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Why Are Things Beautiful?

Melvyn Bragg is joined by mathematician Vicky Neale, historian of science Simon Schaffer and philosophers Barry Smith and Angie Hobbs to discuss different ideas about beauty.

A new history of ideas presented by Melvyn Bragg but told in many voices.

Melvyn is joined by four guests with different backgrounds to discuss a really big question. This week he's asking 'Why are things beautiful?'

Helping him answer it are Mathematician Vicky Neale, historian of science Simon Schaffer and philosophers Barry Smith and Angie Hobbs.

For the rest of the week Vicky, Simon, Barry and Angie will take us further into the history of ideas about beauty with programmes of their own.

Between them they will examine the mathematics of beauty, whether beauty has moral force, whether beauty can be explained in evolutionary terms and how David Hume developed a theory of good taste.

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11 minutes

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