Menu
Donate
SIGN IN

Essays

Fine writing on philosophy, psychology, science, history and the arts
Living orbs of light | Aeon
Save

essay

Biology

Living orbs of light

Solving the mystery of how and why fireflies flash in time can illuminate the physics of complex systems

Orit Peleg

What is ‘the West’? | Aeon
Save

essay

Political philosophy

What is ‘the West’?

While the West belonged to a European geography, its name meant something. Now it is a vague invocation, laden with fear

Faisal Devji

Why do we sleep? | Aeon
Save

essay

Sleep and dreams

Why do we sleep?

Adults sleep less than babies. Sperm whales sleep less again. A new mathematical theory unlocks the mysteries of slumber

Van Savage & Geoffrey West

Sex on the curriculum | Aeon
Save

essay

Education

Sex on the curriculum

Sex education is a battlefield over morals and young bodies, and has exposed fractures in American life for over a century

Kristy Slominski

What animals think of death | Aeon
Save

essay

Evolution

What animals think of death

Having a concept of death, far from being a uniquely human feat, is a fairly common trait in the animal kingdom

Susana Monsó

Germany’s Wollstonecraft | Aeon
Save

essay

Thinkers and theories

Germany’s Wollstonecraft

Brilliant and fierce, the philosopher and educator Amalia Holst demonstrated how the German Enlightenment failed women

Andrew Cooper

Maestro of more than music | Aeon
Save

essay

Music

Maestro of more than music

Look beneath the surface of Bach’s music and you will find a fascinating hidden world of numerology and cunning craft

Milton Mermikides

The cliché writes back | Aeon
Save

essay

Stories and literature

The cliché writes back

Machine-written literature might offend your tastes but until the dawn of Romanticism most writers were just as formulaic

Yohei Igarashi

Queer and Arab | Aeon
Save

essay

Gender

Queer and Arab

Was there no room for the queer individual in Arab history? Have people like us simply never belonged?

Aya Labanieh

The food wars | Aeon
Save

essay

Food and drink

The food wars

Vitamins or whole foods; high-fat or low-fat; sugar or sweetener. Will we ever get a clear idea about what we should eat?

Amos Zeeberg

Jefferson’s university | Aeon
Save

essay

Education

Jefferson’s university

Thomas Jefferson founded a university believing it would safeguard republican freedom. Slavery was another matter altogether

Alan Taylor

An idea with bite | Aeon
Save

essay

Genetics

An idea with bite

The ‘selfish gene’ persists for the reason all good scientific metaphors do: it remains a sharp tool for clear thinking

J Arvid Ågren