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Philosophy

Essays and videos on philosophy, the history of ideas, ethics and life’s big questions
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essay

Work

Fuck work

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

James Livingston

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video

Biology

Watch a single cell become a complete organism in six pulsing minutes of timelapse

6 minutes

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essay

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

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idea

War and peace

What did Hannah Arendt really mean by the banality of evil?

Thomas White

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essay

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

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idea

Philosophy of science

Why philosophy is so important in science education

Subrena E Smith

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video

Beauty and aesthetics

This is the final resting place of your cast-off clothing

14 minutes

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essay

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

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essay

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

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essay

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

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essay

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

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essay

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

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idea

Human rights and justice

Why the trial by ordeal was actually an effective test of guilt

Peter T Leeson

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idea

Knowledge

You don’t have a right to believe whatever you want to

Daniel DeNicola

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idea

Pleasure and pain

Psychogenic shivers: why we get the chills when we aren’t cold

Félix Schoeller

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essay

Political philosophy

The power thinker

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

Colin Koopman

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essay

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

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idea

History of ideas

A philosophical approach to routines can illuminate who we really are

Solmu Anttila

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essay

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

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idea

History of ideas

How Camus and Sartre split up over the question of how to be free

Sam Dresser

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essay

Sex and sexuality

Pornucopia

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

Maria Konnikova

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idea

History of ideas

Before you can be with others, first learn to be alone

Jennifer Stitt

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essay

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

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idea

Philosophy of science

You thought quantum mechanics was weird: check out entangled time

Elise Crull