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Philosophy

Essays and videos on philosophy, the history of ideas, ethics and life’s big questions
Chemical somnia | Aeon
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video

Chemistry

A square inch in a Petri dish becomes a grand stage for chemical transformations

4 minutes

The first Romantics | Aeon
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essay

History of ideas

The first Romantics

How a close group of brilliant friends, in a tiny German university town, laid the foundations of modern consciousness

Andrea Wulf

Attuned to the aesthetic | Aeon
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essay

Beauty and aesthetics

Attuned to the aesthetic

The ultimate value of the world can be discovered if you are sensitive to what is beautiful

Tom Cochrane

The science of symmetry | Aeon
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video

Evolution

Symmetry rules life on Earth – but it comes with many fascinating exceptions

9 minutes

What does art do? | Aeon
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essay

Beauty and aesthetics

What does art do?

Good art, laced with irony, ambiguity and suspense, is not obviously political. That’s what makes it politically interesting

Vid Simoniti

Not just a bowl of fruit | Aeon
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Ageing and death

‘It’s not beautiful, but it’s interesting’ – an ageing nude model surveys her body

4 minutes

Great art explained: Rothko’s Seagram Murals | Aeon
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Art

Can art in a swanky restaurant ever be transcendent? On Rothko’s Seagram Murals

15 minutes

Ed and Pauline | Aeon
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Film and visual culture

At the movies with Pauline Kael – in the arthouse cinema where she got her start

19 minutes

The modern invention of white antique marble | Aeon
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Archaeology

Ancient Greek sculptures were colourful. Why does the white marble ideal persist?

6 minutes

EXCLUSIVEAnémic cinéma | Aeon
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Art

Dizzying discs and obscene wordplay – revisiting Marcel Duchamp’s 1926 film debut

7 minutes

James Wines: nature’s revenge | Aeon
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video

Architecture

Why a sculptor pivoted from gallery installations to big-box stores design

9 minutes

John Ruskin: in awe of nature | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

For Ruskin, words couldn’t capture nature’s palette. So here it is in black and white

6 minutes

Who decides what art means? | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

Does the artist’s intention matter, or is it indeed all in the eye of the beholder?

4 minutes

The painter who revolutionised landscapes | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

Why Caspar David Friedrich pits nature’s grandeur against the humble human

7 minutes

The six sides of Merce Cunningham | Aeon
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Dance and theatre

Technology, philosophy, randomness – how Merce Cunningham pushed dance to its limits

7 minutes

Great art explained: Mona Lisa | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

Not just a meme, but a masterpiece – why the Mona Lisa earns its exalted place in art

33 minutes

The beautiful experiment | Aeon
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essay

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

Vertigo AI | Aeon
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video

Computing and artificial intelligence

Who, exactly, authored this AI-generated spin on Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo?

5 minutes

Being in a building | Aeon
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essay

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

4’33” | Aeon
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video

Music

Take in the sounds of silence via this unique performance of John Cage’s infamous piece

5 minutes

Anjan Chatterjee: neurological disorder and art | Aeon
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Neuroscience

Artists can flourish after brain damage. What does this say about neurology and aesthetics?

7 minutes

Phenomena: energy | Aeon
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Chemistry

Liquid experiments show how beautiful things can happen when chemicals meet

6 minutes

Maestro of more than music | Aeon
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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

Kabuki: the classic theatre of Japan | Aeon
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video

Dance and theatre

Close-up on kabuki – the colourful ‘pure entertainment’ of Japan’s Edo period

31 minutes