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Essays

Fine writing on philosophy, psychology, science, history and the arts
Learning styles don’t exist | Aeon
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Teaching and learning

Learning styles don’t exist

A teaching approach that is based on students’ preferences sounds laudable. But this misunderstands how learning happens

Carl Hendrick

Goodbye Pixel | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Goodbye Pixel

Although it felt more like bereavement for a person than the loss of a thing, the death of a pet isn’t exactly like either

Julian Baggini

Disarming transphobia | Aeon
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Gender and identity

Disarming transphobia

‘Rapid-onset gender dysphoria’ is a popular weapon in the anti-trans arsenal. It is nothing but unscientific bunk

Quinnehtukqut McLamore

The other Cleopatra | Aeon
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The ancient world

The other Cleopatra

Daughter of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, she became the influential queen of a mysterious, abundant North African kingdom

Jane Draycott

Forgotten existentialist | Aeon
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Thinkers and theories

Forgotten existentialist

Sartre gets much of the credit for existentialism. Karl Jaspers not only preceded him, but offered a way out of despair

Deborah Casewell

Born that way | Aeon
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Personality

Born that way

Confident or shy, our temperament is mostly baked-in from birth. But how that influences our lives is up for grabs

Gina Mireault

There’s no planet B | Aeon
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Space exploration

There’s no planet B

The scientific evidence is clear: the only celestial body that can support us is the one we evolved with. Here’s why

Arwen E Nicholson & Raphaëlle D Haywood

It never existed | Aeon
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Global history

It never existed

The idea of a ‘precolonial’ Africa is theoretically vacuous, racist and plain wrong about the continent’s actual history

Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò

Enter the conductrice | Aeon
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Music

Enter the conductrice

Will a new generation of women on the podium perpetuate the tyrannical charisma of their male predecessors or overturn it?

Xenia Hanusiak

The golden fuel | Aeon
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Economic history

The golden fuel

Asia’s rise to economic power and food security has been powered not by rice but by American maize, the ultimate flex-crop

Peter A Coclanis

Family passages | Aeon
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Life stages

Family passages

Each new generation learns from its elders. But familial voices now compete for influence with a chorus of urgent others

Elizabeth Svoboda

Philosophy’s blindspot | Aeon
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Philosophy of mind

Philosophy’s blindspot

Education has long been ignored by contemporary philosophers. That is a myopic view that must change

David Bakhurst