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We tend to take it for granted that conscious thoughts precede our actions. However, the US scientist Benjamin Libet’s groundbreaking 1980s experiments on the relationship between brain activity, conscious thoughts and physical actions caused some scientists and philosophers to rethink the concept of ‘free will’ and ask whether our decisions are made subconsciously before we’re even aware of them.
How a verbal paradox shattered the notion of total certainty in mathematics
A tender poem doubles as a guide to sitting comfortably in one’s own company
Values and beliefs
How a God-fearing Jewish woman found atheism – and bacon – in her later years
War and peace
Before he leaves to go to war, Artem, 18, says goodbye to the man who raised him
A mindbending trip that summons the forgotten women of surrealism
To see the Universe more clearly, think in terms of processes, not objects
A son of China’s former one-child policy remembers the sibling he never had
A harrowing account of a 1970 ‘leadership seminar’ spotlights self-help’s dark side
Beauty and aesthetics
For Ruskin, words couldn’t capture nature’s palette. So here it is in black and white