Support Aeon

‘I learn more about how to think about the world from Aeon than probably any other publication I regularly read.’

Elizabeth B, 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.

Give 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.

Give now

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.

Written by Sam Dresser

Edited by Sam Dresser

Essay/
Stories & Literature
Ghosts on the shore

In Japan, ghost stories are not to be scoffed at, but provide deep insights into the fuzzy boundary between life and death

Christopher Harding

Essay/
History
The real Battle of Vienna

In 1683 an Ottoman siege was repelled from the walls of Vienna. But it was far from a fight between Islam and Christendom

Dag Herbjørnsrud

Essay/
Social Psychology
In extremis

As Hannah Arendt argued, there is one common thread which connects individuals drawn to all kinds of extremist ideologies

Nabeelah Jaffer

Essay/
Spirituality
Does meditation work?

It’s hailed as the panacea for everything from cancer to war. Does research into its efficacy meet scientific standards?

Ute Kreplin

Essay/
Nature & Environment
What are natural foods?

The glass of orange juice at the breakfast table tells a tale about what’s natural, what’s whole and what’s healthy for us

Joseph LaPorte

Classic /History of Ideas
CLASSIC

The philosophy of Mexicanness

Emilio Uranga

Emilio Uranga, 1951

With a new introduction and commentary by Carlos Alberto Sánchez & Robert Eli Sanchez, Jr 

Essay/
Gender
The transcendent bissu

In Indonesia, high ritual power is held by those whose identity goes beyond female and male. The West is just catching up

Sharyn Graham Davies

Essay/
Medical Ethics
Eugenics never went away

Thought eugenics died with the Nazis? Think again: the eugenic programme of sterilising the ‘unfit’ continues even today

Robert A Wilson

Essay/
Mood & Emotion
The myth of ‘mad’ genius

The Romantic stereotype that creativity is enhanced by a mood disorder is dangerous, and dissolves under careful scrutiny

Christa L Taylor

Essay/
Cognition & Intelligence
Gesture talks

Across vast cultural divides people can understand one another through gesture. Does that make it a universal language?

Kensy Cooperrider

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
Black Achilles

The Greeks didn’t have modern ideas of race. Did they see themselves as white, black – or as something else altogether?

Tim Whitmarsh

Essay/
History
The forgotten prophet

Radical Quaker Benjamin Lay was a pioneer of abolitionism, who lived what he preached. So why was he erased from history?

Marcus Rediker

Essay/
History of Ideas
Philosophy’s first steps

Science asks and answers its big questions, so why is philosophy taking its time? Because it’s only just getting started

J L Schellenberg

Essay/
Knowledge
Escape the echo chamber

First you don’t hear other views. Then you can’t trust them. Your personal information network entraps you just like a cult

C Thi Nguyen