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/
History of science
No absolute time

Two centuries before Einstein, Hume recognised that universal time, independent of an observer’s viewpoint, doesn’t exist

Matias Slavov

Essay/
Social psychology
Debunking debunked

Secular modernity requires the weeding out of all the baloney. Yet it’s not clear that we are any less credulous than before

Emily Ogden

Essay/
The future
The end of us

Only since the Enlightenment have we been able to imagine humans going extinct. Is it a sign of our maturity as a species?

Thomas Moynihan

Essay/
Biography and memoir
Mistress of all trades

A campaigning journalist and an early feminist, Harriet Martineau humanised economic theory through Dickensian storytelling

Valerie R Sanders

Essay/
Music
Contrapuntal consciousness

The music of Bach is full of suggestive structures of counterpoint and recursion (even if Hofstadter got it quite wrong)

Ilari Kaila

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Marxism and Buddhism

Life is suffering, whether you sit under a Bodhi Tree or stand with the workers. But do the two schools agree on the remedy?

Adrian Kreutz

Essay/
Film and visual culture
Celebrity matters

As aspirational avatars, idolised icons and vessels of collective memory, celebrities permeate all aspects of modern life

Holly Grout

Essay/
Anthropology
The emotional lives of others

On Nias island, the heart can be ‘squeezed’, ‘hot’, even ‘hairy’. What can anthropology say about unfamiliar emotional zones?

Andrew Beatty

Essay/
History of ideas
Against disenchantment

The move away from myth and toward reason is an ancient human impulse. But must enchantment be the enemy of enlightenment?

Jason Josephson Storm

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
The ironic feudalist

Kure Tomofusa’s hatred of democracy, human rights and liberalism has found an echo in the West. But has he been joking all along?

Jeremy Woolsey

Essay/
Film and visual culture
Love isn’t what it was

In a strangely unremarked-upon twist, Disney films have taken to subverting romance and rethinking the happy-ever-afters

Sophus Helle

Essay/
Beauty and aesthetics
More than skin deep

Beauty is a deeply moral matter that makes kindness, empathy and honesty attractive, while vice warps into ugliness

Panos Paris

Essay/
History of science
Natural philosophy redux

The great split between science and philosophy must be repaired. Only then can we answer the urgent, fundamental problems

Nicholas Maxwell

Essay/
History of ideas
A revolution in time

Once local and irregular, time-keeping became universal and linear in 311 BCE. History would never be the same again

Paul J Kosmin

Essay/
Mood and emotion
Against cheerfulness

Practising the Greek virtues of wisdom and courage is one thing. But being cheerful the American way borders on psychosis

Mariana Alessandri

Essay/
Thinkers and theories
Atoms and flat-earth ethics

As for most ancient philosophers, Lucretius saw no boundary between his scientific interests and his ethical claims

James Hannam

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