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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/
Economics
Confidence tricks

The financial world is a theatrical production, abundantly lubricated by that magical elixir of illusionists: confidence

Matt Seybold

Essay/
Education
The five-paragraph fetish

Writing essays by a formula was meant to be a step on the way. Now it’s the stifling goal for student and scholar alike

David Labaree

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Sigmund Freud was the established genius; Carl Jung the youthful upstart. They began as friends, and ended as bitter enemies.

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Essay/
History
Guns and the British empire

Eighteenth-century Indian arms were as sophisticated as European. Then came the British Empire to drive industry backwards

Priya Satia

Essay/
Human Evolution
To automate is human

It’s not tools, culture or communication that make humans unique but our knack for offloading dirty work onto machines

Antone Martinho-Truswell

Popular this month

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Stories & Literature
The good guy/bad guy myth

Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?

Catherine Nichols

Essay/
Philosophy of Science
Is the Universe a conscious mind?

Cosmopsychism might seem crazy, but it provides a robust explanatory model for how the Universe became fine-tuned for life

Philip Goff

Essay/
Personality
Why we love tyrants

Psychoanalysis explains how authoritarians energise the hatred, self-pity and delusion while promising heaven on Earth

David Livingstone Smith

Essay/
Philosophy of Science
Is the Universe a conscious mind?

Cosmopsychism might seem crazy, but it provides a robust explanatory model for how the Universe became fine-tuned for life

Philip Goff

Essay/
History
Teachers and students

Medieval people knew that love and pain and dread and desire made the experience of education possible, and could also sow ruin

Irina Dumitrescu

Essay/
Ecology & Environmental Sciences
The African Anthropocene

The Anthropocene feels different depending on where you are – too often, the ‘we’ of the world is white and Western

Gabrielle Hecht

Essay/
Nature & Environment
Consider the rooster

The thugs of the barnyard, roosters were bred to fight and strut. Does our highly tamed world have room for them any more?

Amanda Giracca