Hannah Arendt

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Illustrations from The Philosopher Queens:  Diotima, Simone de Beauvoir, Mary Warnock and Anita L Allen. Images: Emmy Smith/The Philosopher Queens

Plato and Socrates are household names, but what about Diotima of Mantinea? Only a handful of professional philosophers know of her yet she was the ve(...)

Hannah Arendt: The political philosopher reminded us that “the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world – the category of truth versus falsehood – is being destroyed”.    Photograph: Apic/Getty Images

There was nothing conspicuously apocalyptic about the culture of the Weimar Republic that was the German state for almost 15 years after the conclusio(...)

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(...)

Friedrich Nietzsche: ‘Unfairly’ characterised as the father of nihilism. Photograph: Culture Club/Getty

Friedrich Nietzsche has a long rap sheet. Elitist. Anti-democratic. Unchristian. But in one respect at least – cue the sound of the smallest violin in(...)

A watchtower on a high-security facility near what is believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, on the outskirts of Hotan, in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

The China Cables, the latest leak involving the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a number of its media partners, including Th(...)

Nazi Criminal Adolph Eichmann in his cell in Galami Prison, near Haifa, waiting for his trial to open. Photograph: Gpo/Getty Images

“When [the van] is in operation, the load, in its effort to reach the rear door, places itself for the most part at the rear. For this reason the fron(...)

British prime minister Boris Johnson has claimed that the EU was ‘pursuing a similar goal to Hitler in trying to create a powerful superstate’, and that the plucky English Brexiteers would ‘set the country free’. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

“To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” The German philosopher Theodor Adorno made this statement for the first time in 1949. It implies at lea(...)

Paul Mason: ‘I want us to reclaim the word snowflake. Unique, fragile, beautiful: that describes human beings to me.’ Photograph: juergen-bauer.com

Paul Mason is a snowflake and proud of it. Not just that but a Marxist, antifascist snowflake. “As a journalist I have always been trained to speak a(...)

‘There is something new in our day – the way we can express invented identities without the requirement to stand by them.’ Photograph: Photothek/Getty Images

Cappuccino-sipping, Irish Times-reading liberals like to think they’re above the sort of mental foibles of Donald Trump and the Brexit bunch. But dodg(...)

The site of the Soloheadbeg ambush, which  started a chain of events that brought about not just one but three civil conflicts that were fought primarily between Irish people. Photograph: Ronan McGreevy

On January 21, 1919, the Sinn Féin MPs elected to Parliament in 1918 implemented a policy of abstention from Westminster and met as Dáil Éireann, affi(...)

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