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Can romantic love ever be a shared joy? According to the 20th-century French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, for whom freedom was paramount, the answer must be ‘no’, since people want their partners to choose them freely, and this freedom leads to the possibility of falling out of love at any time. In Sartre’s view, this means love must always be fraught, a ceaseless conflict characterised either by masochism or sadism, as both lover and loved-one risk having their freedom compromised.
Building ‘bigger and better’ has pushed cosmology forward. Can it take it any further?
How Hokusai’s Great Wave emerged from Japan’s isolation to become a global icon
The ancient world
Not a lost kingdom but a parable – how to read Athens in Plato’s story of Atlantis
Meaning and the good life
Albert Camus built a philosophy of humanity on a foundation of absurdity
When two punk bands came to a psychiatric hospital, beautiful chaos ensued
Check in to the Hilbert Hotel, and learn why some infinities are bigger than others
Cognition and intelligence
How a ‘periodic table’ of animal intelligence could help to root out human bias
A climate activist living off-grid faces her toughest challenge yet – a new primary school
What it’s like to have aphantasia, the inability to visualise images in the mind’s eye