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Essays

Fine writing on philosophy, psychology, science, history and the arts
The chocolate route | Aeon
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Food and drink

The chocolate route

The humble cocoa bean’s journey from its Amerindian origins to worldwide dominance is a lesson in the power of trade

Irene Fattacciu

Becoming a centaur | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Becoming a centaur

The horse is a prey animal, the human a predator. Our shared trust and athleticism is a neurobiological miracle

Janet Jones

The worldly turn | Aeon
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Economics

The worldly turn

After generations of ‘blackboard economics’, Berkeley and MIT are leading a return to economics that studies the real world

Tom Bergin

This paradoxical life | Aeon
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Logic and probability

This paradoxical life

When logic fails to make sense of a world noisy with inconsistency, paraconsistent logics hold out (im)possible solutions

Zach Weber

Uncovering Sparta | Aeon
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The ancient world

Uncovering Sparta

Mythological home of Helen, war-making polis of Leonidas and now a modest municipality: the city is a palimpsest

Daphne D. Martin

In pursuit of the hole | Aeon
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Art

In pursuit of the hole

Dig into the voids, pin-pricks and cut-outs of art and history, and those absences speak volumes about what’s been missed

Kim Beil

The meaning of anger | Aeon
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Mood and emotion

The meaning of anger

Is anger like energy, forever changing form but never dissipating, or part of our repertoire of desires, the cry of a need unmet?

Josh Cohen

The Waste Age | Aeon
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Design and fashion

The Waste Age

Recognising that waste is central, not peripheral, to everything we design, make and do is key to transforming the future

Justin McGuirk

The end of travel | Aeon
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Travel

The end of travel

Driven by the need for a storied life, I relished the opportunity for endless travel. Is that a moment in time, now over?

Henry Wismayer

How disruptions happen | Aeon
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History

How disruptions happen

Major disruptions in world history follow a clear pattern. What can upheavals of the past tell us about our own future?

David Potter

Stoics as activists | Aeon
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Ethics

Stoics as activists

You might think of it as a philosophy for turning away from the world, but ancient Stoics took a stand against tyranny

Massimo Pigliucci

Trolls be gone | Aeon
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Information and communication

Trolls be gone

Anonymous users generate most toxic abuse and conspiracy theories online. The right to be anonymous should be curtailed

Stephen Kinsella