Depiction in a 12th century manuscript of Donatus writing his grammar.
Posted in 1689 & earlier: Medieval and Early Modern

Sedulius Scottus: philosopher poet to princes

There could be no more appropriate Irish philosopher to write about at Easter than Sedulius Scottus, at least according to another Irish philosopher Dr George Sigerson. In 1922 Sigerson’s “The Easter song : being the first epic of Christendom, by Sedulius the first scholar-saint of Ireland” was published, and in the introduction to this partial translation of the  “Paschale Carmen” Sigerson stated that Sedulius who composed it was Irish1 While this was not a pure assumption on Sigerson’s part2, and the same attribution has been made before and since, modern scholars see no reason to assume an Irish origin for this 5th century writer3.

There is no such doubt about Sedulius Scottus, whose very name betrays his origins. (Though because nothing is ever simple, he is sometimes confused with another, slightly earlier Irish Sedulius, who is known only for a commentary on Matthew, and is sometimes called Sedulius Senior to avoid confusion4 (fl. 7th–8th cent.) Oxford Dictionary of National Biography].) 

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Posted in Post 1922: Contemporary

The Philosopher’s Bookclub on Flann O’Brien’s “The Third Policeman”

The Philosopher’s Bookclub on Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman, an episode of the Forum for Philosophy podcast featuring Clare MoriartyPaul Fagan and David Papineau. Recorded on Tuesday 25 February 2020 at Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE.
Stained glass depicting St Patrick preaching to the kings of Ireland
Posted in 1689 & earlier: Medieval and Early Modern Patrick

The Twelve Abuses and Mirrors for Princes

Patrick wrote two texts that we can still read today. The first is his Confessio, giving the story of his life and his mission in Ireland. The other, less well-known text is his Letter to the soldiers of Coroticus, in which Patrick roundly condemns their murder and capture of baptised Irish. He repudiates them as countrymen and calls for others to do likewise, and tells them what they can expect as Christians: “Riches, says Scripture, which a person gathers unjustly, will be vomited out of that person’s stomach. The angel of death will drag such a one away, to be crushed by the anger of dragons.”1

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Posted in Francis Hutcheson Triumfeminate

Hutcheson’s Labours Lost?

Th’ internal Senses painted here we see:
They’re born in others, but they live in thee.
O were our Author with thy Converse blest,
Could he behold the Virtues, of thy Breast;
His needless Labours with Contempt he’d view;
And bid the World not read — but copy you!

Constantina Grierson “To the Honourable Mrs. Percival, 
with Hutcheson’s Treatise on Beauty and Order.” Eighteenth Century Poetry Archive

For International Women’s Day, one Irish woman praising another.

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Posted in Iris Murdoch

Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real.

Art and morals are…one. Their essence is the same. The essence of both of them is Love. Love is the perception of individuals. Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real. Love, and so art and morals, is the discovery of reality.

Iris Murdoch (1959) “The Sublime and the Good” Chicago Review Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 42-55. See page 51.