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(...)

George Berkeley: attempted to set up a college in Bermuda that would develop into a perfect Christian city

Every generation flirts with utopian ideals. A hundred years ago, we had Patrick Pearse’s nationalistic vision of a self-sustaining Ireland born of b(...)

Light House Cinema, Saturday 20th, 6.30pm, 128 min Film, Samuel Beckett’s sole excursion into the medium, was, by the playwright’s own account, a f(...)

Buster Keaton: his years of being flung into the scenery, or even sometimes the orchestra pit, equipped him to perform all his own stunts

The great comedian Buster Keaton was not an Irish-American (or not much of one, anyway) contrary to what many people think. But he did start his caree(...)

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