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 or make a one-off donation

The Sun is always shining

3 minutes

It’s easy to get caught up in constructing our selves, but what does it cost us?

Western psychology holds that humans are not born with a sense of self, but rather that the self is constructed over time, gradually emerging within the first two years of life. Further, much scientific research says that everything that exists in human awareness – sight, sound, even time itself – is all a construction of the mind. So what are the pitfalls of treating these constructs as objective truths? According to Mahāmudrā Buddhist teaching, explored here by the clinical psychologist Daniel Brown at Harvard University, the more enamoured we are of our selves, the more fixed we are in our own ‘realities’, limiting the possibilities of our awareness. Playing with these reflections on the self and awareness, the San Francisco-based animator Claudia Biçen uses a series of ink-and-pencil portraits of Brown to bring him into being and then let him disappear.

Video by Claudia Biçen

Video/Music

What happens when rock stardom doesn’t quite work out?

10 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Genetics

Chimeras and lightning: a radical perspective on the evolution of complex life

6 minutes

Video/Demography & Migration

On the US-Mexico border, loved ones on both sides can see each other but cannot touch

12 minutes

Essay/Political Philosophy

Is taxation theft?

The assumption that you own the contents of your pay-packet, although almost universal, is demonstrably confused

Philip Goff

Idea/Ethics

A ‘humanely’ killed animal is still killed – and that’s wrong

Anna E Charlton & Gary L Francione

Video/Ethics

Pain leads to empathy and self-preservation: should we make robots ‘feel’ it?

12 minutes

Essay/Philosophy of Mind

Change becomes you

Being the same person over time is not about holding on to every aspect of your current self but about changing purposefully

Kevin Tobia

Idea/Metaphysics

Imagination is a powerful tool: why is philosophy afraid of it?

Amy Kind

Video/Meaning & the Good Life

Late in life, Fred finds joy – and a ‘rhythm in all things’ – through tap dance

6 minutes