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'Revisiting the Murphy Report'

Brendan Kearney: bás in Éireann

Protecting our migrants

John Sullivan and the Pope

A party for Patrick

If music be the food of love..

Could you do the lenten challenge?

Big wind in Limerick

Feature Story
'Redeeming History' - Lonergan and social justice

Jesuits in Trinity

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We remember in our prayers
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A party for Patrick

Those who have lived or worked with Patrick Heelan over the years would admit to a sense of privilege. Here is a man of quite remarkable gifts, in the fields of mathematics, physics, geophysics, philosophy of science and optics. The US universities of Stony Brook and Georgetown called on his skills as an administrator. In addition to his interest in questions relating to science and religion, Patrick has published extensively on the philosophy of the quantum theory, contextual logic, the hermeneutics of theory and experiment, and the task-dependent geometry structure of human spatial vision in everyday life and in pictorial art and architecture. He thanks his earlier mentors, including Nobelists Wigner and Heisenberg, for illuminating the role of subjectivity in assessing the rationality of the Quantum Theory.  Patrick’s theoretical work has been of value to colleagues in fields as diverse as the forecasting of earthquakes and the training of pilots
                Earlier this month a new publication gave an excuse for a party. Patrick is pictured here with Babette Babich, his former student and constant partner in scholarship for many years, and the editor of Patrick's Festschrift some years ago. She has just edited a collection of papers: The Multidimensionality of Hermeneutic Phenomenology, including Patrick’s contribution: Consciousness, Quantum Physics and Hermeneutic Phenomenology. He works round the measurement problem thrown up by Quantum Mechanics, namely that the act of measuring or observation alters what is being observed: like a dreamer narrating her dream and shaping the dream as she tells it. Patrick, born in Dublin to a Belgian mother and Irish father, and schooled in Belvedere, is now back in Dublin, a resident in Cherryfield nursing unit. He remains a companionable listener, accepting his declining health and energy with extraordinary grace. At the party Tom Casey, his fellow Jesuit philosopher, in an elegant toast thanked Patrick for living at intellectual crossroads, and for living there with such patience, prudence and wisdom.

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