King’s Eliot Michaelson teams up with Hollywood star James Franco in Philosophy Time, a newly released series of short video interviews with contemporary philosophers on the topics of beauty, abortion, metaphor and imagination.
Eliot says of the interviews:
About mid-way through my time in grad school, my friend James Franco suggested that we do a project together. James is an actor, and a reasonably well-known one I’ve come to learn. I had taught him in my second year of grad school—he was taking a break from acting to finish the undergrad degree in English he had put on hold years earlier when he was cast in the short-lived TV show Freaks and Geeks—and we had somehow ended up becoming friends. In part, probably because I had no idea who he was. The project we finally settled on, Philosophy Time, is a series of short videos in which we interview philosophers about topics that we hope will prove of interest to a wide audience. For our ‘pilot’ season, we interviewed Liz Camp on metaphor and imagination, Liz Harman on the ethics of abortion, Andy Egan on taste and beauty, and Shamik Dasgupta on the fundamental nature of the universe. Sadly, we never figured out how to cut anything from that last interview down to a five-minute segment—but we did manage to pull four segments out of the rest. Those are now overlaid with some helpful animations and will, I sincerely hope, serve to attract the interest of a few of those outside our field to the range of interesting work going on within it. Like most other attempts at public philosophy, these videos are hardly perfect (I should know, having spent hours trying to figure out how to edit out the flaws!). Nonetheless, I hope that people in the field will find them useful, or at least mildly amusing. I hope that I’ll be able to return in the future with a few more of them.
On the series’ YouTube page you will find:
- Phil101 – Liz Camp on metaphor. Liz Camp of Rutgers University joins James and Eliot to talk about the nature of metaphor.
- Phil102 – Andy Egan on beauty. Andy Egan of Rutgers University joins James and Eliot to talk about beauty in the modern age.
- Phil103 – Liz Harman on abortion. Liz Harman of Princeton University joins James and Eliot to talk about the ethics of abortion.
- Phil104 – Liz Camp on imagination. Liz Camp of Rutgers University joins James and Eliot to talk about two sorts of imagination.