Brian O’Connor -- Podcast interviews on his book Idleness: A Philosophical Essay (Princeton UP, 2018)

(1) Give and Take (1 September 2018):

(2) New Books in Philosophy (31 August 2018):

(3) The Hedgehog and the Fox (10 August 2018)


Truth to be Told: Understanding Truth in the Age of Post-Truth Politics

‘Truth to be Told’ is a UCD Humanities Institute public lecture series in response to the emergence of what is called a ‘post-factual’ world in which trustworthy models of discursive truth have been derided as old-fashioned, elitist and authoritarian.

Responding to a crisis of truth and democracy, this lecture series aims to debate the socio-political, ethical, discursive and cultural implications of truth as a common good. Public lectures by internationally renowned speakers will examine some of the following topics: truth and the law, truth in stories, truth and memory, truth in history, truth within institutions, truth and the media, truth in art.

LECTURE 6: Thursday, 13 September 2018 at 5.30pm

Humanities Institute Seminar Room H204 (top floor)

Professor Philip Kitcher

John Dewey Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University 

Truth and Science 

Professor Kitcher went to Christ’s College Cambridge to study mathematics. After leaving Cambridge, he went to Princeton University, where he obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy/history and philosophy of science. Since then, he has taught at Vassar College, the University of Vermont, the University of Minnesota, the University of California at San Diego, and, most recently at Columbia. His principal interests have been in the philosophy of science. After working on the philosophy of mathematics early in his career, he began to write on issues in the philosophy of biology and in general philosophy of science. He is currently interested in the ethical and political constraints on scientific research, the evolution of altruism and morality, and the apparent conflict between science and religion. His principal current research projects focus on pragmatism, and on issues in philosophy in/and/of literature.  

Book publications include: Science, Truth, and Democracy, Oxford University Press, 2001; paperback 2003; in a Democratic Society, Prometheus Books, 2011; Philosophy of Science: A New Introduction (co-authored with Gillian Barker); Oxford University Press, 2013; Life After Faith: The Case for Secular Humanism, Yale University Press, 2014.


Please register for the event by clicking here.

Seminar by Professor Philip Kitcher
UCD School of Philosophy
Friday September 14, 11 am

Agnes Cuming Seminar Room 

D522, School of Philosophy 
Newman Building

"Moral Progress"
To attend this seminar please send an email to with the subject heading Philip Kitcher.
Background reading will be sent to all registered attendees
Registration for both events is essential


17-19 January 2019

Conference Medical Ethics and Law at the End of Life

Recruiting for one fully funded PhD supervised by Assoc. Prof. Dragos Calma in his ERC project NeoplAT   

Dr Dragos Calma, Associate Professor at University College Dublin, School of Philosophy,

is recruiting one PhD student for his European Research Council Consolidator Grant
Neoplatonism and Abrahamic Traditions. A Comparative Analysis of the Middle East,
Byzantium and the Latin West (9th-16th Centuries)
. This position is fully funded by the European
Research Council under the Horizon 2020 research framework programme.

Funding for: one PhD position, up to 48 months 

Funding amount comprises: 

  • Annual stipend: €17,000
  • Annual fee at EU Level (currently at €6,170)
  • Annual eligible research and travel expenses up to €2,250 

Start dates for the PhD :  January or May 2019 [with option for September 2019]

Description of the ERC Project. 

The project, running until May 2023, offers a fresh and thoroughly documented account of the impact of Pagan Neoplatonism on the Abrahamic traditions. It focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on the Elements of Theology of Proclus (fifth century) which occupies a unique place in the history of thought. Together with its ninth-century Arabic adaptation, the Book of Causes, it has been translated, adapted, refuted and commented upon by Muslim, Jewish and Christian thinkers across centuries, up to the dawn of modernity. This project radically challenges the conservative narratives both by analysing invaluable, previously ignored resources and by developing an innovative comparative approach that embraces a variety of research methods and disciplines. Based on fundamental archival examinations in underused library collections, the project aims (1) to continue identifying new Arabic and Latin manuscripts representing a largely unknown intellectual heritage; (2) to retrace the scholarly networks by which Neoplatonism was transmitted between the Middle East, Byzantium and the Latin West; (3) to analyse the impact of Proclus on the history of metaphysics and on the relations between philosophy and theology within the Abrahamic traditions. 

Structure of the PhD

Doctoral studies at UCD usually comprise four years. During the first year the student is required to acquire 30 credits through core and optional modules available within the School of Philosophy, across the university or in collaboration with Trinity College, Dublin. For a full description please refer to UCD Structured PhD. 

Description of the PhD Thesis.

The main topic of the PhD thesis should be one of the following subjects, but it is not limited to them: 

  • Study of the influence of Proclean metaphysics on the Latin West (13th-16thCenturies)
  • Study of the influence of Arabic Neoplatonic texts on the Latin West (12th-16thCenturies)
  • Analysis of a Latin commentary on the Book of Causesor on the Elements of Theology
  • Partial or complete critical edition of a previously unpublished Latin commentary on the Book of Causesor on the Elements of Theology 

The successful PhD candidate will work on the Western Medieval tradition under the supervision of Dr Dragos Calma, and in collaboration with an international research team that comprises scholars from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and the United States. 


Applications are invited from talented candidates holding or currently completing a research Master’s degree in Philosophy or relevant cognate subjects such as Classics or Medieval History. We are looking for applicants who have: 

  • Background in the history of philosophy
  • Experience with reading Scholastic texts
  • Good knowledge of Latin
  • Interest in the history of ideas
  • Good scientific writing and planning skills
  • Excellent command of spoken and written English [an internationally recognised English Language Test may be required]. Knowledge of French, Italian, German or Spanish is considered an asset. 

How to Apply.

The application comprises: a detailed CV, your university transcripts (BA, MAs), letter of intention, written sample such master thesis or/and any publications [preferable in English], a research project and two reference letters. The applications should be sent to Sinead Gillen at


Closing date for applications: 28 August 2018 (24:00 GMT+1). 

Interviews for the shortlisted candidates will be held at the beginning of October 





UCD School of Philosophy

Dragos Calma 

Dr Dragos Calma (Clare College Cambridge), a recipient of ERC Consolidator Grant, joins UCD School of Philosophy


UCD School of Philosophy is pleased to announce that Dr Dragos Calma (Clare College Cambridge), a recipient of a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant for the project Neoplatonism and Abrahamic Traditions, is joining the School as an Associate Professor in History of Medieval Philosophy.


The ERC grant of €1,992,643 (2018-2023) will enable Dr Calma and his team of researchers in UCD to show the ways in which ideas drawing from the Pagan Hellenic philosophical school of Neoplatonism (in particular a fifth century text by Proclus called Elements of Theology) influenced the history of rationality in the Abrahamic traditions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). By showing the connections between the original Greek text and the work of Arabic scholars in ninth century Baghdad, the Byzantine authors of the twelfth century, the Latin scholars at the University of Krakow in the fifteenth century at the time of Copernicus, and the Italian Renaissance of Marsilio Ficino, the project aims to reassess the connections between philosophical thinking across different historical periods and cultural traditions.


Dr Calma’s appointment  will ensure the continued strength of UCD in a field where there had been a long tradition of scholarship and research excellence. The activities of Dr Calma and his team, with their focus on the transnational impact and legacies of Neoplatonic thought across medieval Middle East and Europe, re-affirms UCD’s commitment to excellence in this  internationally significant field.


Dragos Calma is a historian of Western philosophy of the medieval period, with particular strength in metaphysics, theories of the soul and paleography. He studied philosophy at the University “Babes-Bolyai” in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (BA in 2001), at the École normale supérieure, Paris (2001-2003) at the University Panthéon-Sorbonne (MA in 2002) and University of Sorbonne (MPhil in 2003, PhD in 2008). Prior to joining the UCD School of Philosophy, he has held fellowships at the University of Sorbonne (the Fritz Thyssen Foundation), the Warburg Institute (the A.W. Mellon Foundation), the University of Bonn (the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation) and the University of Cambridge (the British Academy and the Royal Society). He has directed major research grants awarded by the Romanian National Council at the University “Babes-Bolyai” (2011-2016) and the French National Research Agency at the École pratique des hautes études (2013-2017). For his previous work on Medieval Neoplatonism he was awarded the Friederich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2018).


Dr Calma is the author of Études sur le premier siècle de l’averroïsme latin. Approches et textes inédits (Turnhout, Brepols, 2011) and Le poids de la citation. Étude sur les sources arabes et grecques dans l'œuvre de Dietrich de Freiberg (Fribourg, Academic Press 2010). He edited or co-edited seven volumes, most recently (with Z. Kaluza) Regards sur les traditions philosophiques (XIIe-XVIe siècles),  (Leuven University Press, 2017). He has authored and co-authored numerous articles and book chapters, most recently 'Adam of Bocfeld or Roger Bacon? New Remarks on a Commentary on the Book of Causes', Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales, 2018.


Further information on Dr Calma, his research and publication, is available here

We are pleased to announce:

New MA in Theory and Practice

Two PhD Scholarships

Two MA Newman Scholarships


We're delighted to welcome Dr Paul Giladi to the UCD School of Philosophy as a Teaching & Research Fellow for 2017-18.


New free ebook:  Prof Susan Haack's 2016 Agnes Cuming Lectures are now available as an ebook.


In memorium: Desmond Connell.

The death has taken place on 21 February 2017 of His Eminence Cardinal Desmond Connell, Professor Emeritus of Metaphysics, University College Dublin. Prof Connell lectured in UCD from 1953 to 1988. He was appointed Chair of General Metaphysics in 1972. In 1988 he left UCD to take up the role of Archbishop of Dublin. He was later appointed Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2001.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. May he rest in peace.





Events in 2018

See here for the list of visiting speakers this semester.

23 April 2018

President of FISP Prof. Dermot Moran visit to Nankai University

27 April 2018

Husserl Memorial Lecture 2018

17-19 May 2018

SWIP Ireland Annual Conference 

 21 May 2018

Workshop on Language, Reference and Meaning with Professor Stephen Yablo, MIT


June 6-9 2018 Three Day Multidisciplinary Conference "The Inhuman Gaze" to be held in Paris, France

The Inhuman Gaze


June 15-16 2018 Workshop 'The Relationship betweeen Aristotle's Eudemian and Nicomachean Ethics'

Provisional Programme Aristotle's Ethics details and Aristotle's Ethics Conference Poster

September 27 & 28 2018 Agency in Early Modern Philosophy



Events in 2017

Events in 2016

Events in 2015

Events in 2014

Events in 2013

Events in 2012

Events in 2011 and earlier