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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.

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Cultures & Languages


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Essay/
Cultures & Languages
The deep roots of writing

Was writing invented for accounting and administration or did it evolve from religious movements, sorcery and dreams?

Michael Erard

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Cognition & Intelligence
Gesture talks

Across vast cultural divides people can understand one another through gesture. Does that make it a universal language?

Kensy Cooperrider

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Cultures & Languages
Black Achilles

The Greeks didn’t have modern ideas of race. Did they see themselves as white, black – or as something else altogether?

Tim Whitmarsh

Essay/
Religion
Not your Tibetan Buddhism

Behind the beatific image of Tibetan Buddhism lies a dark, complicated reality. But is it one the Western gaze wants to see?

Mark Hay

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Cultures & Languages
Did Homo erectus speak?

Early hominins who sailed across oceans left indirect evidence that they might have been the first to use language

Daniel Everett

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Philosophy of Language
The death of languages

Endangered languages have sentimental value, it’s true, but are there good philosophical reasons to preserve them?

Rebecca Roache

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History
Spoiling for a fight

Short of a battlefield, the most violent place in medieval England was Oxford. Why did Brits stop beating each other up?

Jim Sharpe

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Cultures & Languages
Talking gibberish

The study of languages has long been prone to nonsense. Why is linguistics such a magnet for dilettantes and crackpots?

Gaston Dorren