On Encountering the Difficulty of Reality: Philosophical Perspectives on Why We Respond and Why We Turn Away.

Emma Farrell


Whether considering the treatment of refugees fleeing a war zone on the other side of the world, or that of psychiatric patients closer to home, the Dublin Business School (DBS) conference of 6 September 2019 sought to explore why it is we respond to some human rights abuses and why we turn away from others. It opened a tightly sealed door in our individual and collective psyches, inviting us to turn towards difficulties that we spend so much of our time avoiding or explaining away. This piece seeks to explore why it is we do this; why we struggle with some aspects of reality and how we, as human beings, attempt to manage or out-manoeuvre, those aspects too difficult to comprehend. Drawing on the philosophy of Cora Diamond, particularly as captured in her paper The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy (2003), this piece attempts to bring some of these philosophical conversations and understandings into the conference’s broad and multi-disciplinary exploration of why we respond and why we turn away.


Philosophy; Human rights; Diamond, Cora, 1937–; Difficulties of reality; Deflection

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18193/sah.v6i1.193

ISSN 2009-8278 (Online)
ISSN 2009-826X (Print)
OCLC Number: 965391142

Publisher: SAHkartell

Creative Commons License