The veil of ignorance

2 minutes

Want to build a just society? John Rawls said to start by ignoring your identity

What would it take to build a more just society? In contemporary debates about justice, identity is frequently front and centre, but the 20th-century American philosopher John Rawls thought that looking past identity was the key to more equality. In his book A Theory of Justice (1971), Rawls argued that if we could build a society from behind a ‘veil of ignorance’ that kept us from knowing anything about our identity, we would make choices resulting in a fairer society than we now have – one in which all would benefit from greater freedom and ‘fair equality of opportunity’.

Video by BBC Radio 4

Script: Nigel Warburton

Animator: Andrew Park

Video/Evolution

Flashing together: when fireflies meet LEDs, the result is a beautiful lightshow

2 minutes

ORIGINAL
Video/Logic

Western logic has held contradictions as false for centuries. Is that wrong?

6 minutes

Video/Internet & Communication

A classic film on communication finds renewed meaning in the age of memes and emojis

22 minutes

Essay/Values & Beliefs

Dissolving the ego

You don’t need drugs or a church for an ecstatic experience that helps transcend the self and connect to something bigger

Jules Evans

Idea/Knowledge

The tree of knowledge is not an apple or an oak but a banyan

Jonardon Ganeri

Video/Meaning & the Good Life

Late in life, Fred finds joy – and a ‘rhythm in all things’ – through tap dance

6 minutes

Idea/Ethics

Is it moral to respect the wishes of the dead, above the living?

Barry Lam

volume_up
play_arrow
pause
Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Had a good think lately?

Not busy-work, ticking off to-do lists or keeping-up-with-stuff. Just sitting. And thinking. Is it so hard?

André Spicer

Video/History of Ideas

How quantum superposition could unravel the ‘grandfather paradox’

3 minutes