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Philosophy

About Philosophy

What is philosophy? A question that is asked by many beginning their studies at Carlow College St Patrick’s, whether it be on the ‘Arts and Humanities’ degree, the ‘Philosophy, Politics and Sociology’ or the ‘Social, Political and Community Studies’ degrees as philosophy plays a significant role in all of them. 

At its very basic level philosophy is the ‘why‘ question. In philosophy at Carlow College, you will experience modules that ask the fun and difficult big questions, from, ‘does the universe have a meaning?’ to does my life have meaning? But we believe that philosophy must be relevant to you in the modern world, and so we have a particular focus on social and political philosophy here at Carlow College. 

Wwill discuss the always pressing issue of human rights in ‘Human Rights: Philosophical approach’, the ever important issue of our relationship to animals in our ‘Humans and Other Animals’ modules and perhaps one of the most significant issues of our generation: feminism and the role of women in society in ‘Feminist Political Philosophy’.     

At Carlow College, philosophy is involved in activities both inside and outside the classroom. Philosopher Dr Noel Kavanagh offers workshops for both teachersstudents, community activists and beyond on P4C/A (Philosophy for Children/Adults). He also brings P4C to the classrooms of secondary schools regularly!

Students in Dr Sarah Otten’s Political Philosophy class developed a play about political power, ‘The Agora’ and preformed it in the public space of the Institute of Technology, Carlow, as part of a larger joint project called ‘Here Together’, in December 2018.  We held one of the largest conferences in Europe on the issue of our relationship with the animal in ourHumans & Other Animals’ conference in Nov 2017. There is also an active and vibrant Philosophy Society in the college that is always ready to discuss the major issues of the day!   

Sounds lovely but what can I ‘do’ with philosophy? 

A Philosophy component to your degree provides you with the innovative critical reasoning that employers are increasingly finding attractive in graduates. Philosophy provides the kind of degree that can be applied across a range of jobs. More and more research is showing that the philosophy graduate is seen as a very attractive option for a range of employers, both large and small. Philosophy students from Carlow have gone on to study Philosophy, Film Studies, International peace Studies and Literature to both MA and PhD levels nationally and internationally. Carlow College philosophy students have also been highly successful in gaining employment in a range of careers from media and marketing to education and a wide variety of jobs in the corporate sector. Philosophy at Carlow College is also the regional leader in P4C, training people to introduce philosophy at primary and secondary level and to use the philosophical way of thinking in business, conflict resolution, community development and politics. This means that it is a distinct advantage for a career in teaching and beyond.  

A SELECTION OF CARLOW COLLEGE ST PATRICK’S PHILOSOPHY MODULES 

Ancient Greek Philosophy

Feminist Political Thought

Ethics

Philosophy of Religion

Existentialist Literature

Human Rights: A Philosophical Approach

Meet Your Lecturers

Dr Noel Kavanagh

Lecturer in Philosophy

059 915 3224

Dr Sarah Otten

Lecturer in Philosophy

059 915 3227

Dr. Anthony Barron McGrath

Lecturer in Humanities

059 915 3200

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