In Our Time Archive: Philosophy

In Our Time Archive: Philosophy

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of philosophy - from ancient Greek thinkers to the major questions that preoccupy philosophers today.

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Recent episodes (10)

  • Malthusianism

    Wed, 22 Jun 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg discusses the ideas of Thomas Malthus, the Victorian clergyman whose work, 'An Essay on the Principle of Population', forecast that soon the population would outstrip food supply. His philosophy regarding population became known as 'Malthusianism'. But was there any truth in his predictions and what impact did his essay have at the time? Melvyn is joined by Karen O’Brien, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at the University of Birmingham; Mark Philp, Lecturer in Politics at the University of Oxford; and Emma Griffin, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of East Anglia.

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  • Cogito Ergo Sum

    Thu, 28 Apr 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss one of the most famous statements in philosophy: "Cogito ergo sum" or "I think therefore I am". With Susan James, John Cottingham and Stephen Mulhall.

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  • Free Will

    Thu, 10 Mar 11

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Do we have the freedom to control our actions? Melvyn Bragg discusses free will with Simon Blackburn, Helen Beebee and Galen Strawson.

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  • Aristotle's Poetics

    Thu, 27 Jan 11

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the seminal work of literary criticism by Aristotle, his 'Poetics'. Full of advice about how to write and appreciate tragedy and epic poetry, the book had a huge influence on French renaissance drama and beyond. Melvyn is joined by Angie Hobbs, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Senior Fellow in the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Warwick; Nick Lowe is Reader in Classical Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London; and Stephen Halliwell, Professor of Greek at the University of St. Andrews.

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  • Daoism

    Wed, 15 Dec 10

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ancient religion and philosophy, Daoism. Said to date from the 6th century BC when a wise man called Laozi wrote the 'Scripture of the Way and its Power', the 'Daodejing'; Daoism plays a significant role in Chinese culture in general and is now one of the most influential religions worldwide. Melvyn is joined by Tim Barrett, Professor of East Asian History at SOAS; Martin Palmer, Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education and Culture; and Hilde De Weerdt,Fellow and Tutor in Chinese History at Pembroke College, University of Oxford.

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  • Edmund Burke

    Thu, 3 Jun 10

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the philosopher, politician and writer Edmund Burke. With guests Karen O’Brien, Richard Bourke and John Keane.

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  • William Hazlitt

    Thu, 8 Apr 10

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and works of the essayist William Hazlitt. With Jonathan Bate, Anthony Grayling and Uttara Natarajan.

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  • Ibn Khaldun

    Thu, 4 Feb 10

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the 14th-century Arab philosopher of history Ibn Khaldun. With Hugh Kennedy, Robert Irwin and Robert Hoyland.

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  • The Frankfurt School

    Thu, 14 Jan 10

    Duration:
    43 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ideas and influence of the Frankfurt School. Guests include Jonathon Rée, Esther Leslie and Raymond Geuss.

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  • Mary Wollstonecraft

    Thu, 31 Dec 09

    Duration:
    42 mins

    Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and ideas of Mary Wollstonecraft. With John Mullan, Barbara Taylor and Karen O’Brien.

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