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Confucius’ philosophy of ‘filial piety’ – a fervent respect for one’s parents and ancestors – is still central to Chinese society, even among those who aren’t followers of Confucianism. This brief animation from BBC Radio 4’s A History of Ideas series explores why Confucius believed that the virtue of honouring one’s predecessors was vital for a successful, harmonious society.
Building ‘bigger and better’ has pushed cosmology forward. Can it take it any further?
How Hokusai’s Great Wave emerged from Japan’s isolation to become a global icon
The ancient world
Not a lost kingdom but a parable – how to read Athens in Plato’s story of Atlantis
Meaning and the good life
Albert Camus built a philosophy of humanity on a foundation of absurdity
When two punk bands came to a psychiatric hospital, beautiful chaos ensued
Check in to the Hilbert Hotel, and learn why some infinities are bigger than others
Cognition and intelligence
How a ‘periodic table’ of animal intelligence could help to root out human bias
A climate activist living off-grid faces her toughest challenge yet – a new primary school
What it’s like to have aphantasia, the inability to visualise images in the mind’s eye