Philosophy. It’s a heavy topic, but it’s the basis of so much of what we believe in and how we act. For generations, the study of philosophy has been viewed as a highbrow activity at best and a pointless line of study in college at worst. Nevertheless, there are always people out there trying their best to bring philosophy to the rest of us.
YouTube has emerged as the most exciting platform from which to learn new things and philosophy is no exception. Every channel has its own style, be it humorous or crammed with information, but each one of them brings something new to the table. And it makes for one hell of a departure from the intense textbooks on college reading lists.
The School of Life
What the channel is about: Editors post quirky videos related to learning how to live better on an everyday basis.
What makes them special: Unlike most YouTube learning channels, this one is the online extension of an actual educational organisation with its headquarters in London. The school offers a variety of programmes and services which covers subjects including finding fulfilling work, mastering relationships, achieving calm, and understanding and changing the world.
What’s in this video: Plato, and everything you ever wanted to know about him in one easy-to-understand way.
What the channel is about: Wisecrack is a collective of comedians, academics, filmmakers, and artistes who are determined to explore cool topics in unusual and entertaining ways.
What makes them special: They take a pop culture phenomenon – be it music, movies, or video games – and use it to break down complex philosophical subjects. And if philosophy isn’t your thing, you can check out their other amazing content.
What’s in this video: Everybody’s favourite comic book villain has his brain picked and his thought process is thoroughly examined, presenting viewers with philosophical questions that arise from his maniacal actions.
What the channel is about: Crash Course has video courses on a whole range of subjects, so you can take your pick of what you want to learn.
What makes them special: Presenter Hank Green talks philosophy in an engaging style that elevates the subject to another level. The videos are extremely well-produced and are a pleasure to watch, while also being quirky enough to keep you engaged.
What’s in this video: Sex. Have we got your attention now?
PBS Idea Channel
What the channel is about: Mike Rugnetta posts new videos to the channel every Wednesday, and examines the connections between pop culture, technology and art.
What makes them special: They’re the best at taking dense information, marrying it to fast-moving visuals and drawing easily-identifiable parallels. The videos make you think about the world around you.
What’s in this video: Rugnetta deconstructs the selfie epidemic and, in doing so, examines technology’s impact on humanity and the artistic merit of photography.
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Cover Image Courtesy: YouTube screengrab