Become a
Friend of Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

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.

Become a Friend for $5 a month
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

Edited by Sam Dresser

Essay/
Economics
Economics is quantum

Money and brains are both quantum phenomena – so it's not surprising that economics is overdue for a quantum revolution

David Orrell

Essay/
Meaning & the Good Life
Natural-born existentialists

Ethics cannot be based on human nature because, as evolutionary biology tells us, there is no such thing

Ronnie de Sousa

Essay/
History of Ideas
The African Enlightenment

The highest ideals of Locke, Hume and Kant were first proposed more than a century earlier by an Ethiopian in a cave

Dag Herbjørnsrud

Essay/
Ethics
The ethics of ET

The discovery of independent life beyond Earth would have deep philosophical implications for us, and our ideas of morality

Tim Mulgan

Essay/
History
Do civilisations collapse?

The idea that the Maya or Easter Islanders experienced an apocalyptic end makes for good television but bad archaeology

Guy D Middleton

Essay/
Ethics
Kids? Just say no

You don’t have to dislike children to see the harms done by having them. There is a moral case against procreation

David Benatar

Essay/
Education
An unlikely triumph

In its first century the American higher-education system was a messy, disorganised joke. How did it rise to world dominance?

David Labaree

Essay/
War & Conflict
The battlefield is dead

The traditional arena of war is no more. Will it give way to a perpetual continuum of military and paramilitary violence?

Antoine Bousquet

Essay/
History
Spoiling for a fight

Short of a battlefield, the most violent place in medieval England was Oxford. Why did Brits stop beating each other up?

Jim Sharpe

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

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

Recent conversations