Essay/
Consciousness and altered states
The mental block

Consciousness is the greatest mystery in science. Don’t believe the hype: the Hard Problem is here to stay

Michael Hanlon

Essay/
Neurodiversity
Against neurodiversity

The movement has good intentions, but it favours the high-functioning and overlooks those who struggle with severe autism

Moheb Costandi

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Essay/
Quantum theory
Splitting the Universe

Hugh Everett blew up quantum mechanics with his Many-Worlds theory in the 1950s. Physics is only just catching up

Sean Carroll

Essay/
Animals and humans
Birds are ‘winged words’

The Classical world abounded with avians – and so birds took up in the human imagination, nesting in our language and art

Jeremy Mynott

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History of science
No absolute time

Two centuries before Einstein, Hume recognised that universal time, independent of an observer’s viewpoint, doesn’t exist

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Stories and literature
Eros at play

Why the ancient erotic poems of Sappho and Wallada bint al-Mustakfi are far more stimulating than modern pornography

Jamie Mackay

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Philosophy of language
The way words mean

Words stand for things in the world, and they stand apart from it. Perhaps meaning is more sunken into words than we realise?

Alexander Stern

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Quantum theory
Splitting the Universe

Hugh Everett blew up quantum mechanics with his Many-Worlds theory in the 1950s. Physics is only just catching up

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Teaching and learning
The value of shame

Immanuel Kant held that moral education is hydraulic: shame squashes down our vices, making space for virtue to rise up

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Virtues and vices
Righteous incivility

The temptation to be uncivil grows as public discourse gets nastier and more aggressive. Can rudeness ever be righteous?

Amy Olberding

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Gender
Sex and prosperity

Nothing we can do will make the world more free, fair and prosperous than giving women control over their own bodies

Victoria Bateman

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Philosophy of language
The way words mean

Words stand for things in the world, and they stand apart from it. Perhaps meaning is more sunken into words than we realise?

Alexander Stern

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Technology and the self
Privacy is power

Don’t just give away your privacy to the likes of Google and Facebook – protect it, or you disempower us all

Carissa Véliz