You’re very welcome to the brand new website of the University Philosophical Society. Founded in 1683, the ‘Phil’ is the world’s oldest debating society and the largest society in Trinity College Dublin, boasting over 10,000 members. Over the past five centuries, the world’s pre-eminent thinkers, creators and doers have spoken, debated and challenged minds here at the Phil. In that time we have recorded the presence of many remarkable members including Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett, as well hosting many remarkable guests, including Friedrich Engels, Alexis de Tocqueville and Winston Churchill.
Our proudest tradition is our legendary weekly house debates held in our Debating Chamber where world class guests and students debate controversial and topical issues. Those who have addressed the society in recent years include Vice President Joe Biden, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Al Pacino, Stephen Fry, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Dawkins, Hugh Laurie and Sir Alex Ferguson.
Fostering oratory and debating skills in its members is at the very heart of the Phil. Our workshops and internal competitions equip students with the skills to debate competitively, learn to bring an audience to its feet, explore new ideas and gain public speaking confidence for class presentations and later life. We also send teams to competitions all over the world and host the largest debating competition in Ireland. Through our PhilSpeaks Initiative, we run public speaking workshops for secondary school students across the country, culminating in the PhilSpeaks competitive weekend held in January of each year. As ever, the social side of the Phil is thriving, evident from our trips abroad, snooker rooms, receptions, club nights, and mystery tours.
Want to get involved? Check out our ‘How to Get Involved’ section and remember to add us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to stay up to date with all things Phil! Really looking forward to meeting you to some of our events.