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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
Seen from inside, a couple eat a basic meal whilst outside in an alleyway a queue of mostly older people wait their turn
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Political philosophy

Liberal socialism now

As the crisis of democracy deepens, we must return to liberalism’s revolutionary and egalitarian roots

Matthew McManus

A footballer in the Manchester United red strip runs past cheering fans in the stadium
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Sports and games

The moral risks of fandom

Players, coaches and team owners sometimes do terrible things. What, if anything, should their fans do about that?

Jake Wojtowicz & Alfred Archer

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Animals and humans

Ant geopolitics

Over the past four centuries quadrillions of ants have created a strange and turbulent global society that shadows our own

John Whitfield

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Rituals and celebrations

Meet the entrepreneur whose business is crafting perfect peak experiences

12 minutes

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Religion

There was no Jesus

How could a cult leader draw crowds, inspire devotion and die by crucifixion, yet leave no mark in contemporary records?

Gavin Evans

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Human rights and justice

A reporter orphaned by night raids in Afghanistan investigates their cruel legacy

17 minutes

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Computing and artificial intelligence

Frontier AI ethics

Generative agents will change our society in weird, wonderful and worrying ways. Can philosophy help us get a grip on them?

Seth Lazar

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Work

Does capitalism make ‘non-playable characters’ of us all? An uncanny exploration

21 minutes

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Thinkers and theories

Against power

As a republican, Sophie de Grouchy argued that sympathy, not domination, must be the glue that holds society together

Sandrine Bergès & Eric Schliesser

Black-and-white photo of a man and a woman, seen from behind, on the deck of a boat, looking out to shore
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Philosophy of language

Metaphors make the world

Woven into the fabric of language, metaphors shape how we understand reality. What happens when we try using new ones?

Benjamin Santos Genta

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Architecture

‘I listen to the land’ – poetry and greenery intertwine in Emilio Ambasz’s architecture

9 minutes

Close-up of an orange Mercedes car with the focus on the front tyre, which is inscribed with ‘In Crypto We Trust’
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Economics

The cruelty of crypto

Selling itself as the new American dream, crypto exposes the vulnerable to fraud and scams, and loads risk onto the poor

Rachel O’Dwyer

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Design and fashion

The ornate, the aromatic, the cruel – Valentine’s cards before the age of Hallmark

16 minutes

A colour illustration of a pool of water in which many people are swimming, glimpsed through trees, against a city skyline background
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Mental health

The right to bathe

Water is a great healer. Can New York’s public pools and ‘blue spaces’ be engineered for collective hydrotherapy?

Rebecca Hayes Jacobs

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History

The mythos of leadership

How the biblical King David and Machiavelli’s Prince can help us understand the dominant view of leaders as individualists

Moshik Temkin

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Medicine

Why surgery and barbering were one occupation in the Middle Ages

6 minutes

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Global history

One ship, many stories

How a single, unglamorous, workaday merchant vessel tells the history of the 19th-century world in many violent chapters

Boyd Cothran & Adrian Shubert

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Thinkers and theories

‘My art is oratory, Socrates.’ An ancient warning on the power and peril of rhetoric

4 minutes

A couple lying on grass on a hill nearby an American listening station in Berlin
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Metaphysics

What awaits us?

Humanity’s future remains as unthinkable as the still-uncolonised galaxy or the enduring mystery of our own births and deaths

Jennifer Banks

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Human rights and justice

Witch hunts persist as a horrifying, deadly reality in pockets of rural India

24 minutes

A measure for depth of water stands upright in a dried up landscape that was formerly a lake
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Information and communication

Beware climate populism

The most ardent deniers of anthropogenic climate change today will become the climate conspiracy theorists of tomorrow

Ákos Szegőfi

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Architecture

The new architecture wars

Traditionalist and modernist architecture are both mass-produced, industrial and international. Is there an alternative?

Owen Hatherley

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Space exploration

Mind-bending speed is the only way to reach the stars – here are three ways to do it

5 minutes

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Animals and humans

An animal myself

When we imagine ourselves as another creature, we become more attuned to the world around us – and better at being human

Erica Berry