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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
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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.

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Freedom vs security: freedom at any cost?

2 minutes

What are we willing to sacrifice to feel safe?

Among the thinkers who weighed in on the theory of the social contract, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) took the position that freedom is good, but security is better. Now we must ask whether the likes of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are justified in their efforts to expose far-reaching government surveillance operations, or whether intelligence agencies are just taking the necessary safety measures to respond to an increasingly volatile world. This animated short video boils down the complex question of freedom vs security to its most essential, asking what are we prepared to give up to feel safe.

Video by BBC Radio 4

Script: Nigel Warburton

Animation: Andrew Park

ORIGINAL
Video/Cognition & Intelligence

For millennia, we’d never seen anything like film cuts. How do we process them so easily?

7 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Ethics

You messed up. You’re in trouble. But don’t worry, logical positivism can help

6 minutes

Video/Mathematics

Going from A to B isn’t always a straight line – but it can be very good fun

2 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

Video/Philosophy of Mind

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

3 minutes

Idea/Ethics

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

Anna E Charlton & Gary L Francione

Idea/Metaphysics

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

Amy Kind

Essay/Consciousness & Altered States

Model hallucinations

Psychedelics have a remarkable capacity to violate our ideas about ourselves. Is that why they make people better?

Philip Gerrans & Chris Letheby

Video/Ethics

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

12 minutes