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Philosophy

Essays and videos on philosophy, the history of ideas, ethics and life’s big questions
Violator | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

From violent criminal to loving parent – a son’s story of his father’s transformation

23 minutes

The delights of mischief | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

The delights of mischief

Mischievousness requires humour, wit and a playful humaneness: qualities that make for a particular kind of virtue

Alex Moran

Look on the dark side | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

Look on the dark side

We must keep the flame of pessimism burning: it is a virtue for our deeply troubled times, when crude optimism is a vice

Mara van der Lugt

Is virtue signalling a vice? | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

Is virtue signalling a vice?

Proclaiming one’s own goodness is deeply annoying. Yet signalling theory explains why it’s a peculiarly powerful manoeuvre

Tadeg Quillien

Forget morality | Aeon
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Ethics

Forget morality

Moral philosophy is bogus, a mere substitute for God that licenses ugly emotions. Here are five reasons to reject it

Ronnie de Sousa

Lies and honest mistakes | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

Lies and honest mistakes

Our crisis of public knowledge is an ethical crisis. Rewarding ‘truthfulness’ above ‘truth’ is a step towards a solution

Richard V Reeves

How to be a genius | Aeon
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Cognition and intelligence

How to be a genius

I travelled the world and trawled the archive to unearth the hidden lessons from history’s most brilliant people

Craig Wright

The living Mahabharata | Aeon
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Stories and literature

The living Mahabharata

Immorality, sexism, politics, war: the polychromatic Indian epic pulses with relevance to the present day

Audrey Truschke

EXCLUSIVEElsewhere | Aeon
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Personality

Eight men reflect on their paths to prison – and imagine their alternative lives

30 minutes

From vice to crime | Aeon
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Global history

From vice to crime

European empires were addicted to opium smoking. Then their own agents launched a moral crusade to prohibit it

Diana S Kim

Vice dressed as virtue | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

Vice dressed as virtue

Cruelty and morality seem like polar opposites – until they join forces. Beware those who persecute in the name of principle

Paul Russell

If all our actions are shaped by luck, are we still agents? | Aeon
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Ethics

If all our actions are shaped by luck, are we still agents?

Jake Wojtowicz

Boredom is but a window to a sunny day beyond the gloom | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

Boredom is but a window to a sunny day beyond the gloom

Neel Burton

Humility and self-doubt are hallmarks of a good therapist | Aeon
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Psychiatry and psychotherapy

Humility and self-doubt are hallmarks of a good therapist

Helene A Nissen-Lie

Modesty means more, not less | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

Modesty means more, not less

True modesty is not to be timid or meek but a way of being in the world that means you don’t get in the way of your life

Nicolas Bommarito

Is virtue signalling a perversion of morality? | Aeon
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Ethics

Is virtue signalling a perversion of morality?

Neil Levy

Mistaken | Aeon
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Knowledge

Mistaken

Assuming that another person’s opinions are immune from criticism is not a marker of respect. It is, in fact, dehumanising

Daniel Ward

To make laziness work for you, put some effort into it | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

To make laziness work for you, put some effort into it

Neel Burton

The fast track to a life well lived is feeling grateful | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

The fast track to a life well lived is feeling grateful

David DeSteno

Righteous incivility | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

Righteous incivility

The temptation to be uncivil grows as public discourse gets nastier and more aggressive. Can rudeness ever be righteous?

Amy Olberding

How ad hominem arguments can demolish appeals to authority | Aeon
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Logic and probability

How ad hominem arguments can demolish appeals to authority

Moti Mizrahi

The information arms race can’t be won, but we have to keep fighting | Aeon
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Information and communication

The information arms race can’t be won, but we have to keep fighting

Cailin O’Connor

Let’s resolve to own the right to make and break resolutions | Aeon
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Ethics

Let’s resolve to own the right to make and break resolutions

John Kaag

More than skin deep | Aeon
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Beauty and aesthetics

More than skin deep

Beauty is a deeply moral matter that makes kindness, empathy and honesty attractive, while vice warps into ugliness

Panos Paris