The Conflict of Technique and Human Nature

The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'.

In his fourth lecture, entitled 'The Conflict of Technique and Human Nature', he examines what part human nature has played in the development of civilised society, and argues that poverty, suffering and cruelty are no longer necessary to the existence of civilisation. He believes these can be eliminated with the help of modern science, provided it operates in a humane spirit, and with an understanding of the springs of happiness and life.

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30 minutes

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Sun 16 Jan 1949 09:00

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Dame Hilary Mantel will deliver the BBC Reith Lectures in spring 2017

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Reflecting on the writer whose work includes short stories and historical fiction.