Menu
Donate
SIGN IN

Philosophy

Essays and videos on philosophy, the history of ideas, ethics and life’s big questions
Forgotten existentialist | Aeon
Save

essay

Thinkers and theories

Forgotten existentialist

Sartre gets much of the credit for existentialism. Karl Jaspers not only preceded him, but offered a way out of despair

Deborah Casewell

Family passages | Aeon
Save

essay

Life stages

Family passages

Each new generation learns from its elders. But familial voices now compete for influence with a chorus of urgent others

Elizabeth Svoboda

Many wisdoms | Aeon
Save

essay

Self-improvement

Many wisdoms

There are no transcendent insights that rise above human difference. Yet wisdom exists if we look in the right places

Avram Alpert

This essay isn’t true | Aeon
Save

essay

Metaphysics

This essay isn’t true

Alethic nihilism is the theory that nothing is true. There is much to gain by taking this radical idea seriously

David Liggins

Jesuits in the boardroom | Aeon
Save

essay

Economic history

Jesuits in the boardroom

As corporations struggle to survive in a more uncertain world, they should look to the success of the Society of Jesus

Paolo Quattrone

Attuned to the aesthetic | Aeon
Save

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 imperative betrayal | Aeon
Save

essay

Religion

The imperative betrayal

The mystery of why Judas forsook Jesus goes to the heart of Christianity. A newly translated gospel offers a new view

David Brakke

Blue-eyed Buddhist | Aeon
Save

essay

Religion

Blue-eyed Buddhist

The story of a working-class radical from Ireland who became a celebrated monk and challenged the British Empire in Asia

Laurence Cox

Exhuming the truth | Aeon
Save

essay

Human rights and justice

Exhuming the truth

Thousands of victims of political executions lie in anonymous graves. Forensics offers hope for the ‘forgotten’ ones

Nicole Iturriaga

Democracy or apocalypse | Aeon
Save

essay

Thinkers and theories

Democracy or apocalypse

Eric Voegelin and Hans Kelsen fled the Nazis. In the US, they clashed over the nature of modernity and government

David Dyzenhaus

Buddhist missionaries | Aeon
Save

essay

Religion

Buddhist missionaries

Buddhist monks have mostly escaped the label of proselytisers, but they’ll still spread the word to those who seek them out

Brooke Schedneck

Tantra: enlightenment to revolution | Aeon
Save

video

History of ideas

Tantra is, and was, a subversive philosophy of feminine power

19 minutes

Reasons to be cheerful | Aeon
Save

essay

History of ideas

Reasons to be cheerful

A cheery mood, you might think, is a terribly self-absorbed response to serious times. But history tells us otherwise

Timothy Hampton

You’re astonishing! | Aeon
Save

essay

Meaning and the good life

You’re astonishing!

Life can be better appreciated when you remember how wonderfully and frighteningly unlikely it is that you exist at all

Timm Triplett

Through the eyes of another | Aeon
Save

essay

Ethics

Through the eyes of another

It’s impossible to shed our individual biases. So the best way to establish objectivity is by taking on new perspectives

Heidi Maibom

The will to fight | Aeon
Save

essay

War and peace

The will to fight

Throughout history, the most effective combatants have powered to victory on commitment to core values and collective resolve

Scott Atran

Bacon and God’s wrath | Aeon
Save

video

Values and beliefs

How a God-fearing Jewish woman found atheism – and bacon – in her later years

9 minutes

The last tape | Aeon
Save

video

War and peace

Before he leaves to go to war, Artem, 18, says goodbye to the man who raised him

12 minutes

Since Derrida | Aeon
Save

essay

Thinkers and theories

Since Derrida

A golden generation of French philosophers dismantled truth and other traditional ideas. What next for their successors?

Peter Salmon

EXCLUSIVEThe Japanese sword as the soul of the samurai | Aeon
Save

video

History of technology

A rare glimpse inside a samurai sword workshop, where ritual meets mastery

24 minutes

EXCLUSIVESmall protests | Aeon
Save

video

Fairness and equality

With barely a possession to his name, Rabbit builds a life around fighting corruption

10 minutes

Departing gesture | Aeon
Save

video

Values and beliefs

A funeral director takes in bodies that social stigma leaves unclaimed

11 minutes

Zen kōans | Aeon
Save

video

Philosophy of religion

What Zen Buddhist riddles reveal about knowledge and the unknowable

5 minutes

Stoics as activists | Aeon
Save

essay

Ethics

Stoics as activists

You might think of it as a philosophy for turning away from the world, but ancient Stoics took a stand against tyranny

Massimo Pigliucci