Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New season of In Our Time

BBC's In Our Time has made a flying start of the new season. Three issues have passed us already and the fourth is about to come on-line. As usual, once the new episode is available in the feed, the old one is removed. Make sure you get the chapters and keep them for later listening. There almost never an issue of IOT you will regret having spent your precious 45 minutes of listening time to.

I already gave a short review of the opening of the season, St. Thomas Aquinas, but in the mean time we have also had two other excellent discussions. One about the Newton vs Leibniz controversy and one about the fascinating and enigmatic black sheep of Egyptian Pharaohs: Akhenaten.

The Leibinz-Newton controversy hardly turns out to be a relevant controversy for mathematics. It seems more of a championship of prestige between England and Germany, between the Anglo-Saxon world and the European continent. And in the end, it is once again a mention of both the genius as well as the miserable character of Isaac Newton.

Akhenaten (Akhnaton) is the story of reconstruction of a history for which we have little facts to go on, yet that contains all the elements to trigger wild imagination. One of those issues is the seeming monotheism of Akhenaten. Was he the first monotheist in history? If he was a monotheist, but if you accept that, what would be the relation with Moses, taking the Hebrews out of Egypt and establishing that oldest monotheistic religion we still have today? At least they could have given the temporal distance between the two. But more time goes to discussing Akhenaten, his wife Nefertiti and the religious revolution he brought about.

More In Our Time
St. Thomas Aquinas,
Logical Positivism,
The Sunni - Shia split,
Revenge Tragedy,
The Augustan Age.
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