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Article

The glue that holds a society together

Thomas Hobbes’ social contract may seem a long way from the fraught issue of how unpaid water charges will be handled.  Yet, it’s right at the heart of the dilemma facing us.  When any group try to organise their lives collectively, the first job is to agree a social contract: what contribution is needed from each member to make the... Read More

Posted: 21 December 2016

Article

How Ireland legalised divorce… eventually

For anyone under 30, the 1995 Divorce Referendum is ancient history. Anyone over 40 still can't quite believe it’s 21 years ago.  For those over 50, it’s forever linked with the earlier Divorce Referendum in 1986, and before that the 1983 Pro-Life Amendment, because that’s when the story began.   Best not to linger on just how bleak the 1980s were in... Read More

Posted: 22 May 2016

Article

How cognitive biases affect our decisions

It now seems that the results of election 2016 may ultimately be decided by a contest between fear and anger. The opposition parties hope that voters’ anger at austerity will be stronger than their fear of changing government when the economy is improving.  At this point, it seems anger is ahead.  So why is the government’s message about the risk to recovery... Read More

Posted: 19 February 2016

Article

Why Fine Gael’s election strategy is not working...yet

It now seems that the result of Election 2016 may be decided by a contest between fear and anger. The Opposition parties hope that voters’ anger at austerity will be stronger than their fear of changing government when the econom is improving. At this point it seems anger is ahead. So why is the Government’s message about the risk to recovery... Read More

Posted: 19 February 2016

Article

Marriage just Isn’t what it used to be

Those who oppose the forthcoming Marriage Equality Referendum argue that it will fundamentally change the definition of marriage. The core of their argument is that marriage has always been defined as a legal bond between a man and a woman and its uniqueness lies in the fact that only such a bond can produce children. This definition therefore excludes the... Read More

Posted: 26 March 2015

Book Review

Living With a Wild God: A Non-Believer’s Search for the Truth about Everything. By Barbara Ehrenreich

In the spring of 2001, the writer Barbara Ehrenreich was invited to donate her papers to a university.  While assembling the usual collection of unpublished manuscripts and notebooks, she came across a folder that, for forty -eight years, had survived her multiple moves. In all that time, she had never re-opened it, never mentioned or referred to it – yet always remembered to... Read More

Posted: 16 August 2014