Donald Trump, a winner at the ballot box, but  ‘the Stoics argued one cannot take pride in one’s life unless it is a virtuous life’. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

It is commonly believed, particularly in business and sporting circles, that nice guys finish last. Never mind that a pile of psychological research (...)

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said his thinking ‘evolved’ on abortion. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

It’s rare that a politician will admit to changing his or her mind. Why this should be so is unclear. As the Belfast essayist Robert Lynd once wrote,(...)

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, where a gunman opened fire killing more than  50 people. Photograph: David Becker/Getty Images

Another day, another mass shooting in America. This time the carnage took place at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, where more than 50 people (...)

Are the good things in our lives down to our own efforts or just the bounce of the ball?

Winning the Lotto is considered pure luck but what about winning the lottery of life? If you land a good job, enter a happy marriage, or find y(...)

Under Berlusconi, populism, in an undemocratic mould, has made headway. Photograph: Getty Images

How many people in Ireland can name Italy’s current prime minister or president? Not many. Even fewer would be able to name two or more current figure(...)

Collectable philosophers: cards for the thinking classroom. Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly/Irish Times Premedia

If philosophy had been on the curriculum 30 years ago, would we be in the same mess we’re in today? It’s a tantalising thought and the very sort of “w(...)

The body of a drowned migrant is unloaded  in the port of Lampedusa early this month. Photograph: AP

In the last 10 years, 6,200 immigrants have died off the coast of Sicily, most of them North African refugees, some of them economic migrants, all of (...)