It’s certainly not uncommon for celebrities to take up political causes, though this does not usually lead to them getting arrested for holing up in a high tower oil-drilling ship for four days.[...]
After receiving 121 rejections from publishers, Robert Pirsig finally got Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance published in 1974, which subsequently sold over five million copies and put Pirsig in high demand.[...]
Michel Foucault (1926-1984) was an enormously influential French philosopher who wrote, among other things, historical analyses of psychiatry, medicine, the prison system, and the function of sexuality in social organizations. He spent some time during the last years of his life at UC Berkeley, delivering several lectures in English.[...]
Neil Gaiman is one of the handful of writers who has made comics respectable over the past several decades. He has written some classic children’s stories, plus a novel that will be adapted by HBO. A great deal of his output, though, has been in the form of short stories, and we have pulled together some free copies for you today.[...]
How many of the great philosophers have you actually heard speak? This clip comes from the 1976 documentary Sartre by Himself, which features discussions with Jean-Paul Sartre and his near-equally famous wife Simone de Beauvoir, among others. The film was released with English subtitles in 1979, a year before Sartre died.[...]
In 1973, Orson Welles narrated this animated short, which features somewhat surreal artwork by Dick Oden. You can see more of Oden’s work here.[...]
Stephen B. Smith, a political science professor at Yale University since 1984, has made available a 24-lecture course, Introduction to Political Philosophy, which covers Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Tocqueville.
His approach is highly literary.
Comedian Stephen Fry has the classic British intellectual voice, much like philosopher Bryan McGee. It turns out that he knows something about philosophy, and this clip is a shortened version of a longer video called “The Importance of Unbelief.[...]
Here we have philosopher Daniel Dennett applying Darwinian thought to human thinking, all of which gets him into the intriguing concept of “memes,” infectious ideas that can subvert our survival instincts and threaten whole cultures. It’s another good bit of thinking from TED Talks.[...]