Migrant construction workers sleep on the floor in Dubai in 2012. Photo by Jonas Bendickson/Magnum

Essay/
Human rights and justice
Gulf slave society

The glittering city-states of the Persian Gulf fit the classicist Moses Finley’s criteria of genuine slave societies

Bernard Freamon

From Amours Difficiles by Adriana Lestido. Photo courtesy of Adriana Lestido/Agence VU

Essay/
Gender and identity
What makes a woman’s body

A pang of hunger, a stab of pain, a sense of dread – these experiences emerge on the shore where biology and culture meet

Mallory Feldman & Kristen Lindquist

Ginseng root. Photo by Sina Schuldt/picture alliance via Getty

Essay/
Illness and disease
Natural and unnatural

‘Natural’ remedies are metaphysically inconsistent and unscientific. Yet they offer something that modern medicine cannot

Alan Jay Levinovitz

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Samuel Beckett on the set of Film in New York during his only visit to the United States in 1964. Photo by I C Rappaport/Getty

Essay/
Stories and literature
The wisdom of surrender

Samuel Beckett turned an obscure 17th-century Christian heresy into an artistic vision and an unusual personal philosophy

Andy Wimbush

Charles Boyer plays opposite Ingrid Bergman in the 1944 film adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s novel Gaslight. Photo by Getty

Essay/
Mental health
Turn off the gaslight

The skilled manipulator casts a shadow of doubt over everything that you feel or think. Therapy can bring the daylight in

Ramani Durvasula

Districts like the largely Latino Mission District in San Francisco have experienced the effects of gentrification with fast-rising housing costs and the eviction of longtime tenants. 9 May 2015. Photo by Preston Gannaway/New York Times

Essay/
Cities
The harms of gentrification

The exclusion of poorer people from their own neighbourhoods is not just a social problem but a philosophical one

Daniel Putnam

Popular this month

Illustration by Tom Björklund

Essay/
Human evolution
Sheanderthal

Not all Neanderthals were ‘cavemen’: half were women. What can archaeologists tell us about how they lived?

Rebecca Wragg Sykes

La vie (1964) by Marc Chagall, La Fondation Maeght à Saint-Paul de Vence. Photo by Getty Images

Essay/
Sleep and dreams
In exile from the dreamscape

We live in a wake-centric world that devalues dreaming, yet we need to experience dreams to be our authentic selves

Rubin Naiman

Notting Hill, London. Photo by Chris Steele-Perkins/Magnum

Essay/
Philosophy of mind
The problem of now

The injunction to immerse yourself in the present might be psychologically potent, but is it metaphysically meaningful?

John Martin Fischer

Illustration by Tom Björklund

Essay/
Human evolution
Sheanderthal

Not all Neanderthals were ‘cavemen’: half were women. What can archaeologists tell us about how they lived?

Rebecca Wragg Sykes

A northern gannet (Morus bassanus) breeding colony on Heligoland, Germany. Photo by Brais Seara/Getty

Essay/
Evolution
Evolution’s engineers

Organisms do not evolve blindly under forces beyond their control, but shape and influence the evolutionary environment itself

Kevin Laland & Lynn Chiu

Notting Hill, London. Photo by Chris Steele-Perkins/Magnum

Essay/
Philosophy of mind
The problem of now

The injunction to immerse yourself in the present might be psychologically potent, but is it metaphysically meaningful?

John Martin Fischer

Saturn’s rings were discovered by Christiaan Huygens in 1659. This image was taken by the Cassini-Huygens mission in 2016 and shows the entire north pole bathed in the continuous sunlight of summer. Photo Courtesy NASA/JPL

Essay/
History of science
Huygens, senior and junior

How a father’s mere curiosity about nature evolved during the Dutch Golden Age into the son’s focused scientific enquiry

Hugh Aldersey-Williams

A demonstrator uses a shield for protection against water cannons during an anti-government protest taking place outside the parliament in Bangkok, Thailand, on 17 November 2020. Photo by Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

Essay/
War and peace
Unrest in your backyard

Rich nations with strong governments can no longer assume that political violence is a problem for other, poorer countries

Mark Kukis

Photo by Alex Webb/Magnum

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
The necessity of Kripke

No one with an interest in philosophy or debates about identity can afford to be ignorant of the work of Saul Kripke

Stephen Law

La vie (1964) by Marc Chagall, La Fondation Maeght à Saint-Paul de Vence. Photo by Getty Images

Essay/
Sleep and dreams
In exile from the dreamscape

We live in a wake-centric world that devalues dreaming, yet we need to experience dreams to be our authentic selves

Rubin Naiman

Apollo 11 flight crew in biological isolation garments shortly after splashdown and about to be picked up and transferred to the USS Hornet in July 1969. Photo courtesy NASA

Essay/
Space exploration
A lunar pandemic

In the 1960s, NASA went to huge expense to contain possible pathogens from the Moon. What can we learn from the attempt?

Dagomar Degroot