This website is featured in Business Insider’s “The 43 best websites for learning something new“.
Aeon, a Digital Publication that Features Long-Form In-Depth Essays Written by Industry Professionals
Name: Aeon (Visit Aeon)
Type: Digital Publication
Best Website For:
Reason it's on The Best Sites:
Aeon's writers are industry experts, many of whom are involved with academia. Aeon is registered as a 501(c)(3) charity in the US. They cover tough topics with essays.
The Chinese-born, Chicago-based artist Yuge Zhou’s series The Humors sets out to explore ‘urban behaviours and relationships, those of people and of the built environment itself’. In this instalment, Zhou presents a collage of overhead scenes of recreation and relaxation from Oak Street Beach, Chicago – a stretch of sand nestled between Lake Michigan and the city’s imposing skyscrapers. In Zhou’s words, the piece is a reflection on the way in which ‘we live in big cities like we live in small towns – except that our communities are scattered across a dense network of other communities and other storied lives of which we only catch a glimpse’.
By Aeon Video
Philosophers love to hate Ayn Rand. It’s trendy to scoff at any mention of her. One philosopher told me that: ‘No one needs to be exposed to that monster.’ Many propose that she’s not a philosopher at all and should not be taken seriously. The problem is that people are taking her seriously. In s...
By Skye C Cleary
In 1906, the young Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung received a collection of essays from none other than the founder of psychoanalysis himself, Sigmund Freud. When the two met in person a year later in Vienna, their first conversation lasted more than 13 hours, according to Jung's account. And so began a collaboration that would blossom into an intense, albeit brief friendship between two titans of psychology. The duo toured the US together, giving lectures on psychoanalysis. They analysed each other's dreams in depth. Twenty years his senior, Freud called Jung 'the Joshua to my Moses, fated to enter the Promised Land which I myself will not live to see'. Their bond was so deep that at one point Jung wrote to Freud: 'Let me enjoy your friendship not as one between equals but as that of father and son.' Despite their shared interests and mutual admiration, in 1913 their relationship abruptly ended. But what caused their dramatic estrangement? And which one can lay claim to greater influence?
Freud versus Jung is the second instalment of ‘Philosophy Feuds’, Aeon’s original series of short animations, each of which tells the story of a famous – or not so famous – spat, break-up, falling-out or fracas. More than just revealing the hilarious and all-too-human pettiness of the world’s greatest thinkers, ‘Philosophy Feuds’ is about the fascinating ideas behind each of these rifts – and how these ideas continue to matter today.
By Aeon Video
Individuals living with depersonalisation disorder bring vivid insight to the question of whether the self is an illusion
By Anna Ciaunica & Jane Charlton
Protests are a time-honoured tradition on college campuses – memorably exemplified by the protests of 1968 by the grandparents of the current generation of students. They reflect the passionate energies of students discovering their own priorities and commitments, and finding their voice in natio...
By Keith E Whittington
The ideal of religious tolerance has crippling flaws. It’s time to embrace a civic philosophy of reciprocity
By Simon Rabinovitch
Lampyridae, commonly known as fireflies, are a family of some 2,100 distinct types of insects known for their blinking bioluminescence at twilight. Most of the time, their lights are displayed to find mates. However, firefly love can quickly become a battlefield if a female of the genus Photuris becomes involved. As this video from the science and nature documentary series Deep Look demonstrates, these eastern US fireflies mimic the light shows of the mate-seeking females around them, luring nearby males before pouncing and devouring. Read more about this video at KQED Science.
By Aeon Video
I was shaken and transfixed in the aftermath of the shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Like most of those in the United States, prevention was on my mind. According to partial psychiatric records obtained by the Miami Herald, the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, con...
By Pamela Garber
After the success of the Standard Model, experiments have stopped answering to grand theories. Is particle physics in crisis?
By Ben Allanach
The late US filmmaker DeWitt Beall was a prolific chronicler of Chicago during the tumultuous 1960s and early '70s, amid the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, and the rise of street gangs. His documentary Lord Thing (1970), which screened at the prestigious Venice and Cannes films festivals but was never officially released in the US, charts the emergence and evolution of the Vice Lords, one of Chicago’s oldest street gangs. Shaped by the music and sounds of the times and the voices of Vice Lords members, the kinetic film chronicles the desperate conditions that gave rise to the city’s earliest gangs, and how some Vice Lords leaders attempted to transform the group into a force for positive social change in the community. Reforming themselves as the Conservative Vice Lords, the faction created a not-for-profit that used grant money to create job-training centres, recreational areas and community-based businesses before a citywide crackdown put an end to their undertaking. Out of circulation for decades, the film was restored and released by the Chicago Film Archives in 2014.
By Aeon Video
In 1928 Jacob Levy Moreno, a Vienna-trained psychiatrist who had recently emigrated to New York, developed an innovative way of identifying ‘at risk’ children. He analysed social patterns at the State Training School for Girls and the Riverdale Country School by asking students who their friends ...
By Christopher Warren
Individual transgender lives track a wider cultural history of surgery, hormones and revolutionised gender identities
By Randi Hutter Epstein
‘For all of the stories of those who rose above it, who fought it and reclaimed their lives, there are stories of those who are broken.’
In Nach Am Leben (I'm Still Alive), the Australian animator and illustrator Anita Lester reflects on the harrowing and tragic life of her late great-aunt Eva Nagler, who survived the Holocaust, but was never truly able to escape its horrors. Over dreamlike animated vignettes and a haunting score, Lester recalls how her aunt was ‘born into a destiny unhinged’, losing most of her family to the Nazi persecution of the Jews while still young, including her beloved older sister Sonia, who died on top of her while shielding Eva from bullet fire on a death march. Despite surviving, Nagler found little relief after the war. Unable to make sense of what she had experienced and witnessed, her torturous memories drove her to bouts of mental illness and, ultimately, into an asylum. In telling her aunt’s story, Lester considers those Holocaust survival stories for which there is no redeeming ‘Hollywood filter’, and how, continents and decades away from the Holocaust, her family is still shaped by its persistent trauma.
By Aeon Video
If you watch kids at a local playground, sooner or later one of them will run around and fall face-first to the ground. For a moment, there's likely to be silence. Then the child will look around, catch a glimpse of their parent, and finally burst into a deafening wail. The sequence of this child...
By Mirjam Guesgen
‘Sometimes life forces you to do some things...’
For Raïmberdi Mamatumarov, life in Tajikistan has meant ceaselessly adapting to new realities and overcoming challenge after challenge. After a nomadic life during his younger years, Mamatumarov witnessed the modernisation of his small village of Shaymak under Soviet collectivisation. With this massive change came an opportunity to study botany at university, after which Mamatumarov returned home to work as a science teacher. But when the Berlin Wall came down, Tajikistan descended into civil war and famine ravaged the country, prompting Mamatumarov to put his skills and knowledge to work in order support his family through the crisis. Beautifully shot and carefully constructed, The Botanist by the Canadian filmmakers Maude Plante-Husaruk and Maxime Lacoste-Lebuis details Mamatumarov’s extraordinary effort to build an improvised hydroelectric station from scraps following the Soviet Union’s collapse. In doing so, the film is both a chronicle of his remarkable life and a robust reminder that genius is not confined to the places where it is most lavishly rewarded and popularly celebrated.
By Aeon Video
Throughout history, people found truth at holy places. Now we build courts, labs and altars to be truth spots too
By Thomas Gieryn
The Inka Empire (1400-1532 CE) is one of few ancient civilisations that speaks to us in multiple dimensions. Instead of words or pictograms, the Inkas used khipus – knotted string devices – to communicate extraordinarily complex mathematical and narrative information. But, after more than a centu...
By Manuel Medrano & Gary Urton
The soldier in battle is confronted with agonising, even impossible, ethical decisions. Could studying philosophy help?
By Andy Owen
Psychologists and philosophers – not to mention pet owners – have long wondered whether we can ever get past the constraints of the human mind to truly know what it’s like to be another animal. The US neuroscientist Gregory Berns, however, believes that the problem of animal consciousness has been overstated, and that emerging brain science and MRI technology could go a long way towards getting us inside the minds of other creatures. In his lab at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, Berns and a volunteer team of dog owners train their canine companions to become comfortable inside MRI machines so that they can be scanned safely in a relaxed, conscious state. By reading their brain activity and using our understanding of the human brain for reference, Berns believes that he can glean a wide range of insights about the experience of dogs, including the range of their emotions, the diversity of their personalities, and even whether they can differentiate between two- and three-dimensional images.
By Aeon Video
Max Weber’s famous text The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905) is surely one of the most misunderstood of all the canonical works regularly taught, mangled and revered in universities across the globe. This is not to say that teachers and students are stupid, but that this is an...
By Peter Ghosh