A History of Ideas – 60 part OU/BBC series on Radio 4

A History of Ideas , a major 60 part series presented by Melvyn Bragg, will begin on Radio 4 at 12.04pm on monday 10 November. Produced by the OU and BBC, the academic consultant for the series was Prof Derek Matravers. This first episode will be repeated again on the 14th of November at 9pm on Radio 4.

Each week Melvyn is joined by four guests with different backgrounds to discuss a “really big question”, with topics ranging from beauty and freedom to technology and morality. The series will hear from lawyers, philosophers, neuroscientists, theologians and others, all with distinctive takes on the question under consideration. Each week begins on the Monday with four thinkers, preeminent in their respective fields, discussing one specific question – with Melvyn Bragg presiding over the exchange of views. The contributors will then have a chance to develop further their arguments in their own authored programmes from Tuesday to Friday.

In the first week he’s asking ‘What does it mean to be free?’, part of a week of programmes looking at the history of ideas around ‘Freedom’.

Helping him answer it are Philosopher Angie Hobbs, Theologian Giles Fraser, Neuropsychologist Paul Broks and Criminal Barrister Harry Potter. For the rest of the week Angie, Giles, Harry and Paul take us further into the history of ideas with programmes of their own.

Between them they’ll talk about Isiah Berlin’s distinction between positive and negative Freedom, JS Mill’s thoughts on individual liberty and the state; what neuroscience has to say about the age old philosophical debate about freewill and whether freedom is over-rated as a political, moral and psychological concept.

Other programmes in the series between 10 and 14 November include:

Angie Hobbs on Positive and negative freedom
Harry Potter on Individual freedom and the State
Giles Fraser on Religious freedom
Paul Broks on Free will and the Brain
Find out more about the seriesm on OpenLearn at http://www.open.edu/openlearn/historyofideas.

Discover more at the BBC website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04bwyf8

About ouartsfaculty

The Arts Faculty of The Open University is a world leader in supported Open Learning, and one of the best institutions in the world for arts and humanities. You can follow us on Twitter @OUArtsFaculty and on Facebook.
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