The Next Celebrity Spokesperson for Philosophy

The Next Celebrity Spokesperson for Philosophy


The series of brief audio clips by John Cleese on the value of philosophy is making the rounds again, this time courtesy of a post at Open Culture. The public service announcements were commissioned by the American Philosophical Association in 2000 in celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary.

For example, here is Cleese on what philosophers do:

 

For those doubting whether Cleese knows enough about philosophy to qualify to speak on its behalf, well, he knew enough to make this pitch-perfect parody:

As great as Cleese is, younger generations don’t know him. Still, the idea of a celebrity spokesperson doing PSAs for philosophy is tempting. If the APA were to try to commission a new series of PSAs now, which celebrities should be among those they ask to do it?

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Eddy Nahmias
5 years ago

Stephen Colbert, of course. (He started out as a phil major and I suspect appreciates the value of it, given how thoughtful he is.)
Steve Martin would be great too, but younger generation might not know him that well either.
If neither of them, I guess it will have to be Sarah Palin.
(I’d never seen that Cleese clip–awesome! “Are you using ‘yes’ in the affirmative sense?”)Report

Dale Miller
5 years ago

With all due respect to Cleese, I prefer the original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leQ1bczMu7cReport

Will
Will
5 years ago

Kim kardashian. Duh.Report

Louie Generis
Louie Generis
5 years ago

A celebrity spokesperson that younger generations will recognize and appreciate? That’s obvious. We need to find a zombie.Report

Jan
Jan
5 years ago

Chris Rock would be great.Report

Louie Generis
Louie Generis
5 years ago

Also, younger generations don’t know John Cleese? Isn’t this the real problem that we should be addressing?Report

G
G
5 years ago

Ricky Gervais. Studied philosophy, made this: http://youtu.be/P-v3ngHykP4 and is still relevant.Report

P.D.
5 years ago

The younger generations are no longer what they were fifteen years ago.

The peculiarity of the John Cleese radio spots was not that he’d speak for philosophy, but that he’d speak for American philosophy. As if sounding like philosophy requires putting on a British accent.Report

Urstoff
Urstoff
5 years ago

Philosophy needs the most powerful woman in the world: Taylor Swift.Report

anon grad
anon grad
5 years ago

Marco Rubio.Report

SCM
SCM
5 years ago

Perhaps the most important contribution that philosophy could make to the public at this juncture is to resolve the longstanding dispute between beliebers and aliebers.Report

Avi
Avi
5 years ago

Moby studied philosophy for one year at U. of Connecticut before dropping out to do his music.
Christy Turlington received her degree in Eastern Philosophy/Religion from NYU.Report

M.G. Piety
5 years ago

Oh man, that is so hilarious. I had several “Oxbridge” professors when I was in grad school at McGill. That parody is so dead accurate it is almost NOT a parody.Report

Bryan Frances
5 years ago

Lana Del Rey studied philosophy at Fordham. For those who don’t know, she is incredibly well-known amongst people under 30 yrs old.Report

JCM
JCM
5 years ago

Frankly Cleese is about as good a spokesman as any one could hope for… Philosophy is constant in the Pythons. This one had somehow avoided my awareness for years:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crIJvcWkVcs&w=480&h=360%5DReport

Pete Mandik
5 years ago

Make me a celebrity and I’ll do it.Report

Carrie Figdor
Carrie Figdor
5 years ago

Sarah Silverman could probably knock this one out of the ballpark.Report

Clayton
5 years ago

Claudia Kennedy could be a good voice for philosophy, especially in the states among people skeptical of its value.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudia_J._KennedyReport

Jamie Dreier
Jamie Dreier
5 years ago
Andrew Sepielli
Andrew Sepielli
5 years ago
Alan White
Alan White
5 years ago

Justin Timberlake video Δίκη in a box.Report

hegeleva
hegeleva
5 years ago

Louis CK!Report

Rebeka
5 years ago

Steve Martin, he was a philosophy major, might even have a degree. Or Jennifer Lawrence, she’s amazingly insightful and supportive of critical analysis. I think this is a great idea, please do many PSAs to boost appreciation of intellectualism!!!Report

PeteJ
5 years ago

It’s a shame George Harrison isn’t still around.Report

Anomymous
Anomymous
5 years ago

Chris Hayes the news commentator at MSNBC has a philosophy degree and would reach young people well I think.Report