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Bettany Hughes delves into desire, has a brain scan to find out what love looks like and explores the influence of Eros through the ages. From September 2013.

The Ideas That Make Us is a new Radio 4 series which reveals the history of the most influential ideas in the story of civilisation, ideas which continue to affect us all today.

In this 'archaeology of philosophy', the award-winning historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes begins each programme with the first, extant evidence of a single word-idea in Ancient Greek culture and travels both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and have impacted on history and the human experience. In this, the third of five programmes, Bettany explores the idea of love with philosopher Angie Hobbs, historians Professor Kate Cooper and William Dalrymple, and neuroscientist Faraneh Vargha-Khadem.

Other ideas examined in the first series are desire, agony, fame and justice. Wisdom, comedy, liberty, peace and guest-host friendship will be explored in January 2014.

Producer: Dixi Stewart.

Available now

15 minutes


Watch animations from A History of Ideas

Watch animations from A History of Ideas

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