The Best of Aeon+Psyche
20+ most popular Aeon+Psyche articles, as voted by our community.
Aeon is a magazine of ideas and culture. Psyche is our sister magazine focused on the human condition. Visit http://aeon.co and http://psyche.co for more.
These are currently making the rounds on Refind.
How to overcome social anxiety
When even everyday social situations make you feel self-conscious and afraid, it’s time to try these well-tested techniques
In the architecture of the mind, where lies human imagination?
In the architecture of the mind, is imagination a built-in structural feature or a result of cognitive remodelling work?
How to wander
Whether in a city or the wilderness, near or far, there’s joy to be had in a journey where the destination doesn’t matter
Perplexed? Embrace it! Confusion is a symptom of learning
Perplexed? Embrace it! Confusion is a sign of learning, but the key is finding the sweet spot of productive confusion
How medieval thinkers did physics without knowing it
How medieval thinkers foreshadowed modern physics in investigating the character of machines, devices and forces
Aeon+Psyche on Anger
There’s no emotion we ought to think harder about than anger
Anger is the emotion that has come to saturate our politics and culture. Philosophy can help us out of this dark vortex
Anger Is Temporary Madness: The Stoics Knew How to Curb It
Anger is a complicated emotion, but one you can learn to control. Here’s how.
Aeon+Psyche on Anxiety
Many people not only survive mental illness
For people with depression, anxiety and other conditions, reaching high wellbeing – not just recovery – is a real possibility
«enhanced focus on wellbeing will spark a broader conversation that encourages providers to better align patient care with patient goals»
How to tell whether you’re being careful or giving in to anxiety
It’s not always easy to tell what’s a sensible safeguard, and what’s an anxiety-fuelling habit. A few questions can help
«bring a stick to hit shrubs along the path. Does the behaviour allow for engagement in valued activities?»
Aeon+Psyche on Brain
Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer
Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer
How to maintain a healthy brain
Adopt these lifestyle changes and you will not only sharpen your mind today but also reduce your risk of dementia later on
«Train your body Just as mental health and brain health are deeply entwined, so too are your overall physical health and your brain health»
Aeon+Psyche on Consciousness
Does consciousness come from the brain’s electromagnetic field?
Instead of a code encrypted in the wiring of our neurons, could consciousness reside in the brain’s electromagnetic field?
«Our non-conscious mind appears to be a parallel processor, whereas our conscious mind is a serial processor that can operate only one task at a time.»
Consciousness is not a thing, but a process of inference
The special trick of consciousness is being able to project action and time into a range of possible futures
Aeon+Psyche on Economics
Economics is once again becoming a worldly science
After generations of ‘blackboard economics’, Berkeley and MIT are leading a return to economics that studies the real world
«a preponderance of research that has shown no meaningful disemployment effects of raising minimum wages.»
How did Europe become the richest part of the world?
This is how Europe became the richest place on earth: by being politically fragmented, yet intellectually united
Aeon+Psyche on Linguistics
Lost perspective? Try this linguistic trick to reset your view
By using ‘distanced self-talk’, you can leverage the structure of language to take a step back and see the bigger picture
«Through adopting this more distanced self-perspective, Aurelius was able to recognise that his feelings of anguish were temporary»
In the beginning was the word, and the word was embodied
A special class of vivid, textural words defy linguistic theory: could ‘ideophones’ unlock the secrets of humans’ first utterances?
Aeon+Psyche on Philosophy
Philosophy is like athletics – theory must be put into practice
The Stoics approached self-improvement as an athlete approaches sport: the key is to keep practising in the face of failure
«When we do not act upon what we think is right, we are acting like an athlete who trains but never competes. What is the point?»
Five reasons why moral philosophy is distracting and harmful
Moral philosophy is bogus, a mere substitute for God that licenses ugly emotions. Here are five reasons to reject it
Aeon+Psyche on Psychoanalysis
The truth about tarot
Whether divining ancient wisdoms or elevating the art of cold reading, tarot is a form of therapy, much like psychoanalysis
Why we love tyrants
Psychoanalysis explains how authoritarians energise the hatred, self-pity and delusion while promising heaven on Earth
Aeon+Psyche on Psychology
Why the pull of addictive cravings is so hard to resist
The neuroscientific picture of addiction overlooks the psychological and social factors that make cravings so hard to resist
How to be kinder to yourself
Self-compassion techniques aren’t self-indulgent – they’ll tame your inner critic while helping you change for the better
«So I dedicated 10 minutes to sit down and reflect on the same questions I ask my clients to help them clarify their values. These were my answers:»
Aeon+Psyche on Relationships
Dogs are symbolic containers of human hopes, desires and vices
In all its baroque and sometimes cruelly overbred forms, the dog is a paramount symbol of both human hopes and foibles
«As a rising middle class started to focus on their own family trees, creating an ‘elite’ from new money, so dogs started to be classified too.»
How should we understand the weird experience of coincidence?
I am an unequivocal rationalist and yet I still want to see something strange and wonderful in life’s weird coincidences
These are some all-time favorites with Refind users.
How to know what you really want
From career choices to new purchases, use René Girard’s mimetic theory to resist the herd and forge your own path in life
«These are people whose desires are in some sense intertwined with your own – they can affect your desires, and you can in turn affect theirs»
How imaginary numbers describe the fundamental shape of nature
These odd values were long dismissed as bookkeeping. Now physicists are proving that they describe the hidden shape of nature
On the moral virtues of mischief and mischievous people
Mischievousness requires humour, wit and a playful humaneness: qualities that make for a particular kind of virtue
How to think clearly
By learning to question and clarify your thoughts, you’ll improve your self-knowledge and become a better communicator
«So far as possible, you should try to extract the maximum truthful and reasonable content from what others say, especially if they disagree with you»
How to rest well
Taking a break isn’t lazy – learning to recharge is a skill that will allow you to enjoy a more creative, sustainable life
«To Aristotle, work was drudgery and necessity; only in leisure could we cultivate our mental and moral abilities, and become better people.»
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