E L DOCTOROW
One of the most lauded chroniclers of American life, the novelist E L Doctorow, offers an interior history of the 20th century from the perspective of those who choose to opt out of the system and withdraw from mainstream life. Such people tend to attract hostility from society as a whole – perhaps because they challenge comforting assumptions of what is normal, what is true.
Philosopher of science Hasok Chang invites us to follow up on some of science’s forgotten experiments to show how new insights lurk inside generally accepted truisms. When you hear Hasok describe how water boils – the world itself may look very different for ever after.
British biographer Sarah Bakewell introduces us to a 16th century blogger – the super-star French essayist Montaigne – whose explorations of every detail of his own inner life continue to increase our understanding of ourselves and our tolerance of others.
THIS WEEK'S ILLUSTRATION
Montaigne and his brother observe their clutter at boiling point. By Emily Kasriel
60 SECOND IDEA TO CHANGE THE WORLD
In our 60 Second Idea to Change the World, Sarah Bakewell wants to introduce an ‘Altered Perspective Day’. For example, news would be presented according to its importance rather than its locality, any maps in the press or online would be printed upside down or sideways and workers could choose to spend the day doing a job they’ve never done before. The sky, or rather the ground, would be the limit.Listen to this idea...
MEET THE PRESENTER - ANGIE HOBBS
Angie Hobbs is Senior Fellow in the Public Understanding of Philosophy at Warwick University.
Her chief interests are in ancient philosophy and literature, ethics (both theoretical and applied) and political theory, and she has published widely in these areas, including Plato and the Hero (Cambridge University Press 2000).
She is currently writing a book on heroism, courage and fame and producing a new translation of, and commentary on, Plato's Symposium, a vivid dramatic dialogue exploring different views on the origins, nature, aims and effects of erotic love.
IN NEXT WEEK'S PROGRAMME
Bridget Kendall is back with a special edition of The Forum recorded before an audience at the British Museum in London where she’ll be joined by the Museum Director, Neil McGregor, Bosnian novelist Aleksandar Hemon and the biologist Steve Jones. Their theme? Objects and the lives they lead.