Philosophy


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Beauty and aesthetics Bioethics Comparative philosophy Cosmopolitanism Death Ethics History of ideas Knowledge Logic and probability Meaning and the good life Metaphysics Philosophy of language Philosophy of mind Philosophy of religion Philosophy of science Political philosophy Thinkers and theories Values and beliefs Virtues and vices

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Work
Fuck work

Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren’t working anymore?

James Livingston

Photo by Raymond Depardon/Magnum

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Meaning and the good life
Indifference is a power

As legions of warriors and prisoners can attest, Stoicism is not grim resolve but a way to wrest happiness from adversity

Lary Wallace

A family party, Italy, 1983. Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum

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Meaning and the good life
The meanings of life

Happiness is not the same as a sense of meaning. How do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?

Roy F Baumeister

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty

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Gender and identity
Gender is not a spectrum

The idea that ‘gender is a spectrum’ is supposed to set us free. But it is both illogical and politically troubling

Rebecca Reilly-Cooper

Alan Watts: ‘Half monk and half racecourse operator.’ Illustration by Stephen Collins

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Consciousness and altered states
Off-beat Zen

How I found my way out of depression, thanks to the writings of the English priest who brought Buddhism to the West

Tim Lott

Photo posed by a model. Phillip Suddick/Getty

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Philosophy of mind
The problem of mindfulness

Mindfulness promotes itself as value-neutral but it is loaded with (troubling) assumptions about the self and the cosmos

Sahanika Ratnayake

Illustration by Michael Marsicano

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Consciousness and altered states
How the light gets out

Consciousness is the ‘hard problem’, the one that confounds science and philosophy. Has a new theory cracked it?

Michael Graziano

‘Expecting to create an AGI without first understanding how it works is like expecting skyscrapers to fly if we build them tall enough.’ Illustration by Sam Green

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Computing and artificial intelligence
Creative blocks

The very laws of physics imply that artificial intelligence must be possible. What’s holding us up?

David Deutsch

Illustration by Claire Scully

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Biology
Does life have a purpose?

Nobody expects atoms and molecules to have purposes, so why do we still think of living things in this way?

Michael Ruse

Illustration by Paul Blow

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Ethics
A theory of jerks

Are you surrounded by fools? Are you the only reasonable person around? Then maybe you’re the one with the jerkitude

Eric Schwitzgebel

Illustration by Fumitake Uchida

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Logic and probability
Beyond true and false

Buddhist philosophy is full of contradictions. Now modern logic is learning why that might be a good thing

Graham Priest

Photo by Julian Calverley/Getty

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Ethics
Kids? Just say no

You don’t have to dislike children to see the harms done by having them. There is a moral case against procreation

David Benatar

Contemplating the deep future, in light of the past: philosopher Nick Bostrom at the Oxford Museum of Natural History. Photo by Andy Sansom/Aeon Magazine

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Computing and artificial intelligence
Omens

When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars?

Ross Andersen

Photo by Corbis

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Information and communication
The new mind control

The internet has spawned subtle forms of influence that can flip elections and manipulate everything we say, think and do

Robert Epstein

Detail from Senecio by Paul Klee. 1922. Oil on gauze. Kunstmuseum, Basel. Photo by Corbis

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Philosophy of mind
I am not a story

Some find it comforting to think of life as a story. Others find that absurd. So are you a Narrative or a non-Narrative?

Galen Strawson

Photo by Ulrich Lebeuf / M.Y.O.P/ Eyevine

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Sex and sexuality
Pornucopia

Critics say that porn degrades women, dulls sexual pleasure, and ruins authentic relationships – are they right?

Maria Konnikova

Michel Foucault at home in Paris, 1978. Photo by Martine Franck/Magnum

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Political philosophy
The power thinker

Original, painstaking, sometimes frustrating and often dazzling. Foucault’s work on power matters now more than ever

Colin Koopman

Beast-machines. The City Rises by Umberto Boccioni (1910). MOMA. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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Neuroscience
The real problem

It looks like scientists and philosophers might have made consciousness far more mysterious than it needs to be

Anil K Seth

Illustration by Stephen Collins

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History of ideas
I still love Kierkegaard

He is the dramatic thunderstorm at the heart of philosophy and his provocation is more valuable than ever

Julian Baggini

Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

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Knowledge
Escape the echo chamber

First you don’t hear other views. Then you can’t trust them. Your personal information network entraps you just like a cult

C Thi Nguyen