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Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

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Essay/History of Ideas
The African Enlightenment

The highest ideals of Locke, Hume and Kant were first proposed more than a century earlier by an Ethiopian in a cave

Dag Herbjørnsrud

Essay/Biology
The minds of plants

From the memories of flowers to the sociability of trees, the cognitive capacities of our vegetal cousins are all around us

Laura Ruggles

Ideas make a difference

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Essay/History
The other side of the curtain

During the Cold War, US propagandists worked to provide a counterweight to Communist media, but truth eluded them all

Melissa Feinberg

Essay/Neuroscience
Freud in the scanner

A revival of interest in the power of introspection and thought has brought Freud’s ideas back into the scientific fold

M M Owen

Popular this month

Essay/History
Do civilisations collapse?

The idea that the Maya or Easter Islanders experienced an apocalyptic end makes for good television but bad archaeology

Guy D Middleton

Essay/Sexual Health
Afterglow

The intensity of orgasm is sublime, but the gentle love cocktail that follows is what helps relationships to endure

Tove K Danovich

Essay/Ethics
The ethics of ET

The discovery of independent life beyond Earth would have deep philosophical implications for us, and our ideas of morality

Tim Mulgan

Essay/Subcultures
Touching the sky

At their best, daredevils rival philosophers and mystics in their exploration of human mortality and spirit

Lary Wallace

Essay/Ethics
The ethics of ET

The discovery of independent life beyond Earth would have deep philosophical implications for us, and our ideas of morality

Tim Mulgan

Essay/History
The empire dreamt back

To help rule its empire, Britain turned to psychoanalysis. But they weren’t willing to hear the truth it told

Erik Linstrum

Essay/Philosophy of Science
Metaphysics of metamorphosis

The swarming, ever-changing character of the living world challenges our deepest assumptions about the nature of reality

John Dupré

Essay/Politics & Government
Democratising the digital

Digital technologies are a market product and play politics by different means. It’s up to us to harness them for democracy

Jack Shenker