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mcvs9804 picture seahorse picture The Biological Basis of Morality

Philosophers and theologians have almost always conceived of moral instincts as being transcendent or God-given. Is it possible, though, that ethical reasoning derives not from outside but from our very nature as evolving material creatures?

by Edward O. Wilson

  • Web-Only: All for One, One for All
    An Atlantic Unbound interview with Edward O. Wilson.

  • The New Yorker's Mr. Shawn

    William Shawn, the editor of The New Yorker from 1952 until 1987, profoundly shaped American literature, journalism, and criticism. Yet many who worked closely with Shawn knew little about his personal background. Shawn himself volunteered almost nothing. Now one of Shawn's longtime contributors has brought to light a peculiarly American saga. (Introduction by Ian Frazier.)

    by Ved Mehta
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    Notes & Comment: Children and Money
    What if you set up a bank just for your children? And then what if they needed their own stock market, too?
    by David Owen

    Education: The Trouble With Single-Sex Schools
    Proponents of single-sex education -- including many feminists, who find themselves with some unlikely allies as a result -- make a variety of claims for its practical advantages. Those advantages, the author argues, are greatly overstated.
    by Wendy Kaminer

    Brief Lives: An Eye for Anomaly
    The photographer Rosamond Purcell exalts the damaged, the demonized, and the disturbed.
    by Marshall Jon Fisher

    The Presidency: Three New Revelations About LBJ
    The author of a new biography explains, among other things, how Lyndon Johnson effectively assisted the presidential campaign of Hubert Humphrey's opponent, Richard Nixon.
    by Robert Dallek

    Fiction & Poetry

    Winter Barn
    A poem
    by Deborah Digges

    seahorse picture Mrs. Dutta Writes a Letter
    A short story
    by Chitra B. Divakaruni

  • Web-Only: A Woman's Places
    An Atlantic Unbound interview with Chitra B. Divakaruni.

    In the Batting Cage
    A poem
    by Lynne McMahon

    Browse and search The Atlantic's online archive.

  • Arts & Leisure

    Travel: Dazzling White Nights
    To the evident attractions of St. Petersburg one must now add the Stars of the White Nights Festival, which builds on the city's glorious musical past.
    by Matthew Gurewitsch

    Movies: A Cinema of Private Lives
    A report from Park City, Utah, where our correspondent viewed thirty-six of the films at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
    by Garry Wills


    America Right and Left
    Ronald Reagan, by Dinesh D'Souza; The New Majority, edited by Stanley B. Greenberg and Theda Skocpol
    by Nicholas Lemann

    The Horror
    The Rape of Nanking, by Iris Chang
    by David M. Kennedy

    Brief Reviews
    by Phoebe-Lou Adams

    Other Departments

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    The April Almanac

    The Puzzler
    by Emily Cox & Henry Rathvon

    Word Watch
    by Anne H. Soukhanov

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    All material copyright © 1998 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
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