Great places to learn philosophy
These are really solid sources designed to broadly teach or discuss different areas under philosophy’s domain. They’re all managed by people who have studied philosophy or are currently in the field.
Wireless Philosophy (Wi-phi): Wireless Philosophy or Wi-phi is a YouTube channel with videos providing a selection of philosophical topics. Their content is a bit a la carte, meaning there’s no syllabus or structure to follow, so it’s just best to pick topics you like and watch them. Their videos are easy to follow and cover a large breadth of topics, and the Wi-phi team is pretty nice (I had the pleasure of speaking to them briefly once on Reddit). They really believe in what they’re doing and get grant funding to ensure the content remains free and widely available.
Philosophy Tube: Philosophy Tube is a YouTube channel ran by one guy, Oliver Thorn, a former UK philosophy student who has taken it upon himself to provide the world with the knowledge he acquired from school after his university tripled tuition. Philosophy Tube provides a good example of philosophy applied to contemporary social and ethical issues (and pop culture).
The History of Philosophy (without any gaps): It is exactly what it says it is. HoP is a great resource that extensively covers thinkers and schools of thought from many eras and cultures. It is probably one of the most comprehensive philosophy resources for those not in academia.
Crash Course: Crash course isn’t a philosophy channel, at least not exclusively. It’s a channel that hosts a compilation of courses led by different YouTubers on subjects they’re knowledgeable about, and there happens to be a philosophy course. Unlike the sources I listed above, these are classes with curricula and videos designed to be watched in a specific order.
Coursera (or any MOOC): My first formal philosophy class (outside of a logic course I took by mistake) was an introductory philosophy course offered through the University of Edinburgh, even though I live on the other side of the world. Coursera, and lots of websites like it, provide what are known as Massive Online Open Courses on a variety of subjects. Coursera has several philosophy classes that I’ve seen hosted over the years, and if you’re new to philosophy I highly recommend Edinburgh’s intro course. You might also one day find me participating in another MOOC 😁!
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP): This is exactly what it says, an encyclopedia managed by Stanford University, and it’s as dry as you’d expect an encyclopedia on philosophy to be. That said, it’s an amazing resource. Philosophers often use jargon when referring to concepts or ideas that already exist in philosophical discourse and you can almost usually go to SEP, type in unfamiliar concepts, and read up on the subject. Even a simple skim can provide you with valuable insight you didn’t have before. Part of the inspiration for this blog was a desire to provide a layman-friendly (albeit highly simplified) version of some of their content.
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP): This is an encyclopedia managed by the University of Tennessee. It’s pretty similar to Stanford’s Encyclopedia but serves as a good complement to SEP. Additionally, it covers some topics that Stanford doesn’t because it’s organized somewhat differently.
Who says philosophy can’t be fun?
Call it edutainment or whatever you want, but these creators think there’s no reason why you shouldn’t laugh at or enjoy the eccentricity of philosophy and I agree.
Existential Comics: Artist Corey Mohler draws various philosophers in situations that exemplify the absurdity of their beliefs, their lifestyles, or the silly way their arguments have been applied in the world. At the end of most comics, the punchline or joke is usually explained so that those who haven’t encountered a certain thinker or idea can learn more.
Wisecrack: A YouTube channel all about pop culture and philosophy. If you’ve ever wanted to know about philosophical themes touched on in House of Cards, Breaking Bad, Final Fantasy, or even Dark Souls (shudder) then this channel is for you. Oh, and these guys really love Rick and Morty so happy viewing and Wubalubadubdub!!
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: This isn’t really a philosophy related website, but it’s a hilarious comic that’s witty as hell and sometimes talks about things in a manner that reminds me of philosophy.
XKCD: This comic is love and life. It’s not specifically philosophy, but another nerdy/witty as hell comic.
Thought provoking content
These are sites/channels that I often go to. They indirectly relate to philosophy and more broadly to science, culture, and society.
Aeon Magazine: Aeon is an arts and culture magazine that curates essays from various subject experts. The content usually is both culturally relevant and philosophical, often asking the reader to think about ordinary aspects of society in a novel light.
Nautilus Magazine: Nautilus is a science magazine that often delves into questions regarding science, culture, and philosophy of science. Like Aeon, the content is produced by people who are subject matter experts, but the focus is decidedly on science, math, philosophy, and technology (although some content does resemble what you might find on Aeon).
Institute of Art and Ideas (IaI): IaI is a site that provides (free) lectures, discussions, and articles on tons of topics in the arts and sciences, usually from a philosophical perspective.
Wait but Why: Wait but Why is a blog ran by Tim Urban (that isn’t updated as often as it used to be) that discusses specific topics in technology, science, and culture in long form. Posts are very long reads but have nice stick figure-y pictures as illustrations. Since there’s now a lot of time between updates, that gives you all the more time to read older posts.
Vsauce: Vsauce is a YouTube channel or, more specifically, three YouTube channels. As much as I like all three channels, though, I’m mainly referring to Vsauce 1 ran by Michael Stevens (sorry Jake and Kevin, you’re still cool!). Vsauce is technically a science channel but, like Nautilus, it covers topics from a very broad angle that touches on tons of different subject areas. To me, Vsauce is as much of a channel about learning to love learning as it is a channel about science.
Futurism: Futurism is a website about the future, as its name implies. It features bite-sized articles that talk about emerging technologies. I mostly read it because of my interest in science fiction.
Project Syndicate: Imagine if the news was written by experts. Project Syndicate contains op-eds on contempoary global issues discussed by experts in their respective fields across the world. It’s not my main news source, but it is something I like to consume.
This list will go on forever if I let it, so here are some final mentions. I won’t spoil what makes these so great.