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Play now 45 mins

Inspiration and Genius

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 15 June 2000

Melvyn Bragg explores genius and inspiration.
“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him”. So said Jonathon Swift, many people’s choice for a genius himself. But what does that word really mean? Are geniuses born or made? And what are the circumstances necessary for the great leaps of consciousness that inspire the development of science and art? Did Einstein’s brain arrive like that - markedly different from the expected formation - or did it become like that through thought? If genius does not exist, why are we so keen to invent it? Was Mozart programmed or pre-programmed and was Newton or anyone else solely responsible for inventing anything?

With Arthur I. Miller, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Department of Science & Technology, University College London; Michael Howe, Professor of Psychology, Exeter University; Dr Juliet Mitchell, psychoanalyst and lecturer at Cambridge University.

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  1. Image for In Our Time Archive: Culture

    In Our Time Archive: Culture

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of ideas as it applies to culture - from literature…

  2. Image for In Our Time Archive: History

    In Our Time Archive: History

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the people, conflicts and events that have shaped the world.

  3. Image for 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…

  4. Image for In Our Time Archive: Religion

    In Our Time Archive: Religion

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of religious ideas - from the faith systems of…

  5. Image for In Our Time Archive: Science

    In Our Time Archive: Science

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of ideas and the evolution of the sciences - from…

  6. Image for In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg

    In Our Time With Melvyn Bragg

    Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history of ideas - including topics drawn from philosophy,…

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