Support Aeon

‘I support Aeon because I value excellence over up-to-the-minute, depth over speed, beauty over fact-dropping.’

Ole S, Germany, 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

Sally Davies

Edited by Sally Davies

Essay/
Cognition and intelligence
Cognitive gadgets

Our thinking devices – imitation, mind-reading, language and others – are neither hard-wired nor designed by genetic evolution

Cecilia Heyes

Essay/
Physics
In defence of disorder

Humans love laws and seek predictability. But like our Universe, which thrives on entropy, we need disorder to flourish

Alan Lightman

Essay/
Political philosophy
Resist and be free

More than false choices and options, the highest freedom lies in being true to oneself and defying the expectations of others

Mariam Thalos

Essay/
Gender and identity
Words for every body

Some critics say that terms such as ‘chestfeeding’ and ‘front hole’ erase cis women’s identities. Here’s why we disagree

Ray Briggs & B R George

Essay/
Evolution
The Neanderthal renaissance

Handprints on a cave wall, crumbs from a meal: the new science of Neanderthals radically recasts the meaning of humanity

Rebecca Wragg Sykes

Essay/
Human rights and justice
A survivor speaks

Victims of sexual assault are commonly judged by the consistency of their story. But consistency is not a high road to truth

Linda Martín Alcoff

Essay/
Anthropology
Did laughter make the mind?

A psychological relief valve and a guard against despotism, laughter is a uniquely human – and collective – activity

Chris Knight

Essay/
Language and linguistics
Words as feelings

A special class of vivid, textural words defies linguistic theory: could ‘ideophones’ unlock the secrets of humans’ first utterances?

David Robson

Essay/
Self-improvement
The creed of compromise

Don’t throw in the day job to follow your dream. Join the bifurcators who juggle work-for-pay and their work-for-love

Thomas Maloney

Essay/
Philosophy of science
The blind spot

It’s tempting to think science gives a God’s-eye view of reality. But we forget the place of human experience at our peril

Adam Frank, Marcelo Gleiser & Evan Thompson

Essay/
Gender and identity
Seduction, Inc

The pickup industry mates market logic with the arts of seduction – turning human intimacy into hard labour

Rachel O’Neill

Essay/
Rituals and celebrations
The scents of heaven

Frankincense and myrrh have long links to the sacred. Why has Christianity viewed them with both fascination and suspicion?

Timothy Carroll

Essay/
History
Separatism is no solution

Partition in Iraq rests on Orientalist ideas – and overlooks what many Iraqis, minorities included, say they want

Alice Su

Essay/
Anthropology
At home with the homeless

Is a home made of bricks and mortar or hopes and dreams? Dispatches from among the rough sleepers on the streets of Paris

Johannes Lenhard

Essay/
Biology
Bee-brained

Are insects ‘philosophical zombies’ with no inner life? Close attention to their behaviours and moods suggests otherwise

Lars Chittka & Catherine Wilson

Essay/
Social psychology
Make up your mind(s)!

A pair of cognitive scientists, married for half a century, explain why two argumentative heads can be better than one

Uta Frith & Chris Frith

Recent comments