ORIGINAL

Modal realism

5 minutes

Is Eric Cantona an existentialist?

3 minutes

No ball games

14 minutes

The trauma tracer

9 minutes

Celui qui tombe (He who falls)

6 minutes

Stephanie regrets passing up a great opportunity. Can modal realism help?

After Stephanie passes up an opportunity to attend a prestigious university, she falls into a deep hole of regret. But there’s one solution she hadn’t thought of: modal realism.

About I Hope This Helps
A wise man once said: ‘Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.’ Sam Dresser emphatically agrees. In Aeon’s first original web series, he uses arcane philosophical theories to help solve your personal problems. For more advice from Sam, take a look at our originals video channel.

What would Sartre make of the footballer who stood by his decision to kick a fan?

The most infamous kick of the French footballer Eric Cantona’s accomplished career wasn’t a game-winning goal, but rather an airborne attack on a fan who was shouting abuse at him during a match in 1995. When asked to reflect on the incident some two decades later, Cantona stated: ‘I love it and I don’t regret it … I am not a role model … I am just a human being with emotion.’ This short animation from the Illustrated Philosopher series – written by Nigel Warburton, consultant senior editor at Aeon – ponders whether Cantona proved himself an unlikely existentialist by refusing to succumb to the pressure to express contrition.

Writer and Narrator: Nigel Warburton

Animation: Cognitive Media

Immerse yourself in the games kids play when the streets are their playground

The London-based filmmaker Charlotte Regan’s charming documentary No Ball Games tracks the nuances of play between young friends in three working-class neighbourhoods across the UK. Capturing the joy of an aimless summer’s day spent finding fun, the film celebrates the instinctual ability of children to cook up their own entertainment from scratch – including, in this case, wresting directing duties from the filmmakers from time to time. With an immersive style, Regan’s film transports viewers into a world of resourcefulness, invention and fun that’s rarely accessed – and perhaps even forgotten – by those burdened by the quotidian concerns of adulthood.

Director: Charlotte Regan

Producer: Theo Barrowclough

Website: Guardian Documentaries

If trauma can be passed down, could new therapies blunt the transgenerational impact?

Growing up in a household where her biological parents provided foster care to kids in need, Bianca Jones Marlin was greatly affected by the stories of trauma that her siblings would share. Those childhood experiences, combined with a passion for science, inspires her work as a postdoctoral researcher at the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University in New York. Through experiments with mice, Jones Marlin studies how trauma affects transgenerational epigenetic inheritance – or, more plainly, how the stress of traumatic experiences and environments can be passed down by parents to their future offspring, even when the stressors occur before pregnancy. And while making scientific leaps from mice to humans is always perilous, Jones Marlin’s research has proved promising, showing that stressors associated with certain odours in parents seem to make their pups more sensitive to those same smells. Ultimately, Jones Marlin hopes that her work can be used to help create therapies to improve outcomes for children who might be affected by transgenerational trauma.

Video by Science Friday

Director: Chelsea Fiske

Producer: Luke Groskin

Dancers tumble in and out of love as the ground spins beneath their feet

As performed by Frank Sinatra, the song ‘My Way’ (1969) is an act of bravado, with his forceful crooning underscoring lyrics about living life on one’s own terms, and without many regrets. But its original French version ‘Comme d’habitude’ (1967), which translates as ‘As Usual’, tells a different story – one of falling out of love. While set to Sinatra’s version, this performance from the French choreographer Yoann Bourgeois seems to allude to the song’s original meaning, as a troupe of male and female dancers chase, embrace and tumble, all while maintaining their balance on a rotating platform. Excerpted from the Bourgeois piece Celui qui tombe (He Who Falls), the performance offers an enchanting meditation on the cyclical nature of life – no matter where you stand on Ol’ Blue Eyes’ most polarising hit.

Via Kottke

Choreographer: Yoann Bourgeois

Website: Tanz im August

Stephanie regrets passing up a great opportunity. Can modal realism help?

After Stephanie passes up an opportunity to attend a prestigious university, she falls into a deep hole of regret. But there’s one solution she hadn’t thought of: modal realism.

About I Hope This Helps
A wise man once said: ‘Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.’ Sam Dresser emphatically agrees. In Aeon’s first original web series, he uses arcane philosophical theories to help solve your personal problems. For more advice from Sam, take a look at our originals video channel.

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Photo by Wang Zheng/Getty

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