A History of Ideas animations

A History of Ideas animations

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04bwydw
Big questions and theories explained in under 2 minutes from A History of Ideas on BBC Radio 4. Animations voiced by Harry Shearer, Gillian Anderson, Stephen Fry and Aidan Turner. Scripted by Nigel Warburton. This project is made in collaboration with The Open University and the animations were created by Cognitive.


John Locke on Toleration
Feb 1, 2017 • 1 min
Is it possible to persuade people to change their beliefs by force? John Locke thought not. Narrated by Aidan Turner.
Wittgenstein’s Beetle in a Box Analogy
Aug 6, 2015 • 1 min
You can’t know exactly what it is like to be another person or experience things from their perspective. Wittgenstein had an analogy for this. Narrated by Aidan Turner.
Esse est Percipi - (‘To be is to be perceived’)
Aug 5, 2015 • 1 min
If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Narrated by Aidan Turner.
Karl Popper’s Falsification
Aug 4, 2015 • 1 min
Science is based on fact. Isn’t it? Narrated by Aidan Turner.
Should You Believe in Miracles?
Aug 3, 2015 • 1 min
Philosopher David Hume thought you should look at the evidence. We’ve employed a Time Lord to investigate. Narrated by Aidan Turner.
The Oedipus Complex and the Westermarck Effect
Aug 2, 2015 • 1 min
The Oedipus Complex explained in under 2 minutes. Narrated by Aidan Turner.
Is Selfless Love Possible?
Aug 2, 2015 • 1 min
Why do people do good deeds? Are they being selfless or is there something else going on? Narrated by Aidan Turner.
The Myth of the Missing Half
Aug 2, 2015 • 1 min
In Plato’s dialogue The Symposium, Aristophanes presented a light-hearted creation myth that attempted to explain the human search for love. Narrated by Aidan Turner.
Jean Paul Sartre on Love
Aug 2, 2015 • 1 min
For Jean-Paul Sartre, freedom was everything. Real freedom means freedom to change your mind and freedom to fall out of love. Narrated by Aidan Turner.
Confucian Ancestor Worship
Jul 30, 2015 • 1 min
The family is at the heart of Confucian philosophy. Narrated by Aidan Turner.
Plato’s Philosopher Kings
Jul 29, 2015 • 1 min
Plato thought leaders should be specially trained philosophers chosen because they were incorruptible and had a deeper knowledge of reality. Narrated by Aidan Turner.
The Invisible Hand
Jul 28, 2015 • 1 min
Does an invisible hand guide the economy? Narrated by Aidan Turner.
Rene Descartes - “I think, therefore I am”
Apr 16, 2015 • 1 min
How did Descartes come to the conclusion of certainty when surrounded by uncertainty and doubt? Narrated by Stephen Fry.
Erving Goffman and The Performed Self
Apr 15, 2015 • 1 min
Do we have a true self or are we endlessly performing? Narrated by Stephen Fry.
Jean-Paul Sartre and Existential Choice
Apr 14, 2015 • 2 min
According to Jean-Paul Sartre, every choice reveals what we think a human being should be.
Know Thyself
Apr 13, 2015 • 2 min
Is it possible to ever ‘Know Thyself’? Narrated by Stephen Fry.
Habeas Corpus
Apr 9, 2015 • 1 min
Habeas Corpus protects individual freedom and ensures that no one is held without charge.Narrated by Stephen Fry.
Civil Disobedience
Apr 8, 2015 • 2 min
A just society has fair laws. But most societies aren’t like that. So what can you do? Narrated by Stephen Fry.
The Veil Of Ignorance
Apr 7, 2015 • 1 min
John Rawls argued it might be more just to construct a blueprint for a just society from behind a ‘veil of ignorance’. Narrated by Stephen Fry.
Lex Talionis and Retribution
Apr 6, 2015 • 1 min
An eye for an eye might sound like brutal retribution but its roots were in encouraging a sense of proportion. Narrated by Stephen Fry.
Ayn Rand on Selfishness
Apr 1, 2015 • 2 min
Ayn Rand believed we have a duty to be selfish and any other behaviour is irrational. Narrated by Stephen Fry.
Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths
Apr 1, 2015 • 1 min
Does our inescapable suffering stem from our own greed and ignorance? Buddha thought so. Narrated by Stephen Fry.
Max Weber and the Protestant Ethic
Mar 31, 2015 • 1 min
How does religion fit with the world of business? Perhaps more closely than you think. Narrated by Stephen Fry.
Aristotle on ‘Flourishing’
Mar 30, 2015 • 1 min
How to live a good life? Aristotle’s answer was live virtuously: do what a virtuous person would do.
The Antikythera Mechanism
Jan 29, 2015 • 2 min
How did a strange lump of bronze and decayed wood discovered in a shipwreck reveal the first ever computer? Narrated by Gillian Anderson.
The Medium Is The Message
Jan 28, 2015 • 1 min
Is the form by which you receive a message as significant as the message itself? Gillian Anderson investigates.
The Fourth Revolution
Jan 27, 2015 • 1 min
Does the Fourth Revolution signify that it’s no longer possible to hold to the view that humans are better at thinking than everything else.
Rewiring the Brain
Jan 26, 2015 • 1 min
Do you worry that screen-based devices are rewiring your brain? Perhaps you should, because they certainly are. Gillian Anderson explains.
John Locke on Personal Identity
Jan 22, 2015 • 1 min
How do we learn to think and write in language so quickly? Gillian Anderson has a clue.
Noam Chomsky on Language Aquisition
Jan 21, 2015 • 1 min
Is language structure hard-wired into our brain? Noam Chomsky thinks so.
Karl Marx on Alienation
Jan 20, 2015 • 1 min
Marx believed work is what makes us human, but a factory labourer under capitalism is no more than a cog in a gigantic machine. Gillian Anderson explains.
The Idea of Cultural Tranmission
Jan 19, 2015 • 1 min
How cultural transmission across time and space keeps us well ahead of other species. Gillian Anderson explains.
William Paley and the Divine Watchmaker
Jan 15, 2015 • 1 min
Do the complexities of the universe prove it had a designer? Gillian Anderson explains why William Paley thought so.
Thomas Aquinas and the First Mover Argument
Jan 14, 2015 • 1 min
Gillian Anderson explains St. Thomas Aquinas’ First Mover argument for God as the first cause of everything.
The Big Bang
Jan 13, 2015 • 1 min
What happened 13.8 billion years ago? The Big Bang. Perhaps. Gillian Anderson explains.
Hindu Creation Stories
Jan 12, 2015 • 2 min
According to Hinduism, there is no single creation, but cycles of creation. Get to grips with the basics.
The Libet Experiment: Is free will just an illusion?
Dec 17, 2014 • 1 min
Are our ‘conscious decisions’ just reports on what is already happening?
The Is / Ought Problem
Dec 17, 2014 • 1 min
Do you draw conclusions from how things are to think about how things should be?
The Harm Principle: How to live your life the way you want to
Dec 17, 2014 • 2 min
John Stuart Mill argues the case for being able to live your life the way you want to.
The Golden Ratio: Possibly the best rectangle in the world
Dec 17, 2014 • 1 min
Find out more about the Golden Ratio.
Edmund Burke on the sublime
Dec 17, 2014 • 1 min
Some things that move us are beautiful, others are sublime. But what is the difference?
The Life You Can Save
Dec 17, 2014 • 1 min
Is there a difference between a child dying in a far off land and a child dying nearby?
The Free Will Defence: A Good God vs The Problem of Evil
Dec 17, 2014 • 1 min
We live in a world festering with evil. How could a good God allow this problem of evil?
Diotima’s Ladder: From Lust to Morality
Dec 17, 2014 • 1 min
Is lust just one rung on the ladder to a higher appreciation of beauty?
Freedom vs Security: Freedom at any cost?
Dec 17, 2014 • 1 min
Is giving up some of your freedoms a fair price to pay to live in a secure society?
Kant’s Axe
Dec 17, 2014 • 1 min
Is it ever morally acceptable to tell a lie?
The Trolley Problem
Dec 17, 2014 • 1 min
Is sacrificing one life to save the lives of many others the best possible outcome?
Feminine Beauty: A social construct?
Dec 17, 2014 • 2 min
Simone de Beauvoir: Resistance to male stereotypes of beauty can mean greater equality.