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Philosophy

Essays and videos on philosophy, the history of ideas, ethics and life’s big questions
Ethical dilemma: whose life is more valuable? | Aeon
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Ethics

How many monkeys is it worth sacrificing to save a human life?

6 minutes

Happy the person | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Happy the person

She has deep emotions, complex social needs and a large, elephant brain. Her legal personhood should be recognised too

Lori Marino

Semiotics of dogs | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Semiotics of dogs

In all its baroque and sometimes cruelly overbred forms, the dog is a paramount symbol of both human hopes and foibles

Katrina Gulliver

Freefall into darkness | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Freefall into darkness

Scientists study animals to illuminate human psychology. So why are we blind to the mental lives of our caged subjects?

Garet Lahvis

Against human exceptionalism | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Against human exceptionalism

In a tight spot, you’d probably intuit that a human life outweighs an animal’s. There are good arguments why that’s wrong

Jeff Sebo

Sister | Aeon
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Family life

A son of China’s former one-child policy remembers the sibling he never had

8 minutes

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

The posthuman dog | Aeon
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Animals and humans

The posthuman dog

If humans were to disappear from the face of the Earth, what might dogs become? And would they be better off without us?

Jessica Pierce

Defend the deep | Aeon
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Oceans and water

Defend the deep

Instead of letting waves of exploitation sweep through the deep ocean, we could choose to protect this vast living realm

Helen Scales

Don’t farm bugs | Aeon
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Bioethics

Don’t farm bugs

Insect farming bakes, boils and shreds animals by the trillion. It’s immoral, risky and won’t resolve the climate crisis

Jeff Sebo & Jason Schukraft

Gut hack | Aeon
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Biology

When medicine offers no relief, a biohacker begins a radical self-experiment

12 minutes

Do we send the goo? | Aeon
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Space exploration

Do we send the goo?

The ability to stir new life into being, all across the Universe, compels us to ask why life matters in the first place

Betül Kaçar

Consciousness regained | Aeon
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Consciousness and altered states

Consciousness regained

After years of deep therapeutic pessimism, emerging therapies offer hope for patients trapped between coma and wakefulness

Aurore Thibaut

It didn’t have to be this way | Aeon
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Public health

It didn’t have to be this way

A bioethicist at the heart of the Italian coronavirus crisis asks: why won’t we talk about the tradeoffs of the lockdown?

Silvia Camporesi

Test subjects | Aeon
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Bioethics

For some, animal testing is ‘just science’. For others, it’s just not right

17 minutes

No patient is an island | Aeon
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Medicine

No patient is an island

How a concern to protect the autonomy of patients leads to the exclusion of families just when they are needed the most

Anita Ho

Whose limb is it anyway? On the ethics of body-part disposal | Aeon
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Bioethics

Whose limb is it anyway? On the ethics of body-part disposal

Esmée Hanna

Rats are us | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Rats are us

They are sentient beings with rich emotional lives, yet we subject them to experimental cruelty without conscience. Why?

Kristin Andrews & Susana Monsó

Neither person nor cadaver | Aeon
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Bioethics

Neither person nor cadaver

The body is warm, but the brain has gone dark: why the notion of brain death provokes the thorniest of medical dilemmas

Sharon Kaufman

EXCLUSIVENorman, Norman | Aeon
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Animals and humans

How does Norman, a 16-year-old Shih Tzu, see the pet cloning dilemma?

8 minutes

Is crip the new queer? | Aeon
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Human rights and justice

Is crip the new queer?

Disability activists who look to queer theory for their politics end up limiting their real transgressive potential

Rahila Gupta

Why older people should be allowed to change their legal age | Aeon
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idea

Ageing and death

Why older people should be allowed to change their legal age

Joona Räsänen

Deep brain stimulation | Aeon
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Neuroscience

Deep brain stimulation

DBS is an incredibly promising intervention for intractable neurological and psychiatric illness. What are the risks?

Jonathan Pugh

Eating someone | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Eating someone

Farmed animals have personalities, smarts, even a sense of agency. Why then do we saddle them with lives of utter despair?

Lori Marino