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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.
An unvarnished, poetic account of a new mother’s struggle to breastfeed
Why making if-then connections might be the key to consciousness
Thinkers and theories
Bernard Williams on Descartes’s audacious endeavour to prove knowledge is possible
The cast of ‘misfit toys’ who keep life on an idyllic tourist island afloat
Ageing and death
When his elderly parents make a suicide pact, Doron struggles to accept their choice
Biography and memoir
What Akiko saw at the centre of the Hiroshima blast, and the indelible mark it left
Yes, the Inuit have dozens of words for snow – but what does each one mean exactly?
Technology and the self
One woman prepares for the risky solitude of Georgia O’Keeffe’s American West
History of science
How one of history’s most beautiful books was used to find fate in the cosmos