selection and information purposes. Within its pages are many forgotten thinkers, some deservedly, some rewarding a second look. His History of Irish Thought(2002), described as “strikingly original and sorely needed” by Terry Eagleton, is a wonderful survey of Irish thought and thinkers from the 7th to the 20th century. He also edited two important anthologies of Irish writing on philosophical questions, Irish Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century (2002) and The Irish Response to Darwinism (2003).

Born in Ramolin near Shrule, Co Mayo, he studied English and philosophy in University College Galway (now National University of Ireland, Galway). His graduate studies in philosophy focused on philosophy of mind, publishing Mind, Self and Interiority, “a critique of the indiscriminate anti-Cartesianism of contemporary philosophy of mind” in 1995. As well as his work in Irish philosophy, he also wrote on the question of morality and the environment, and on the visual arts. He was senior lecturer in the department of philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Thoughout his life, he wrote poetry, publishing his first poem while still in his teens. His work has appeared in Magma, Poetry Ireland Review, Smiths Knoll, The Dark Horse, The Frogmore Papers, and The Rialto and was anthologised in Best of Irish Poetry (2007 and 2010) and The Forward Book of Poetry (2011). He also published two books of his poems, The Small Hours (2006) and The Hiding Place (2011). The latter was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry and the Aldeburgh First Collection Award.

His website for poetry is still online. The recording below is from that site, and is of Tom Duddy reading his poem, Quiet Country Still.

Reader, if you seek his monument – look around you.

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3 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Thomas Duddy

  1. Tom gave private lessons to the Redemptorist students of Cluain Mhuire, Galway who attended the occasional degree course, Philosophy in UCG. He helped navigate us through Aristotle, Kant’s critique of pure reason and the mysteries of Metaphysics. He had a huge impact on me personally in that he was a kind, honest and utterly engaging, although shy, human being. I will never forget him. Sadly only now am I learning of his death. Thank you Tom for inspiring me to love philosophy when others could not and for sharing your story and struggles in life to the class of 84. Sincerely, Mark

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