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Essays

Fine writing on philosophy, psychology, science, history and the arts
Philosopher of the apocalypse | Aeon
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Thinkers and theories

Philosopher of the apocalypse

From the ashes of the Second World War, Günther Anders forecast a new catastrophe: technology would overwhelm its creators

Audrey Borowski

A new Earth rises | Aeon
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Earth science and climate

A new Earth rises

How did the planet replace the nation-state to become the prime political object of the 21st century?

Erik Isberg

When hope gets in the way | Aeon
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Mood and emotion

When hope gets in the way

Hope is usually seen as a positive agent of change that spares us from pain. But it can also undermine healing and growth

Santiago Delboy

Quantum Wittgenstein | Aeon
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Quantum theory

Quantum Wittgenstein

Metaphysical debates in quantum physics don’t get at ‘truth’ – they’re nothing but a form of ritual, activity and culture

Timothy Andersen

Breakfast with the Panthers | Aeon
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Human rights and justice

Breakfast with the Panthers

It wasn’t all young men and guns: the Black Panther Party’s programs fed more hungry kids than the state of California

Suzanne Cope

Since Derrida | Aeon
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Thinkers and theories

Since Derrida

A golden generation of French philosophers dismantled truth and other traditional ideas. What next for their successors?

Peter Salmon

Against human exceptionalism | Aeon
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Animals and humans

Against human exceptionalism

In a tight spot, you’d probably intuit that a human life outweighs an animal’s. There are good arguments why that’s wrong

Jeff Sebo

Energised crowding | Aeon
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Cities

Energised crowding

To understand why early cities thrived, look not to the temples of kings but to their subjects’ bustling neighbourhoods

Michael E Smith

A fairly fed world | Aeon
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Poverty and development

A fairly fed world

Last year, 200 million children did not get enough to eat, yet it would be cheap and easy for the world to feed them all

Sharman Apt Russell

Tainted love | Aeon
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Love and friendship

Tainted love

Love is both a wonderful thing and a cunning evolutionary trick to control us. A dangerous cocktail in the wrong hands

Anna Machin

The split-body problem | Aeon
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Biology

The split-body problem

Why we need to stop thinking about parents, offspring and sex when we try to understand how life reproduces itself

Gunnar O Babcock

Look on the dark side | Aeon
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Virtues and vices

Look on the dark side

We must keep the flame of pessimism burning: it is a virtue for our deeply troubled times, when crude optimism is a vice

Mara van der Lugt