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Essays

Fine writing on philosophy, psychology, science, history and the arts
Geopolitics is for losers | Aeon
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Global history

Geopolitics is for losers

The concept of geopolitics comes from German and Russian attempts to explain defeat and reverse loss of influence

Harold James

The honesty of pornography | Aeon
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Stories and literature

The honesty of pornography

Often vilified as a weapon of male supremacy, pornography in fact has much to tell us about ourselves and our culture

Kathleen Lubey

Moral mathematics | Aeon
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Ethics

Moral mathematics

Subjecting the problems of ethics to the cool quantifications of logic and probability can help us to be better people

Elad Uzan

We are interwoven beings | Aeon
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Metaphysics

We are interwoven beings

A dragon needs the clouds and the wind in order to fly. What happens when we too relinquish individualistic reasoning?

Mercedes Valmisa

Wanderlust of the ancients | Aeon
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The ancient world

Wanderlust of the ancients

The Roman Empire enabled an early version of globalisation that offered travellers adventure, novelty and opportunity

Fabio Fernandes

Was Colin Wilson a fascist? | Aeon
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Stories and literature

Was Colin Wilson a fascist?

For thousands of fans, he made philosophy thrillingly relevant. Yet there is a deep unsavoury undercurrent to his worldview

Jules Evans

Our Earth, shaped by life | Aeon
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Earth science and climate

Our Earth, shaped by life

Darwin was the first to see that all lifeforms, from worms to corals, transform the planet. What does that mean for us?

Olivia Judson

This essay isn’t true | Aeon
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Metaphysics

This essay isn’t true

Alethic nihilism is the theory that nothing is true. There is much to gain by taking this radical idea seriously

David Liggins

Cogitating black holes | Aeon
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Cosmology

Cogitating black holes

The Universe cannot always be understood through observation. Instead, physicists explore by devising thought experiments

Michael Dine

The helpful delusion | Aeon
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Mental health

The helpful delusion

Evidence is growing that mental illness is more than dysfunction, with enormous implications for treatment

Justin Garson

Trenches in Chernobyl | Aeon
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War and peace

Trenches in Chernobyl

Disturbing and inhaling radioactive dust, in their haste Russian soldiers unburied the wrecked, undead Earth itself

Michael Marder

Keeping the score | Aeon
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Anthropology

Keeping the score

The gifts we exchange are both generous and yet fraught with social rules and obligations. Marcel Mauss explained why

Gili Kliger