William Irwin is Professor of Philosophy at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and is best known for originating the “philosophy and popular culture” book genre with Seinfeld and Philosophy: A Book about Everything and Nothing in 1999 and The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D’oh! of Homer in 2001. William’s latest books are Little Siddhartha (2018) and God Is a Question, Not an Answer (2018). His newest book, out now, is called Both/And.
Bill helped popularize philosophy through his philosophy and pop-culture series, applying philosophical ideas to shows and movies to make them accessible to the public.
For ages, philosophy was seen as subject meant for a select few, but Bill’s books were created to show us how philosophy can be influential in our daily lives, and why it matters. Using The Simpsons, The Matrix, and famous bands, philosophy is made understandable through well-known examples.
Also on Episode 103 with William Irwin:
- The battle between continental philosophy and analytic philosophy
- Why aphorisms and platitudes are effective
- The struggle between popularity and authenticity and why Ronnie James Dio left the band Rainbow
- Popular writing and the importance of clarity in public philosophy
- Academia’s move away from esoteric non-fiction to more mainstream and influential material