Hear Michel Foucault’s Final UC Berkeley Lectures, “Discourse and Truth” (1983)

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We’ve written quite a bit in previous posts about French philosopher Michel Foucault’s time in Berkeley, California during the final years of his life, and for good reason.


“Heidegger in the Kitchen”: Alain de Botton’s Video Essay Explains the Philosopher’s Concept of Being

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Are you feeling doomed and insignificant, like a shrimp destined for the frying pan? Well, then, we have just the thing for you. Last week we featured three introductory philosophy videos from Alain de Botton’s School of Life, on Martin Heidegger, the Stoics, and Epicurus.


Stephen Fry Explains Humanism in 4 Animated Videos: Happiness, Truth and the Meaning of Life & Death

≡ Category: Life, Philosophy, Religion |6 Comments

Answers to life’s big questions don’t come cheap, but they very often come free, or at least we feel they should. Which answers you find compelling among your available options is up to you.


Alain de Botton’s School of Life Presents Animated Introductions to Heidegger, The Stoics & Epicurus

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Why is Western philosophy so difficult, so abstruse, and so damned wordy? Perhaps it’s simply a matter of job security. It’s generally well-known, after all, that some of the most taciturn philosophers were also some of the poorest—Ludwig Wittgenstein, who was independently wealthy, notwithstanding.


Open Culture Picks Our 10 Avant-Garde Favorites on Ubuweb: Joyce, Borges, Sontag, Wittgenstein & More

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If you know about Open Culture, surely you know about Ubuweb. If you don’t, its slogan says almost everything you need to know about it: “All Avant-Garde. All the Time.


A Free Cartoon Biography of Ayn Rand: Her Life & Thought

≡ Category: Comics/Cartoons, Literature, Philosophy |10 Comments

Ayn Rand is one of the most divisive figures in 20th Century American thought. In some circles, particularly on Wall Street and in Washington DC think tanks, she’s seen as a patron saint of laissez faire capitalism. She preached the virtues of individualism and decried government handouts and taxes before it was cool, after all.


Philosopher Jacques Derrida Interviews Jazz Legend Ornette Coleman: Talk Improvisation, Language & Racism (1997)

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This most certainly ranks as one of my favorite things on the internet, and I dearly wish we had audio to share with you, though I doubt any exists. What we do have is an English translation from the French of an interview that originally took place in English between philosopher Jacques Derrida and jazz great Ornette Coleman.


Georges Bataille: An Introduction to The Radical Philosopher’s Life & Thought Through Film and eTexts

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Charles Baudelaire’s decadent visions pushed the Victorian cult of beauty toward modernism, Henry Miller’s lurid epics pushed a then staid modernism toward anarchic beat writing, and Georges Bataille and the surrealists of his arts journal Documents gave us much of the culture we have today, call it what you will if postmodern is too passé.


Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Gets Adapted Into an Avant-Garde Comic Opera

≡ Category: Music, Philosophy |2 Comments

Ludwig Wittgenstein, enfant terrible or idiot savant? A student of the great Bertrand Russell and protégé of renowned mathematician and logician Gottlob Frege, the angry young upstart’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus put both elder thinkers on notice: The days of their comfortable assumptions were numbered, in a series of austere, cryptic apho


Philosopher Alain Badiou Performs a Scene From His Play, Ahmed The Philosopher (2011)

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Alain Badiou occupies an odd place in contemporary philosophy. Showered with superlatives like “France’s greatest living philosopher” and “one of the greatest thinkers of our time,” he somehow doesn’t merit even a cursory entry in that definitive academic reference site, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.


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