A Day With Plato
Townley Hall - Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th June 2017

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A Day With Plato is a celebration of the wisdom of Socrates as handed down to us through the writings of Plato.

Why Justice?

The population of the world is over 7 billion people. Global household wealth including financial assets and debts, land, buildings are estimated to be worth $270 trillion. However half of this global wealth is owned by the richest 1%. The richest 10% account for 87% while the poorer half of the global population are left owning less than 1%.
Recent studies reveal that the level of equality or inequality in a society is a better indicator of its general health than the overall level of wealth or poverty.

"There is sufficient in the world for mans need but not his greed" - Mahatma Gandhi

The Roman Emperor Justinian - "Justice is the constant will to render to everyone their due"

This provides a working idea of justice as "a fair portion of knowledge, happiness, health, freedom and prosperity for everyone"

In celebrating our 30th year of a Day with Plato we travel to Plato's Republic Books I and II, where we encounter Socrates as he makes that connection between a just life and a happy life.

Is the Just person happier than the unjust person?

Socrates explores the questions: What is Justice? And how does it relate to happiness?

The dialogue is a fascinating journey in search of the just life, as Socrates considers, firstly, if might is right and then proceeds to a thought experiment which considers an ideal city state so that themes of justice can be further explored.

During the day we will get to meet Socrates in a live drama in a modern yet timeless setting. The dramatisation is especially written for this occasion, and is based on the arguments in Plato's Republic. Group discussions will allow us to discuss all of these issues for ourselves.

"Injustice can never be more profitable than justice. - Plato's Republic Book 1"

One-Day Programme

The one-day programme on Saturday 17th of June is repeated the following day, Sunday 18th of June.

09:30 Registration and refreshments
10.00 Plenary meeting in the library
           Chairman Mr. Michael Ryan
10.10 Introduction by Dr. David Horan
11.00 Discussion Groups
12.15 End Discussion Groups
           Break before lunch
12.30 Lunch
           Tea/coffee in Lower Rotunda
13.45 Resume Plenary Meeting
           in the library
14.30 Discussion Groups
15.30 Afternoon tea/coffee
           in the Lower Rotunda
16.00 Lecture by Dr. Camillus Power - "Why be just?"
           in the Library
17.00 Reception in Front Hall
17.30 Departure
           Coach to Dublin leaves from front door

Cultural Day
Townley Hall - 12th & 13th November 2016

This enjoyable event provides an opportunity to partake of four talks from eight on Saturday and from seven on Sunday. No previous knowledge of the subjects is required. Each talk is presented in an easily accessible manner designed to entertain and inform with time for questions and lively discussion.

The talks:

    The contribution of the Mediterranean culture of Greece and Rome to world civilisation is well documented. The legacy of a more rural clan based people, from North of the Alps, is less well understood. These people were the Celts. This talk will give you a truly fascinating insight into these people and their legacy.
    Speaker: Peadar O'Suilleabhain

    Download handout

    We explore together the calm genius of the famous creator of 'Girl with Pearl Earring' painted during the Dutch Golden Age. We take a new and fresh approach to reflect on Vermeer's master works. We ask, "How has Vermeer drawn on the brilliant science and philosophy of his equally remarkable and famous neighbours in Delft, Holland in his beautifully subtle portrayals of female presence".

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    Speaker: George Campbell

    Can we stand over being equal? Are we all different or fundamentally the same? Do our genes, the family we are born into or our environment determine our nature or can we change this by ourselves? If we are all so different, how can we talk about equality? These questions will be addressed in the light of ancient global wisdom and our current experience.
    Speaker: Rutger Kortenhorst

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    Explore the birth of the universe from one single point and mankind from one single cell. Discover the recurring theme of complex structures being derived from simple ingredients over billions of years. Hear how the exciting new field of quantum biology is currently unravelling some of the mysteries of the universe , life and consciousness. But most remarkable of all, learn how the ancient scriptures already described this wonder in the Laws of Manu.
    Speaker: Dr. Maria Donnelly

    What has My Fair Lady to do with Ovid? Ovid transformed Greek Mythology and it has inspired artists over the centuries. He was Shakespeare's favourite Latin poet and he took him out of the academy and put him on the popular stage where Ovid's work is interlaced throughout Shakespeare's plays. Bernini translated Ovid's mythological characters into stone. So how can his Metamorphosis inspire 21st Century generation?
    Speaker: Rosemary Fitzpatrick

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    Over this last summer the National Gallery of Ireland held for the first time an exhibition containing ten original drawings by Leonardo da Vinci. Thousands flocked to see these drawings.
    What held peoples' interest? How could drawings over 500 years old inspire, educate and entertain so many people? The secret lies not only in the content of these exquisite works but in the genius of the mind behind them. This talk as presented was part of the RDS Library Speaker Series and aims to illustrate how drawing is visual thinking, how Leonardo da Vinci witnessed the interconnectivity of the Universe and used that knowledge to demonstrate and create lasting works. In accessing his works we too can get a glimpse of how to use our minds through the practice of observation, recording and experimenting.
    Speaker: Siobhan Campbell

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    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Poisons and potions are the weapons of choice for many of Shakespeare's most iconic characters. Used to seduce lovers, kill enemies and gain power, nothing was too noxious for Shakespeare.Time, nature and primeval forces, all feature strongly in Shakespeare's extraordinary works of drama and poetry. This talk delves more deeply into his creative world of words showing why he would revel in today's scientific discoveries.
    N.B. Saturday only. Not available on Sunday.
    Speaker: Mary Telford`

    A program for all round healthmind, body and spirit to attain peak performance in all areas of our lives.
    What do the ancients have to say about the correlation between health, healing and spirituality? The healing arts were often considered to be of divine origin and under divine protection. It was well understood that in following a spiritual path, a healthy body was an important asset. Today we face new challenges. A plethora of lifestyle-related disorders as well as ecological disasters are putting our world at risk of becoming sicker than it has ever been before. Could we be missing something in our current mix of new-age thinking and consumer culture? This talk will explore how we might bring ancient wisdom to bear on our current situation.
    Speaker: Bruce De Ve

    Highly acclaimed international musicians, Aisling and Julie-Anne Manning, will perform a folk inspired programme featuring works by Kodaly, Ravel and Schulhoff.
    Musicians: Aisling & Julie-Anne Manning

For full details, download Cultural Day Brochure 2016

Advanced booking required.
Admission includes attendance at four talks, 3-course lunch, refreshment breaks, wine reception and car parking. (Bus available from the school - €16 return.)

See Cultural Day Booking Form Here

Please complete and return to:
   Cultural Day 2016, c/o School of Philosophy, 49 Northumberland Road, Dublin 4.
   telephone credit card details to 01 6603788 (Monday to Friday, office hours).

Townley Hall Open Day
Sunday 7th June 2015

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Townley Hall Open Day is an exploration of the architectural and social history of Townley Hall and the work of its architect, Francis Johnston.

Townley Hall and Francis Johnston (1760-1829)
Townley Hall, built between 1794 and 1798 for Blayney Townley Balfour III, is widely considered to be Francis Johnston's domestic masterpiece and has been described as the perfect neo-classical house. Francis Johnston is after Gandon and Pearce, the greatest name in Irish architecture. He left so much work and such evidence of versatility that his place cannot be disputed. Born in Armagh in 1760 he began training, at aged eighteen, under Thomas Cooley, architect to Archbishop Richard Robinson, and Samuel Spoule, architect to the Wide Street Commissioners. He became well established in Dublin in the early years of the nineteenth century winning commissions for St. George's Church, Hardwick Place and for the conversion of the Parliament to Bank of Ireland at College Green. Appointed Architect to the Board of Works in 1805, projects included the Chapel Royal, Dublin Castle, The General Post Office as well as numerous institutional Buildings. As one of the fourteen founding members of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1821, he financed the design and construction of its first premises on Abbey Street. Johnston died on 14th March 1829 and was interred in the burial grounds of St. George's Church on Whitworth Road.

The Exhibition
Exploring a selection of Francis Johnston's most significant projects through drawings, engravingsand archive photographs, the material for the exhibition is drawn from the collections of the Irish Architectural Archive, The National Library of Ireland, The Ulster Museum, The Royal Society of Antiquaries Ireland, An Post GPO Museum, The royal Institute of Architects of Ireland as well as the Country Life Photographic Archive.

The exhibition will also feature original portraits of the Townley and Townley Balfour family, paintings that once decorated the walls of the house. These works are on loan from a private collection for a rare public presentation.

For full details, download Townley Hall Open Day Brochure 2015

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Upcoming & Annual Events

Events and activities organised by the School of Philosophy:

A Day With Plato

at Townley Hall, Drogheda, Co. Louth
17th & 18th June 2017

A Day With Plato is a celebration of the wisdom of Socrates as handed down to us through the writings of Plato.
No prior knowledge of Plato is required. All that is needed is willingness to enter into the spirit of the day.

Admission: €50
includes buffet lunch, refreshments, wine reception and handouts.

Transport: €15
Return transport, leaving 49 Northumberland Road 08:30, leaving Townley Hall 17:30.

Book Online Now »

Cultural Day

at Townley Hall, Drogheda, Co. Louth
12 & 13 November 2016

This enjoyable event provides an opportunity to enjoy four interesting talks from eight talks on offer. No previous knowledge of the subjects is required. Each talk is presented in an easily accessible manner designed to entertain and inform with time for questions and lively discussion.

Admission: €50