Philosophy

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Barlow, James William

Barlow, James William (1826–1913), historian and writer, was born 21 October 1826 in Co. Dublin, eldest son of the Rev. William Barlow and Catherine Barlow (née Disney). He was marked by his mother’s unhappiness: as a young woman she had been in love with…

Barrett, (Denis) Cyril

Barrett, (Denis) Cyril (1925–2003), Jesuit priest, art critic and historian, and philosopher, was born Denis Barrett in Dublin on 9 May 1925 (Cyril was his name in religion). He was the son of Denis Barrett, the last assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. His…

Berkeley, George

Berkeley, George (1685–1753), philosopher and Church of Ireland bishop of Cloyne, was born 12 March 1685 in or near Kilkenny city, and spent his childhood at Dysart Castle, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny. Little is known of his parents other than that his father, William Berkeley, came to…

Burke, Edmund

Burke, Edmund (1730–97), politician and philosopher, was born 12 January 1730 (per the Gregorian calendar) in Dublin, second son among four surviving children of Richard Burke (d. 1761), an attorney of the court of exchequer, and his wife Mary (c.1702–1770), fourth child and…

Butler, William Archer

Butler, William Archer (1812?–1848), clergyman and professor of moral philosophy, was second son of Pierce Archer Butler and Anna Maria Butler (née Gallwey); their seven children were brought up as Roman Catholics by their mother, though the father, who had several times been…

Carpenter, Nathanael

Carpenter, Nathanael (1589–1628), scholar and clergyman, was born 7 February 1589 in Northleigh, Devon, England, where his father, John Carpenter (d. 1621), had a living as a clergyman. No details of his mother are known. He matriculated (June 1605) at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and…

Coffey, Peter

Coffey, Peter (1876–1943), priest and professor ofphilosophy, was born 27 April 1876 in Rathrone, Enfield, Co. Meath, son of Andrew Coffey, farmer, and Bridget Coffey (née Cosgrove). Educated at the model school, Trim, the diocesan seminary, Navan, and St Patrick's College,…

Corkery, Daniel

Corkery, Daniel (Ó Corcora, Domhnall ) (1878–1964), writer, cultural philosopher, and literary critic, was born 14 February 1878 at Gardiner's Hill, Cork city, one of five children of William Corkery and Mary Corkery (née Barron). The Corkerys were of carpentering stock for four or…

Cousins, James Henry Sproull

Cousins, James Henry Sproull (1873–1956), writer, teacher, and theosophist, was born 22 July 1873 in Cavour Street, Belfast, the eldest child of James Cousins, a deep-sea mariner of Glastry, Co. Down, and Susan Cousins (née Davey), of Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim. Educated at a…

Cousins, Margaret (‘Gretta’) Elizabeth

Cousins, Margaret (‘Gretta’) Elizabeth (1878–1954), suffragist, educator, and theosophist, was born 7 November 1878 in Boyle, Co. Roscommon, eldest of fifteen children of Joseph Gillespie , petty sessions clerk, and Margaret Annie Gillespie (née Shera). Brought up in a unionist and…

Gowan, Thomas

Gowan, Thomas (1631–83), presbyterian minister and philosophy teacher, was born in Caldermuir, Scotland, an undeveloped region on the western border of Edinburghshire. His parentage is not known. He studied at the College of Edinburgh, where he graduated…

Graham, William

Graham, William (1839–1911), academic, writer, philosopher, and economist, was born at Saintfield, Co. Down, son of Alexander Graham, farmer and horse-dealer, and Maria Graham (née Crawford). Educated at the Educational Institute, Dundalk, on a scholarship, he later worked as a…

Heitler, Walter

Heitler, Walter (1904–81), theoretical physicist and philosopher, was born 2 January 1904 in Karlsruhe, Baden, Germany, son of Adolf Heitler, a Jewish engineering professor, and Ottilie Heitler (née Rudolf ). His largely classical early education left him with a lifelong interest…

Hennig, Paul Gottfried Johannes (John)

Hennig, Paul Gottfried Johannes (John) (1911–86), scholar and businessman, was born 3 March 1911 in Leipzig, Germany, fourth of five children of Fürchtegott Max Hennig, protestant theologian and teacher, and his wife Berta Johanna (neé Clemen) who was from a family of distinguished…

Hurley, Michael Anthony

Hurley, Michael Anthony (1923–2011), ecumenist and theologian, was born on 10 May 1923 in Ardmore, Co. Waterford, the eldest of four children (two boys and two girls) of Michael Hurley, a small businessman, and his wife Johanna (née Foley), who kept a guest house. He won a…

Hutcheson, Francis

Hutcheson, Francis (1694–1746), philosopher, was born 8 August 1694 in Drumalig, Co. Down, second among three sons of John Hutcheson – at the time presbyterian minister of Downpatrick – and his first wife, the daughter of an army officer, James Trail of Killyleagh. The Hutcheson…

John Scottus Eriugena

John Scottus Eriugena (c.810–70×880), theologian. We know little about Eriugena's life: c.810 is conjectured as his date of birth, and between 870 and 880 fits with what we know for his date of death. We know he was born in Ireland: scottus was commonly…

Kavanagh, James Blake

Kavanagh, James Blake (1822–86), priest, nationalist, and philosophical and scientific writer, was born in Kilballyowen, in the parish of Killaveny, Co. Wicklow, son of Thomas Kavanagh and Mary Kavanagh (née McDonald). He received his early education at St Peter's College, Wexford…

Lewis, Clive Staples (‘Jack’)

Lewis, Clive Staples (‘Jack’) (1898–1963), writer, scholar, and Christian apologist, was born 29 November 1898 in Dundela Villas, Belfast, the younger son of Albert James Lewis, police solicitor and unionist activist, and his wife, Florence (Flora) Augusta, daughter of the Rev.…

Luce, Arthur Aston

Luce, Arthur Aston (1882–1977), clergyman and philosophy professor, was born 21 August 1882 in Gloucester, England, seventh son of the Rev. John James Luce, vicar of St Nicholas church, Gloucester. He was educated initially at Eastbourne College and graduated from…

Maher, Michael

Maher, Michael (1860–1918), Jesuit priest, philosopher, and psychologist, was born 29 April 1850 in Church St., Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow. Educated at the school of Mr Conwell in Leighlinbridge, he later entered the Jesuit college at Tullabeg, King's Co., where his uncle, Fr…

McCosh, James

McCosh, James (1811–94), presbyterian minister, philosopher, and academic, was born 1 April 1811, near Patna, Ayrshire, Scotland, second and only surviving son and fifth child of seven born to Andrew McCosh, farmer, and Jean Carson, his wife. Educated at the local parish school,…

Meredith, James Creed

Meredith, James Creed (1875–1942), judge of the supreme court and writer, was born in Dublin, son of Sir James Creed Meredith, secretary of the Royal University of Ireland from 1880 to 1909, and his third wife, Nellie (née Graves). He had three brothers and two sisters. He began…

Monck, William Henry Stanley

Monck, William Henry Stanley (1839–1915), philosopher and astronomer, was born 21 April 1839 at Skeirke, Queen's Co. (Laois), third son of Thomas Stanley Monck, curate of Skeirke 1829–50, and Lydia Elinor Monck (née Kennedy). The family moved (1850) to Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny,…

Moore, Michael

Moore, Michael (c.1639–1726), priest, philosopher and educationist, was born in Bridge St., Dublin, son of Andrew Moore and Mary Moore (née Dowdall) of Mountown (Monktown, Co. Meath). In the 1650s Moore travelled to Nantes, where he received an education in the humanities…