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, Franco chats back and forth with prominent philosophers on issues ranging from metaphor to abortion. Could these videos be the answer to the "crisis" in philosophy and the humanities?
The world is a cruel place that has no shortage of suffering. It is no wonder that scholars of all stripes have been pulled by the gravity of the moment to redirect their intellectual talents and capacities for research toward more immediately pressing and urgent questions. It is why public philosophy is more important than ever.
In a recent article from the New Statesman, prompted by the death of philosopher Derek Parfit, journalist David Herman wonders what happened to the public intellectual. Where has philosophy disappeared to? In America, there has been much demand for a better, more competent press. So much so, that publications such as the New York Times claim they have the "truth" -- so you ought to subscribe! A good (and free) press is surely necessary, but is it really sufficient in this day and age?