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Essay/
Epidemiology
The Black Death

At least one in three Europeans and untold millions in Asia died. What was the source of this brutal, lethal efficiency?

Wendy Orent

Essay/
Law & Justice
Truth is also a place

Throughout history, people found truth at holy places. Now we build courts, labs and altars to be truth spots too

Thomas Gieryn

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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Essay/
Ethics
Ethics on the battlefield

The soldier in battle is confronted with agonising, even impossible, ethical decisions. Could studying philosophy help?

Andy Owen

Essay/
Gender
The transcendent bissu

In Indonesia, high ritual power is held by those whose identity goes beyond female and male. The West is just catching up

Sharyn Graham Davies

Popular this month

Essay/
History of Ideas
Why read Aristotle today?

Modern self-help draws heavily on Stoic philosophy. But Aristotle was better at understanding real human happiness

Edith Hall

Essay/
Mathematics
The chords of the universe

It’s no surprise that mathematics has influenced music. But did you know that the influence goes both ways?

Eli Maor

Essay/
Love & Friendship
Buddhists in love

Lovers crave intensity, Buddhists say craving causes suffering. Is it possible to be deeply in love yet truly detached?

Lisa Feldman Barrett & John Dunne

Essay/
Politics & Government
How nations come together

Nations come with a vast array of peoples, languages and histories, but the strong ones share three simple things

Andreas Wimmer

Essay/
History of Ideas
What are we?

On Paul Gauguin, authenticity and the midlife crisis: how the philosopher Bernard Williams dramatised moral luck

Daniel Callcut

Essay/
Space Exploration
What if ET is an AI?

After centuries searching for extraterrestrial life, we might find that first contact is not with organic creatures at all

Caleb Scharf

Essay/
Politics & Government
The divided public heart

Is politics driven by pragmatic self-interest or by identities and ideals? The self-harming voter offers a clue

Sharun Mukand & Dani Rodrik

Essay/
Medical Ethics
Eugenics never went away

Thought eugenics died with the Nazis? Think again: the eugenic programme of sterilising the ‘unfit’ continues even today

Robert A Wilson

Essay/
Love & Friendship
Buddhists in love

Lovers crave intensity, Buddhists say craving causes suffering. Is it possible to be deeply in love yet truly detached?

Lisa Feldman Barrett & John Dunne