Support Aeon

‘I am a friend of Aeon because I value freedom ... freely provided, intelligently presented information liberates us all.’

Roland M, USA, Friend of Aeon

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Donate now

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Donate now

Joanna Bourke
Professor of History, Birkback College, UL
Joanna Bourke is a professor of history at Birkbeck College, University of London. She has published nine books, with her latest The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers out in June 2014.

Written by Joanna Bourke

Essay/
Pleasure and pain
Our anaesthetic times

Nobody wants to go back in time, but did we lose our sense of sympathy when we lost the shared experience of pain?

Joanna Bourke