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The Reith Lectures

BBC

Series of annual radio lectures on significant contemporary issues, delivered by leading figures from the relevant fields

Series of annual radio lectures on significant contemporary issues, delivered by leading figures from the relevant fields
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Location:

London, United Kingdom

Networks:

BBC

Description:

Series of annual radio lectures on significant contemporary issues, delivered by leading figures from the relevant fields

Twitter:

@BBC_Reith

Language:

English


Episodes

Social Cohesion and Human Nature

8/1/2019
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The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, Russell's pupils included Wittgenstein, and his most influential work, Principia Mathematica, set out to show how mathematics was grounded in logic. He also wrote On Denoting, one of the most significant philosophical essays of the 20th century, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith...

Duration:00:27:59

Social Cohesion and Government

8/1/2019
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The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'. In his second lecture, entitled 'Social Cohesion and Government', he examines how forms of social cohesion have developed throughout history and...

Duration:00:28:58

The Role of Individuality

8/1/2019
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The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'. In his third lecture, entitled 'The Role of Individuality', he considers the importance of individual initiative to a community, and argues for...

Duration:00:29:22

The Conflict of Technique and Human Nature

8/1/2019
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The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'. In his fourth lecture, entitled 'The Conflict of Technique and Human Nature', he examines what part human nature has played in the development of...

Duration:00:28:53

Control and Initiative: Their Respective Spheres

8/1/2019
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The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'. In his penultimate Reith lecture, entitled 'Control and Initiative: Their Respective Spheres', Bertrand Russell considers which matters should be...

Duration:00:29:38

Individual and Social Ethics

8/1/2019
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The inaugural Reith Lecturer is the philosopher, mathematician, and social reformer Bertrand Russell. One of the founders of analytic philosophy and a Nobel Laureate, he is the author of Principia Mathematica, and the bestselling History of Western Philosophy, written in 1946. His Reith lecture series is entitled 'Authority and the Individual'. In his final lecture, entitled 'Individual and Social Ethics', he relates social and political doctrines to the individual ethics by which people...

Duration:00:28:52

British Rule In India

8/1/2019
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This year's Reith Lecturer is British lawyer Lord Radcliffe. He was Director-General of the Ministry of Information during the Second World War, and is most famous for his role in Partition, the division of the British Indian Empire, His work led directly to the creation of Pakistan and India as independent nations. He examines the features of democratic society, and considers the problematic notions of power and authority in his series of seven Reith Lectures entitled 'Power and the...

Duration:00:29:13

The Psychology of Encounters

8/1/2019
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This year's Reith Lecturer is British historian Arnold J Toynbee. The former Director of Studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, he is currently the Koraes Professor of History at London University. He considers how Europe interacts with other countries in his Reith Lecture series entitled 'The World and the West'. In his fifth lecture entitled 'The Psychology of Encounters', Professor Toynbee examines ways in which countries respond to new cultures. He argues that the...

Duration:00:30:43

The Sciences and Man's Community

8/1/2019
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This year's Reith Lecturer is American theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer. Professor of Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, he has been described as the "father of the atomic bomb" for his role in the Manhattan Project while Director of Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory between 1943–45. In his Reith lectures entitled 'Science and the Common Understanding', he examines the impact of quantum and atomic theory on society. In his sixth and final lecture entitled 'The...

Duration:00:30:38

The Atlantic Bridge

8/1/2019
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This year's Reith Lecturer is the Chairman of Lloyds Bank, Sir Oliver Franks. He is the former Provost of Queen's College, Oxford, and the former Professor of Moral Philosophy at University of Glasgow. He was the British Ambassador in Washington, DC, between 1948 and 1952, and has been described as "one of the founders of the post-war world". He delivers his Reith series entitled 'Britain and Tide of World Affairs'. In his third lecture entitled 'The Atlantic Bridge', Sir Oliver explores...

Duration:00:30:34

The Geography of Art

8/1/2019
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This year's Reith lecturer is Dr Nikolaus Pevsner, the German-born British scholar of history of art and architecture, and author of the county guide series, The Buildings of England (1951–74). In this series, Dr Pevsner explores the qualities of art which he regards as particularly English, as illustrated in the works of several English artists, and what they say about the English national character. In his first lecture, Dr Pevsner examines the reasons for the study of history of art. He...

Duration:00:28:19

Hogarth and Observed Life

8/1/2019
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This year's Reith lecturer is Dr Nikolaus Pevsner, the German-born British scholar of history of art and architecture, and author of the county guide series, The Buildings of England (1951–74). In this series, Dr Pevsner explores the qualities of art which he regards as particularly English, as illustrated in the works of several English artists, and what they say about the English national character. In his second lecture, Dr Pevsner considers the 'Englishness' of the artist and satirist...

Duration:00:29:10

Reynolds and Detachment

8/1/2019
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This year's Reith lecturer is Dr Nikolaus Pevsner, the German-born British scholar of history of art and architecture, and author of the county guide series, The Buildings of England (1951–74). In this series, Pevsner explores the qualities of art which he regards as particularly English, as illustrated in the works of several English artists, and what they say about the English national character. In his third lecture, Dr Pevsner examines the work of the portrait painter Sir Joshua...

Duration:00:28:56

Perpendicular England

8/1/2019
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This year's Reith lecturer is Dr Nikolaus Pevsner, the German-born British scholar of history of art and architecture, and author of the county guide series, The Buildings of England (1951–74). In this series, Pevsner explores the qualities of art which he regards as particularly English, as illustrated in the works of several English artists, and what they say about the English national character. In his fourth lecture, Dr Pevsner examines the Perpendicular style, formed in England in...

Duration:00:23:11

Blake and the Planing Line

8/1/2019
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This year's Reith lecturer is Dr Nikolaus Pevsner, the German-born British scholar of history of art and architecture, and author of the county guide series, The Buildings of England (1951–74). In this series, Pevsner explores the qualities of art which he regards as particularly English, as illustrated in the works of several English artists, and what they say about the English national character. Dr Pevsner explores the 'Decorated Style', which seems in every respect to be the opposite...

Duration:00:28:42

5/5. Shifting the Foundations

6/18/2019
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Jonathan Sumption argues against Britain adopting a written constitution as a response to political alienation. The former UK Supreme Court Justice has argued that politics is in decline partly, at least, because the courts and the law is increasingly doing what politicians used to do. This has indirectly contributed to the electorate’s increasing rejection of the political process. There is growing resentment against the political elite. So what can we do? Lord Sumption makes some...

Duration:00:42:53

4/5. Rights and the Ideal Constitution

6/11/2019
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Jonathan Sumption assesses the US and UK’s constitutional models. He describes Britain's unwritten constitution as a political institution. The US Constitution is by contrast essentially a legal document. This has led Americans to address what should be political questions – such as the right to abortion – via the courts, rather than through politics. Britain, Lord Sumption argues, should learn from the United States be careful about which rights should be put beyond democratic choice. The...

Duration:00:42:22

3/5. Human Rights and Wrongs

6/4/2019
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Jonathan Sumption argues that judges - especially those of the European Court of Human Rights - have usurped power by expanding the interpretation of human rights law. Lord Sumption argues that concepts of human rights have a long history in the common law. But by contrast, the European Convention on Human Rights has become a dynamic treaty, taking on new interpretations and powers. Article 8 – the right to private and family life – is the most striking example. Should these decisions be...

Duration:00:42:40

2/5. In Praise of Politics

5/28/2019
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Jonathan Sumption explains how democratic processes have the power to accommodate opposition opinions and interests. But he argues that in recent years that politics has shied away from legislating and now the courts have taken on more and more of the role of making law. Lord Sumption was until recently a justice of the UK’s Supreme Court and is a distinguished historian. This lecture is recorded in front of an audience at Birmingham University. The Reith Lectures are presented and chaired...

Duration:00:42:32

1/5. Law's Expanding Empire

5/21/2019
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Jonathan Sumption argues that the law is taking over the space once occupied by politics. Lord Sumption was until recently a justice of the UK’s Supreme Court, as well as being a distinguished historian. In this lecture, recorded before an audience at Middle Temple in London, Lord Sumption says that until the 19th century, law only dealt with a narrow range of human problems. That has now changed radically. And he argues that the growth of the law, driven by demand for greater personal...

Duration:00:57:34