WB Yeats: unashamedly elevated imagination over rational calculation

‘Rational” is not the first word that comes to mind when you think of WB Yeats. He was a devoted follower of the occult, magic and astrology, and a(...)

Towards light: imagine your life from the standpoint of darkness beyond it. Photograph: Thinkstock

What might life after death look like? Philosopher, novelist and former clinical neuroscientist Raymond Tallis has never been afraid of tackling se(...)

From left, Joe Humphreys chairing the Unthinkable debate, with Cathy Barry, Kevin Mitchell, Siobhán Garrigan and William Reville. Photograph: Alan Betson

Unthinkable took to the road this month for a debate, “Are science and religion really in conflict?” Who won? Was there a knock-down argument t(...)

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble, Luxembourg’s finance minister Pierre Gramegna and eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem: forgiveness of debt has been a great boon to Germany. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq

For most of human history the moral opprobrium associated with credit was attached to the lender, not the borrower. Aristotle and Plato poured scorn o(...)

‘Sometimes Plato is better than Prozac.’ Illustration: Thinkstock

In ancient Greece, philosophy was a practical skill allied to living the good life. It took the arrival of tenured academics to turn the discipline(...)

‘We can’t hide from children that there are some things that are complicated.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

Plans are afoot to create a short course in philosophy in the new junior cycle, but even this modest reform faces barriers. A crowded curriculum, o(...)

C’mere to me: pub philosophers. Photograph: Getty Images

Sometimes dismissed as a niche activity in Ireland, philosophy has traditionally been associated with monks and seminarians. Or those who didn’t qu(...)

A Valentine’s Day display in a Tokyo shop. Photograph: Yuya Shino/Reuters

Love is a word much bandied about, and not just on St Valentine’s Day. But what is love, and can it be explained without resorting to cliche or(...)

A plethora of philosophers: ‘The School of Athens’ (1509-10), one of Raphael’s series of  frescoes (1509-1510)  in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican

The story of the “Ring of Gyges” is more than 2,000 years old but it still generates debate among intellectuals. It is also cited in Philosophy for(...)