Earlier this week in Dublin two Luke Kelly sculptures were doused in white paint. Photograph: Alan Betson

What do Luke Kelly and Edward Colston have in common? Kelly was a working class Dubliner, legendary singer, communist, folk hero. Colston was a mercha(...)

George Berkeley. Aside from supporting slavery, ‘in his later political work, he is pretty grim on the Irish peasantry too’, says TCD researcher Clare Moriarty. Image: Hulton Archive

As statues topple amid anti-racism protests, universities are looking at some of the hallowed names associated with their institutions with some nervo(...)

Existentialist philosophers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre enjoy the freedom of the beach in Rio in 1960. Photograph: STF/AFP/Getty

Our movements have been restricted by the Covid-19 lockdown, but there’s nothing to stop our minds from running free. In that spirit, Unthinkable this(...)

TCD professor emeritus David Berman: ‘I was about six or seven when I had what is sometimes described as an “I am me” experience.’ Photograph: Dave Meehan

A few weeks ago, this column explored that ancient puzzle “How do you know you actually exist?”, one of the defining questions of philosophy. In doin(...)

“It’s only recently that we thought animals should be treated with respect and dignity and not tormented.” Photograph: iStock

Western civilisation has been slow to take seriously the suffering of animals. For “slow” read thousands of years, and yet we’re only starting to get (...)

‘Adventures in Philosophy’ illustrator Paula McGloin with  author Brendan O’Donoghue.  Photograph: Ruth Medjber

The idea of philosophy becoming a core discipline in the Irish education system once seemed like a pipe dream. But now there is a short course on the(...)

Losing sleep over infinity? Try reading Bertrand Russell. Photograph: Getty Images/Ikon Images

I recently overheard a couple of young boys arguing over who had scored the most goals during a football kick-around. “I scored infinity,” boasted the(...)

Irish philosopher George Berkeley, the Bishop of Cloyne and a noted metaphysician who declared: ‘To be is to be perceived’. Image: Hulton Archive

A scientific explanation of the “hard problem” of how the material structure of the brain underpins consciousness would represent a major coup for sci(...)

I sometimes tease a certain teenager of my acquaintance when, for example, she looks gloomily into our fridge and asks: “Do we have any, like, food?” 

The inability of most teenagers to complete a sentence without interjecting the work “like” at least once is usually considered a bad habit.  And(...)

John Scottus Eriugena, who used to adorn the £5 note  is the only speculative thinker with the reputation of being a serious theological interpreter of Christianity that Ireland has produced

It is a curious fact that Ireland, despite its over 1,500 years of Christianity, has produced only one speculative thinker with the reputation of bein(...)

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