Bettany Hughes considers changing ideas about narcissism at a hairdresser's, on a therapist's couch, in mythology, in Victorian society and on our mobile phones.

This surprising and invigorating history of the most influential ideas in the story of civilisation, has been described as 'a double espresso shot of philosophy, history, science and the arts'. 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 how they've shaped us.

In this programme Bettany explores narcissism with experts from the humanities and sciences, people who see these big philosophical ideas playing out in their own lives including philosopher Angie Hobbs, Oscar Wilde's grandson Merlin Holland and psychotherapist Philippa Perry. Bettany reveals where these ideas were born and then explores the street markets, churches, offices and homes where they continue to morph and influence our daily lives.

Other ideas in this series are character, harmony, technology and hubris. Ideas examined previously include idea, desire, agony, fame, justice, wisdom, comedy, liberty, peace, hospitality, virtue, psyche, charisma, irony and nemesis.

Readings: Sean Baker

Series Producer: Dixi Stewart.

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15 minutes

Last on

Fri 5 Jan 2018 09:30

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