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Sally Davies

Edited by Sally Davies

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/
Cultures & Languages
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 & Sexuality
Seduction, Inc

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

Rachel O’Neill

Essay/
Rituals & 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

Essay/
Gender & Sexuality
Transgender: a dialogue

The conversation about trans identities has been riven by bitter divisions. Two philosophers offer radically different perspectives

Sophie-Grace Chappell & Holly Lawford-Smith

Essay/
History of Science
A history of monsters

Monsters once inhabited the mysterious fringes of the known world. In our human-dominated present, can they still be found?

Natalie Lawrence

Essay/
Gender & Sexuality
Why be nonbinary?

A world segregated into male and female categories feels suffocating. Nonbinary identity is a radical escape hatch

Robin Dembroff

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
The elephant as a person

Elephants might have the necessary capacities for personhood – we just need to help them acquire the cognitive scaffolding

Don Ross

Essay/
Physics
Time after time

The question of whether time moves in a loop or a line has occupied human minds for millennia. Has physics found the answer?

Paul Halpern

Essay/
History of Science
Forging Islamic science

Fake miniatures depicting Islamic science have found their way into the most august of libraries and history books. How?

Nir Shafir

Essay/
Future of Technology
Sim ethics

Say you could make a thousand digital replicas of yourself – should you? What happens when you want to get rid of them?

Philip Ball

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