Suki Finn, philosopher and editor of Women of Ideas: “The metaphysics of pregnancy is of great importance, not only to pregnant metaphysicians, but to all of us, given that we are all the result of a pregnancy.”

It’s easy to judge with hindsight but even by the standards of 1978, the BBC’s decision to call a series about great living philosophers Men of Ideas,(...)

Jean-Paul Sartre in Paris in 1966. Photograph: Dominique Berretty/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, one of the most famous atheists of the 20th century, left his unbelief aside – at least tempor(...)

“Pre and post the banning of corporal punishment, we had ‘love your neighbour’ beaten into us.”
In a Word . . . People

Who would have believed it before 2020 that the greatest threat to our health, even existence, is now each other? Yeah, you! Okay, me too. No matter t(...)

People don’t have to be ‘going on the lash’ to celebrate Christmas meaningfully, the Taoiseach says. Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire

What is the appropriate seasonal salutation in a pandemic? Wishing others a “merry Christmas” seems irresponsible at a time when public health experts(...)

John Creedon: Italian, French and Spanish place names were brought to Ireland as the Dublin middle classes returned from travelling, hence Sorrento Road and Vico Road in Dalkey. Photograph: Don Macmonagle

There’s an old folk tale that dates from a time when the Russian-Finnish border was being redrawn. Some rather stern officials from Moscow knocked on (...)

 French singer and actor Juliette Greco performs in Paris, in 1968. She was the muse of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the link between often impenetrable intellectuals and popular song. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Saint-Germain-des-Prés must have felt like the centre of the universe in the aftermath of the second World War. After years of deprivation, French you(...)

French journalist Fabrice Nicolino, who survived the Charlie Hebdo shooting, is seen at the Paris courthouse in Paris, on Wednesday. Photograph: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images

The wounded survivors of the Charlie Hebdo massacre testified on Wednesday, on the sixth day of the trial in Paris of the killers’ accused accomplices(...)

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(...)

Photograph: Tooga

Ms Ann has never had it so good. Or so acquaintances believe. She insists on being addressed as Ann without the “e”, that most popular letter in the E(...)

Jean Vanier abused women who came to him for spiritual direction, an egregious crime.

When the news about Jean Vanier’s manipulative sexual abuse of at least six women broke, it was profoundly depressing. Decades ago, I witnessed him ar(...)

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