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Essays

Fine writing on philosophy, psychology, science, history and the arts
Literary prostitutes | Aeon
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Stories and literature

Literary prostitutes

I self-published erotica to make ends meet. Could I follow in Anaïs Nin’s footsteps or was I doomed to churn out filth?

Sam Mills

After neurodiversity | Aeon
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Neurodiversity

After neurodiversity

We live in a world that must move beyond identity politics and embrace new models of the mind. Enter psydiversity

Bonnie Evans

Don’t farm bugs | Aeon
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Bioethics

Don’t farm bugs

Insect farming bakes, boils and shreds animals by the trillion. It’s immoral, risky and won’t resolve the climate crisis

Jeff Sebo & Jason Schukraft

Typos, tricks and misprints | Aeon
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Language and linguistics

Typos, tricks and misprints

Why is English spelling so weird and unpredictable? Don’t blame the mix of languages; look to quirks of timing and technology

Arika Okrent

Forget morality | Aeon
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Ethics

Forget morality

Moral philosophy is bogus, a mere substitute for God that licenses ugly emotions. Here are five reasons to reject it

Ronnie de Sousa

We’re all teenagers now | Aeon
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Childhood and adolescence

We’re all teenagers now

Adolescence isn’t a time of life so much as a frame of mind. Liberating yet damaging, it’s transformed the US and the world

Paul Howe

The divine Dante | Aeon
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Stories and literature

The divine Dante

At 700, Dante’s Divine Comedy is as modern as ever – a lesson in spiritual intelligence that makes us better at being alive

Mark Vernon

A non-Standard model | Aeon
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Cosmology

A non-Standard model

Most cosmologists say dark matter must exist. So far, it’s nowhere to be found. A widely scorned rival theory explains why

David Merritt

Attached | Aeon
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Childhood and adolescence

Attached

From cradle to grave, we are soothed and rocked by attachments – our source of joy and pain, and the essence of who we are

Mostafa El-Kalliny & Zoe R Donaldson

Vast early America | Aeon
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Nations and empires

Vast early America

There is no American history without the histories of Indigenous and enslaved peoples. And this past has consequences today

Karin Wulf

Plagues and empires | Aeon
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Global history

Plagues and empires

What can the decline of the Roman Empire and the end of European feudalism tell us about COVID-19 and the future of the West?

John Rapley

A good scrap | Aeon
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Social psychology

A good scrap

Disagreements can be unpleasant, even offensive, but they are vital to human reason. Without them we remain in the dark

Ian Leslie