Is James Franco Rescuing Philosophy?
Truman Chen

15 August 2017

You might not have expected it, but the actor James Franco is promoting analytic philosophy in his new YouTube series, Philosophy Time. In relatively short videos, under 10 minutes, Franco chats back and forth with prominent philosophers such as Liz Harman and Andy Egan on issues ranging from metaphor to abortion.

The videos are titled like college philosophy courses (Phil 101, Phil 102, etc.) but are presented in a way to make philosophy feel more approachable and fun to learn about. Franco listens earnestly, but engages in a light-hearted manner, and the video production adds to the mood with fun animations. After all, for all of his literary and academic adventures, Franco is no professional philosopher, so his more straightforward conversations from the perspective of a non-expert may end up providing a kind of platform for public philosophy.

With such short videos, Franco may not end up saving philosophy and the humanities from their ongoing "crisis," but he just might get some folks to find it more understandable and less stuffy or pretentious.

Visit the YouTube Channel here: