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Sam Dresser
Editor, Aeon

I'm an editor at Aeon. For any and all questions you have concerning Aeon, feel free to email me at sam.dresser@aeon.co. Questions about philosophy, politics, history, and the meaning of life also welcome.

Ideas
1
Conversations
288
Idea/History of Ideas

How Camus and Sartre split up over the question of how to be free

Sam Dresser

Edited by Sam Dresser

Essay/History

Les Anglo-Saxons

Not just American or British, the Anglo-Saxon is a mirror to Frenchness: the country’s alter-ego and most feared enemy

Emile Chabal

Essay/Cultures & Languages

Talking gibberish

The study of languages has long been prone to nonsense. Why is linguistics such a magnet for dilettantes and crackpots?

Gaston Dorren

Idea/Race

How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613

Ed Simon

Idea/Mathematics

Global cooperation depends on the strength of local connections

Benjamin Allen

Idea/Love & Friendship

Keeping it in the family: why we pick the partners we do

Tamsin Saxton

Idea/History

Far-distant days: the past has a dizzying power to ground us

Ben Thomas

Essay/History

Agony in the agora

Democracy, by nature, is a contest between clashing political desires. That is why the public square matters so much

Saul Frampton

Idea/Philosophy of Mind

If I teleport from Mars, does the original me get destroyed?

Charlie Huenemann

Essay/Beauty & Aesthetics

The sea was never blue

The Greek colour experience was made of movement and shimmer. Can we ever glimpse what they saw when gazing out to sea?

Maria Michela Sassi

Idea/Mental Health

Psychopaths have feelings: can they learn how to use them?

Arielle Baskin-Sommers

Essay/History

America’s hidden philosophy

When Cold War philosophy tied rational choice theory to scientific method, it embedded the free-market mindset in US society

John McCumber

Essay/History of Ideas

The anger of Achilles

Homer’s warrior is no mere tragic human figure: fuelled by anger, he is at once a man of honour and a sword of the gods

C D C Reeve

Idea/History of Ideas

Before you can be with others, first learn to be alone

Jennifer Stitt

Essay/Philosophy of Mind

I attend, therefore I am

You are only as strong as your powers of attention, and other uncomfortable truths about the self

Carolyn Dicey Jennings

Idea/History

The American housewives who sought freedom in Soviet Russia

Julia Mickenberg

Essay/Meaning & the Good Life

Do we matter in the cosmos?

Humanity is nothing more than a microscopic blip in the universe. But does that mean we are insignificant?

Nick Hughes

Idea/Politics & Government

Even the ancient Greeks thought their best days were history

Johanna Hanink

Idea/Knowledge

The tree of knowledge is not an apple or an oak but a banyan

Jonardon Ganeri

Essay/Gender & Sexuality

The orgasm cure

What if we could expand ecstasy, reduce stress and lift depression, all by delaying and extending orgasm?

Peter von Ziegesar

Idea/History

The Nazis as occult masters? It’s a good story but not history

Peter Staudenmaier

Essay/Political Philosophy

Theory from the ruins

The Frankfurt school argued that reason is dangerous, mass culture deadening, and the Enlightenment a disaster. Were they right?

Stuart Walton

Idea/Philosophy of Language

Who needs a perfect language? It’s already perfectly imperfect

Charlie Huenemann

Essay/History

Why the Tudors still rule

The Tudors are always good box office, but their melodramatic lives distract from a much deeper legacy of civic nationhood

Anna Whitelock

Idea/History

The Malmedy trial: how the truth trumped fake torture stories

Steven P Remy

Essay/History

Resist or collaborate?

The Nazis have occupied France. It’s easy to condemn the collaborators. But be honest: what would you really do?

Robert Gildea

Idea/Fairness & Equality

Marriage should not come with any social benefits or privileges

Vicki Larson

Idea/Ethics

Moral grandstanding: there’s a lot of it about, all of it bad

Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke

Essay/Religion

Monks with guns

Westerners think that Buddhism is about peace and non-violence. So how come Buddhist monks are in arms against Islam?

Michael Jerryson

Essay/War & Conflict

The legend of the Legion

His cap is bleached as white as the bones of a Saharan camel. Is the romance of the French Foreign Legion a cult of death?

Robert Twigger

Idea/Architecture & Landscape

Feelings are a better way to discuss architecture than concepts

Timothy Brittain-Catlin

Recent conversations