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With a worldview formed amid the unfathomable human suffering of the early 20th century, Albert Camus’s writings reflect on the inherent absurdity of the human condition, including his best-known work, the novella The Stranger (1942). But the arc of his career, from his ‘cycle of the absurd’ and his ‘cycle of revolt’ to his ‘cycle of love’ – left unfinished after Camus himself met a rather meaningless end in a car accident – points towards a humane philosophy, centred on a defiant pursuit of freedom and value in a futile, incomprehensible universe. This animation from TED-Ed scopes Camus’s career, outlook and cultural influence, shedding light on how, where he might have found hopelessness, he instead found inspiration. For more on Camus’s life, including how his worldview clashed with those of his existentialist contemporaries, watch the Aeon original animation Sartre vs Camus.
Philosophy of mind
Caring for the vulnerable opens gateways to our richest, deepest brain states
History of ideas
How did ‘personal responsibility’ evolve into its opposite, ‘everyone for themselves’?
The nearly forgotten origin myth of Hawaii’s third-gender healers, as told by one
A whirlwind tour of Hong Kong’s high-rises is an awesome meditation on urbanity
An artist grapples with the loss of his brother, and the problem of canine abduction
Sports and games
After a day’s toil in California’s fields, labourers let loose in street races
History of technology
Remarkable historical footage is locked behind paywalls. It’s time to set it free
Thinkers and theories
Bigger isn’t better – the renegade ‘Buddhist economics’ of E F Schumacher
What do tropical fish make of the strange creatures who love them so?