Famous Dead Philosophers Speak Again!

Inspired by Shawn’s post at Words and Other Things, I compiled a short list of video/audio lectures by famous dead philosophers. If you know of any famous dead philosophers that should be on this list, please tell me!

A. J. Ayer (video interview with Bryan Magee on logical positivism, part 1, 2, 3, and 4) and on Frege and Russell (parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5). Sir Freddie Ayer is likely responsible for the popular conception of logical positivism that we all know and love. (1910-1989)

Donald Davidson v. Michael Dummett (discussion at LSE, part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12). Davidson (1917-2003) brought a very unified view to the philosophy of mind, language, epistemology, metaphysics and more (1917-2003). Dummett is a philosopher of mathematics, logic and language, who retired in 1992 but is still going strong.

Karl Popper (video interview in German). Austrian/British empiricist, friend of the corroborated and foe of the Freudian. Popper is the “physicist’s philosopher,” famous for popularizing falsifiability. (1902-1994)

W. V. O. Quine (video interview with Bryan Magee interview, part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). Quine (1908-2000) was a Harvard logician and philosopher, a well-known critic of logical positivism and supporter of holism.

Bertrand Russell (“Face to Face” video interview, part 1, 2, and 3 — and winning the nobel prize). Logician, mathematician, logician, philosopher, and of fame that goes well beyond most other 20th century philosophers. (1872-1970)

Wilfred Sellars (audio interview on meaning and language). Thanks to Shawn for this one. Sellars was a pillar of the Pittsburgh school, and one of the primary developers of the study of the history and philosophy of science. (1912-1989)

For more online videos of philosophers, most of whom are not dead, visit a brood a comb.

Update, 1 July 08. Mikolka has compiled a list of Magee’s videos, and there are even more philosophers speaking at freevideolectures.com.


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