Philosophy Ireland Ambassadors


Joe Humphreys


Aislinn O'Donnell

Joe Humphreys is Education Correspondent with The Irish Times, for which he also contributes the weekly ‘Unthinkable’ philosophy column. An MA graduate in political philosophy, he has explored through his journalism the potential for introducing philosophy in Irish schools. He is also the author on books on the ethics of sport ('Foul Play: What's Wrong with Sport'), the shared teachings of world religions ('The Story of Virtue') and a history of the Irish missionary movement ‘God’s Entrepreneurs: How Irish Missionaries Tried to Change the World'. 

Joe endorses the views of Massimo Pigliucci's reflections on his secondary school days in Italy, in the Unthinkable column:"I personally found it one of the most formative courses of my entire school career because when you’re doing it you’re wondering ,‘Why should I care what Plato wrote 2,400 years ago?’ but it does give you a big picture of the big ideas of history, and it really does stick with you. It’s really a long-term investment from an educational perspective.”


Aislinn O'Donnell is Professor of Education in Maynooth University. As well as publishing widely nationally and internationally, and engaging in international networks like the Anna Lindh Foundation, New Research in Philosophy of Education, and COST, Aislinn has developed a number of creative research and teaching projects that seek to introduce philosophy to settings like the prison, probation projects, and drug projects. She has an ongoing collaborative project in primary schools called Art and Philosophy in the Classroom with gallery educator and curator, Katy Fitzpatrick. Aislinn is interested in exploring innovative and experimental approaches to teaching philosophy, fostering cross-disciplinary dialogue between philosophy and other subject areas, and developing pedagogical strategies to help us to reflect upon ethics, inclusion, diversity, and the global refugee crisis in educational institutions and society. She is also interested in thinking about how public institutions in Ireland can become more pluralistic and participatory, creating more opportunities for the voices of all those who are part of those institutions to be heard. Further information can be found here


Laura Kennedy


Joe Oyler

Laura Kennedy is a freelance writer and columnist with The Irish Times, where she writes a weekly column called ‘Coping’ on philosophy’s usefulness and application in everyday situations. She has written widely on a range of topics from death and ethics, to atheism and bodily autonomy. She’s also written about the role of philosophy in developing essential life skills which help us to navigate loss, relationships, and our emotions, as well as advocating a philosophy curriculum in Irish schools.

Laura is currently finishing her PhD in philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. Her academic areas of interest include Early Modern and Enlightenment era philosophy – Spinoza in particular – as well as psychological philosophy.

Joe Oyler currently coordinates induction support for graduates of 3 different teacher education programs at Montclair State University in New Jersey, USA. He is also the coordinator of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children Summer Residential workshop, which has introduced Philosophy for Children to philosophers and teachers from around the world for over 35 years. Joe has over a decade of experience supporting teachers and schools in adopting and improving inquiry based practices and enhancing their capacity for collaboration. His teaching and research interests revolve around the use of discussion based, collaborative practices as ways of exploring the world and our place within it. His doctoral research aimed at better understanding how experienced facilitators engage students in inquiry dialogue and group argumentation. In addition to his research and coordination activities, Joe teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Education, Philosophy and Philosophy of Education.


David Kennedy

David Kennedy is Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University. He is author of two books-- The Well of Being: Childhood, Subjectivity and Education (2006) and My Name is Myshkin: A Philosophical Novel for Children (2012); two volumes of collected papers-- Changing Conceptions of the Child from Renaissance to Post-Modernity: A Philosophy of Childhood (2006) and Philosophical Dialogue with Children: Essays on Theory and Practice (2013); and two edited volumes— Philosophy for Children in Transition:  Problems and Prospects (2011) and Philosophy of Childhood: Exploring the Boundaries (2016). The majority of his work is available on  His scholarly and research interests concern philosophy of childhood, community of philosophical inquiry, and theory and practice of democratic schooling.


Claire Katz

Claire Katz is currently Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M. She teaches and conducts research at the intersection of Philosophy, Jewish Studies, and Gender Studies. She received her B.A. in philosophy (University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1986), a Masters degree in the Philosophy for Children program (Montclair State University, 1987), and a PhD in Philosophy (University of Memphis, 1999). She has published more than forty-five journal articles and book chapters spanning themes in feminist theory, phenomenology, philosophy of education, ethics, technology, and modern Jewish philosophy.

Claire has recently returned to her early work in the Philosophy for Children program. With the help of several colleagues and graduate students, she has begun introducing to K-12 teachers in the Bryan-College Station school districts and surrounding areas methods for implementing philosophy into their classrooms. In June 2016, they ran a week-long philosophy camp for teens. For more information see our Philosophy for Children Texas website:


Dr. Danielle Petherbridge

Dr. Danielle Petherbridge is Lecturer in Continental European Philosophy at University College Dublin. Previously she was IRC Marie Curie research fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University, New York, and research fellow at University College Dublin. Her work draws across several traditions in continental philosophy, including social philosophy, critical theory, German Idealism and phenomenology. Her primary research interests include theories of subjectivity and self/other relations in phenomenology and social philosophy, as well as issues in normative critical theory and debates about social recognition. She is currently working on a project entitled Encountering the Other, which explores different ways of understanding self/other relations and forms of sociality more generally. Danielle is an Editor of the journal Critical Horizons and Editor of a reference resource series in critical theory. She has written on recognition, vulnerability, civil disobedience, race and perception, social invisibility, subjectivity and intersubjectivity. She teaches in the areas of social philosophy, critical theory, phenomenology, and philosophy and literature. She is passionate about exploring philosophy with students of all ages and in creating open and dynamic spaces for philosophical dialogue.


Dr. Maughn Gregory


Dr. Adam Loughnane

Maughn Rollins Gregory is Professor of Educational Foundations at Montclair State University (New Jersey, USA), where he succeeded Matthew Lipman as the director of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children (IAPC) in 2001.  He holds a JD and a PhD in philosophy.  He publishes and teaches in the areas of philosophy of education, Philosophy for Children, pragmatism, gender, Socratic pedagogy and contemplative pedagogy. He has given academic workshops and conference addresses across the United States and in 18 other countries. He is co-editor of the Routledge International Handbook of Philosophy for Children (Routledge 2016) and has edited a number of special journal issues on Philosophy for Children, including Teaching Ethics 15:1 (2015), Education and Culture: The Journal of the John Dewey Society 28:2 (2012), Thinking: The Journal of Philosophy for Children 19:4 (2010), and Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 19:2 (2000). 


Adam Loughnane is currently Lecturer in Philosophy at University College Cork and Co-Director of the Irish Institute of Japanese Studies. His research and teaching center on the phenomenological and aesthetic traditions of Europe and Asia. Focusing mostly on French and Japanese philosophies, Adam explores themes such as non-duality, non-theistic conceptions of faith, existentialism, phenomenological accounts of motion, perception, and expression, as well as intercultural philosophical methodology. He is currently working on a project entitled "Nishida and Merleau-Ponty: Artistic Expression as 'Motor-Perceptual faith,'" which places the Japanese "Kyoto School" philosopher, Nishida Kitarō in dialogue with the French Phenomenologist, Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Adam is editing a forthcoming volume on the last living "Kyoto School" philosopher, Ueda Shizuteru (Springer, 2018). His work in intercultural philosophy and aesthetics has been published in Philosophy East and West, The European Journal of Japanese Philosophy, Performance Philosophy, Polylog, and soon the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.  Adam is spearheading UCC's Philosophy in Schools initiative and is very excited to help philosophy flourish at all levels of Irish education.  


Natalie M. Fletcher

Natalie M. Fletcher is a philosophical practitioner and researcher from Montreal, Canada, where she works as teaching faculty in the philosophy department at John Abbott College and as the founding director of Brila Youth Projects (, a registered educational charity that fosters multidimensional thinking and creativity in young people through philosophical dialogue and digital magazine production. She is currently pursuing interdisciplinary doctoral research at Concordia University, fusing the fields of ethics, political philosophy, dialogic pedagogy and aesthetics education. She is on the executive of the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children and of the American Philosophical Association’s Committee on Pre-College Instruction in Philosophy. Her research has been published by Routledge, Rowman and Littlefield, Philosophical Inquiry in EducationAnalytic Teaching and Philosophical Praxis, and Childhood and Philosophy. She is currently editing a volume on philosophy for children from Canadian perspectives for McGill-Queens University Press.