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Aeon

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Physics doesn’t say what an electron or particle is like in itself, intrinsically – and perhaps it never could, since its conceptual resources can describe structures and processes, not intrinsic qualities. Panpsychism offers a strange but exciting solution. Maybe consciousness – the elusive subjective aspect of our brain states – is the ingredient missing from physics: http://ow.ly/rubD304nc5M
Is consciousness everywhere? Is it a basic feature of the Universe, at the very heart of the tiniest subatomic particles? Such an idea – panpsychism as it is known – might sound like New Age mysticism, but some hard-nosed analytic philosophers hav...
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Socrates’ death is a story of civic engagement, just as his life of philosophy was an act of civic duty, borne out of the conviction that calling people to better know themselves could only result in good. His trial and death were not the result of a simple clash between democracy and intellectual freedom, but between shifting definitions of citizenship and civic obligation. A public life: http://ow.ly/EcZx304n6pw
Conventional wisdom sees Socrates as a martyr for free speech, but he accepted his death sentence for a different cause
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In 'The Crying Game', the myth of male emotional detachment gets put to the test as four men race to shed a tear on camera. On the psychology of the guy cry, on Aeon Video: http://ow.ly/zNAD3041O5p
Can any of these four men shed tears on command? The psychology of the ‘guy cry’ ‘This might be the least fun I’ve ever had on the beach.’ Men have a difficult time connecting with their feelings – or, at least, so goes popular thinking. In The Crying Game, the US director Brent Hoff puts the myth of the emotionally withdrawn male to the test by coordinating a competition that challenges four grown men to cry as quickly as possible. The result i...
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Delaying parenthood decreases the likelihood that children will have relationships with grandparents. And yet, talking about this for any particular child is illogical, because the alternative for that child is nothing more than non-existence. A philosophical exploration of 'procreative beneficence: http://ow.ly/5Rv2303Zfg2
Many people have fond memories of their grandparents. Some are lucky enough to know them throughout their teenage years and beyond, learning about their lives, what they care about and, more fundamentally, who they are. Grandparents often play a v...
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When animals are nothing more than property, there value is extrinsic, relative to humans alone. Any conception of 'animal rights' that doesn't grant intrinsic value to animals is fraught with contradiction. Why domestication is incommensurable with animal rights: http://ow.ly/qk8N303YUYz
A morally just world would have no pets, no aquaria, no zoos. No fields of sheep, no barns of cows. That’s true animal rights
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Historically, soldiers have been treated differently by the law, regarded with a different set of standards. But self-ownership transcends context, so there should be know ethical chasm between how society treats acts of unjust aggression when it is a soldier versus a civilian. A new installment of Aeon In Sight: http://ow.ly/jpu8303WHBQ
If soldiers act with unjust aggression they are as culpable as civilian criminals Historically, soldiers have been subject to a different set of standards, laws and punishments than civilians, on the assumption that war is an exceptional circumstance. But should soldiers really be treated differently by the law? Because combatant and civilian criminals often face similar pressures and circumstances, the Oxford-based French political philosopher ...
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Letter by letter each word was formed, and letter by letter the Linotype at the New York Times completed its last words. This video showcases the final day of printing at the newspaper in 1978 before it moved to a fully electronic process. The machines that made mass education possible give way to a new age, on Aeon Video: http://ow.ly/Kbl5304ne6A
The last day of hot metal press before computers come in at The New York Times Once called the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ by Thomas Edison, Linotype typecasting machines revolutionised publishing when they were invented in 1886, and remained the industry standard for nearly a century after. The first commercially successful mechanical typesetter, the Linotype significantly sped up the printing process, allowing for larger and more local daily ...
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Arguing against materialist counterparts, Avicenna believed that self-awareness was independent from bodily awareness. In his 'flying man' thought experiment, he attempts to show why. But does he succeed? http://ow.ly/UzGQ3041EqP
Philosophers of the Islamic world enjoyed thought experiments. If the heavens vanished, they wondered, would time continue to pass? If existence were distinct from essence, would that mean that existence itself must exist? Can God turn your househ...
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For the first time in history, our productive capacity is such that no one need be poor. Through ongoing technological progress, the utopian world envisaged by Keynes is possible, but a culture of consumption and the pervasiveness of market values stand in the way. How the world could move from inequality and scarcity to leisure and abundance for all: http://ow.ly/DtqB3041wAU
The 15-hour working week predicted by Keynes may soon be within our grasp – but are we ready for freedom from toil?
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Spaceship-shaped sea urchin larvae travel huge distances through tumultuous tides before finding a permanent home. Upon arrival, they turn themselves inside out like socks, becoming young adults that will live for an immense amount of time. On Aeon Video: http://ow.ly/89QN303ZjgC
If a sea urchin survives the incredible tumult of youth, it’s nearly immortal Sea urchins are members of a tube-footed sea creature family that includes sand dollars and starfish. To reach maturity, they must brave treacherous, extraordinary journeys. Conceived in the open sea from sperm and eggs released by adults, sea urchin larvae develop small, spaceship-shaped exteriors to help them float to a more permanent home. When the time is right to ...
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Einstein's theory of relativity helps invoke the multiplicity of perspectives and the need to tie them all to the underlying reality. In order to create a consistent picture that honours all viewpoints, reporters should try to think like Einstein. An Aeon Idea: http://ow.ly/1UBN303WAH3
Albert Einstein understood the power of science and scientific metaphors, and their ability to provide perspective on everyday experiences. Here is his oft-retold description of his best-known idea: ‘When you sit with a nice girl, an hour seems li...
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Motherhood is often regarded as an expression of biological determinism, reinforcing rigid ideas of gender despite the recent rise of gender fluidity. But with improved reproductive technologies and increased visibility, trans parents are destabilising those categories: http://ow.ly/fTes303Wu4b
For a new generation of trans parents and their children, the meaning of motherhood is undergoing a thorough renovation
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Aeon is an online magazine of ideas and culture. We publish in-depth essays, incisive articles, and a mix of original and curated videos - free to all. aeon.co
Introduction
Aeon is a digital magazine of ideas and culture, launched September 2012. We publish some of the most profound and provocative thinking on the web. We ask the big questions and find the freshest, most original answers, provided by leading thinkers on science, philosophy, society and the arts.

Aeon has four channels, and all are completely free to enjoy. Most weekdays, we publish Essays – longform explorations of deep issues written by serious and creative thinkers.

From Monday to Friday, we also publish Ideas – short provocations, maintaining Aeon’s high editorial standards but in a more nimble and immediate form.

Aeon’s Video channel streams a mixture of curated short documentaries and original Aeon content, including a series of interviews with experts at the forefront of thought.

Finally, Aeon’s Conversations invite the reader in to put their own arguments and points of view. With Conversations, old-style web comments give way to a new form of collective inquiry.

Aeon was founded in London by Paul and Brigid Hains. It now has offices in London, Melbourne and New York. It is not affiliated with any other organisation or political group. Aeon is committed to big ideas, serious enquiry and a humane worldview. That’s it.