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Essays

Fine writing on philosophy, psychology, science, history and the arts
East of Zionism | Aeon
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Nations and empires

East of Zionism

In 1900 my grandfather’s generation imagined a modernising Arab world, multireligious and progressive. What happened?

Ussama Makdisi

The beautiful experiment | Aeon
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Philosophy of science

The beautiful experiment

Science has become extraordinarily technocratic and complex. Is the simple and decisive experiment still a worthy ideal?

Milena Ivanova

How we became weekly | Aeon
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Economic history

How we became weekly

The week is the most artificial and recent of our time counts yet it’s impossible to imagine our shared lives without it

David Henkin

Are men animals? | Aeon
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Gender

Are men animals?

Diagnosing men as violent and oversexed beasts is tempting but it’s a regressive idea built on dubious analogies

Matthew Gutmann

Being in a building | Aeon
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Architecture

Being in a building

One of the great buildings of the Renaissance reminds us that buildings are made to be explored, smelled and even tasted

David Karmon

Promethean beasts | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Promethean beasts

Far from being hardwired to flee fire, some animals use it to their own ends, helping us understand our own pyrocognition

Ivo Jacobs

The humane asylum | Aeon
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Psychiatry and psychotherapy

The humane asylum

As a society we are failing people with severe, persistent mental illness. It’s time to reimagine institutional care

Madeleine Ritts & Daniel Rosenbaum

George Sand’s boots | Aeon
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Gender and identity

George Sand’s boots

How the rebellious novelist left behind her provincial self to learn about life, charging around Paris dressed as a man

Belinda Jack

Inside your dreamscape | Aeon
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Sleep and dreams

Inside your dreamscape

Dream-hacking techniques can help us create, heal and have fun. They could also become tools of commercial manipulation

Adam Haar Horowitz, Robert Stickgold & Antonio Zadra

This riotous life | Aeon
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Palaeontology

This riotous life

There’s no rhythm to mass extinctions, no pattern to evolutionary recovery. Life bursts forth, in cacophonous adaptation

Riley Black

We are all frail | Aeon
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Bioethics

We are all frail

We should be able to acknowledge that disabilities can cause pain and suffering without disabled people feeling dehumanised

Tom Shakespeare

Learn from machine learning | Aeon
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Future of technology

Learn from machine learning

The world is a black box full of extreme specificity: it might be predictable but that doesn’t mean it is understandable

David Weinberger