Philosophy by Postcard

We are Clare Mac Cumhaill and Rachael Wiseman and together we run In Parenthesis, a study of the lives and work of four incredible female philosophers. You can find out more about us and our brilliant In Parenthesis team here.

For this project we've teamed up with some new folk, including artists, organisations and individuals. You can find out more about them below. And see the footer for our sponsors.

In Parenthesis explores the contribution of a remarkable group of philosophers; Eliazbeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch who met as young women at Oxford University during World War II.

An Post are full collaborators. They are providing the beautiful stamps and hosting our launch party at the General Post Office, Dublin

Created by Dr Danielle Petherbridge (UCD School of Philosophy) and Dr Áine Mahon (UCD School of Education), IYPA helps primary and secondary school students to explore philosophy through a nationwide award program and festival. This year the Iris Murdoch Award will be given to the pupil with the best postcard design.

Some of our postcard-artists have studios at Temple Bar Gallery. We'll be hosting an exhibition and postcard-writing workshops there during the summer - watch out for announcements.

Chatto and Windus are publishers of our forthcoming book on the Quartet of Iris Murdoch, Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot and Mary Midgley.

Dublin is the fourth UNESCO City of Literature. Dublin UNESCO City of Literature will honour Murdoch in her birth place by organising a special event with In Parenthesis themed around #philosophybypostcard in February 2020 - watch out for details!

The Institute for Irish Studies, University of Liverpool has been fostering research and artistic collaboration between Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the UK since its inception. As well as lending research expertise, the Insitute is sponsoring our Belfast-based artist, and will be hosting a pop-up postbox in Liverpool.

The Midgley Archive, at Durham University, is home of Mary Midgley's extensive papers. The archive is opening its doors to one of our artists, for an archive-inspired postcard. Look out too for a pop-up postbox during Durham Arts Festival in June.


Collegium Institute, Philadelphia. Home to the G. E. M. Anscombe archive, where we found our inspiration for this project - the archive contains a stunning philosophy-by-postcard exchange between Anscombe and her then-student Sir Anthony Kenny. The Institute commissioned one of our postcards, on the Murdoch/Anscombe theme of God and Good.

Our partners