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Magic bowls of antiquity

Ancient Babylonia’s magic bowls offer a glimpse into the society of the Talmud, and today’s shadowy antiquities market

by Samuel Thrope

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Are dreams predictions?

Dreams might not be omens or prophecies in a mystical sense, but they do have a distinct psychological predictive power

by Sue Llewellyn

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A beleaguered Britain takes comfort in nostalgia for empire

by Paul Harris

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Blame lets you blow off steam, but it will rarely help you get at the truth

3 minutes

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New realities are imminent: how VR reframes big questions in philosophy

Interview  •  5 minutes

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Why a well-crafted melody has the power to colonise your mind

by Patrick McNamara

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What do clothes say?

Clothes can be forms of thought as articulate as a poem or equation. Why then does philosophy like to dress them down?

by Shahidha Bari

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Does the meaning of words rest in our private minds or in our shared experience?

2 minutes

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Why science needs to break the spell of reductive materialism

by Stuart Kauffman

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The empty brain

Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer

by Robert Epstein

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See how our brains group words by meaning in surprisingly complex semantic maps

3 minutes

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Why decriminalising sex work is better for everyone

by Marina Della Giusta & Maria Laura Di Tommaso

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Cruel ships of prosperity

For more than two centuries the huge profits and profound suffering of the Manila Galleons helped create global capitalism

by David Z Morris

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Why watching people take selfies feels so awkward

by Emmanuel Ordóñez Angulo

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Frank Lloyd Wright on why architecture should be about ideas and ideals

6 minutes

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Half-human soldiers, robot servants and eagle drones – the Greeks got there first. Could an AI learn from their stories?

by Adrienne Mayor

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How free market ideology perverts the vocabulary of democracy

by Jason Stanley

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What it’s like to stand by your daughter in her choice to die

Exclusive  •  18 minutes

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In praise of patience

Resilience is the fashionable prescription for trauma. But bouncing back is not the only – or best – way to bear sorrow

by Samira Thomas

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What amnesiacs tell us about memory: Q&A with Brenda Milner

by Rackeb Tesfaye

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Physics is all fun and games at the Bubble Circus

3 minutes

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To save Earth, go to Mars

If head-on problem-solving can’t save the Earth, maybe lateral innovation can. Will low-cost space research pave the way?

by Joe Mascaro

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We can begin an interstellar mission today – and we should

by Philip Lubin

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The Dull Men’s Club: where being extraordinarily ordinary is celebrated

Exclusive  •  15 minutes

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Bring them back

Untold thousands of patients misdiagnosed as vegetative are actually aware. Theirs is the civil rights fight of our times

by Joseph J Fins