These are blogs, channels, podcasts, and communities that I have learned from and regularly recommend to others.
I’ve been following some of these for many years, some almost a decade. Others I no longer follow but did earlier in my journey with philosophy. I have included these because we are all on different parts of our journey.
Mini disclaimer: I don’t agree with everything these people/channels say or the views they hold. Like me they are not perfect and we are all people with biases, blindspots and other shortcomings. Some of these I am diametrically opposed on political views and other fronts.
I’ve approached my learning with the expectation that there will be differences, and go in with the mindset of taking what I value and leaving what I don’t agree with. None of these recommendations represent all my views across all contexts – but I have found them valuable in some shape or form at some point.
While my guiding philosophy in life is Stoicism, I believe there is great value in learning about and from other philosophies. The recommendations I am sharing below are my personal favourites and recommendations. There are certainly other great philosophers or YouTube channels or communities to learn from, but in this post I am sharing my personal recommendations.
My Top 4 Recommendations
Partially Examined Life – Community and Podcast
“Philosophy, philosophers and philosophical texts. The format is an informal roundtable discussion, with each episode loosely focused on a short reading that introduces at least one “big” philosophical question, concern, or idea.”
I’ve been a supporter of Partially Examined Life (PEL) for many years. In fact they were my first internet paid subscription! The team Mark, Seth, Wes and Dylan “at one point wanted to do philosophy for a living but thought better of it” (as they say). I really enjoy that they are not shy to disagree with each other and engage in very thorough discussion.
I found that I was often able to learn more from PEL episodes than when listening to one single person talking about philosophy. Everyone is fallible and has biaes but having four people helps mitigate it against it. You can see what the general agreement is from people of different backgrounds and political persuasions and interpretations.
This is my favorite go-to philosophy resource with in depth breakdowns, but it requires a significant time investment as some of the texts discussed are in excess of 800+ pages, (though sometimes it’s a few chapters out of a book or a short treatise).
Greg Sadler – channel, coaching and podcast show.
Greg Sadler’s channel cemented my love of Stoicism and while he is an academic expert, he is very down to earth and relatable and someone who actually lives Stoicism. He’s very passionate about it and is a phenomenal teacher. I can’t think of someone who is more likable and genuine in this space.
He also got me to appreciate classic sci-fi books through his Worlds Of Speculative Fiction: Philosophical Themes where he hosts meetups in libraries discussing a key work, the author and their life from the genre of sci-fi and speculative fiction. This is a genre I never thought I would enjoy, but reading these books from a philosophical perspective changes the experience.
As a result I’ve also got to enjoy movies that are derivatives of these works that I otherwise wouldn’t have watched or known about – from classics such as H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds (1953), Time Machine (1960), to 1980’s dystopias such as They Live (1988) and my favorite sci-fi movie, Dark City (1998). Many greats of the genre are heavily based on philosophical thought experiments or ideas. (By the way, the film Total Recall,1990 starring Arnold Swaenager has the red pill/blue dichotomy before the Matrix.)
Greg Sadler has some of the best playlists on philosophy and even a project that is ongoing for almost 10 years on Hegel – the largest project of it’s kind that I’m aware of!
“Bevry is building a platform and community to expand collaborative wisdom. This is the channel for our Philosophy initiative.”
Hailing from my home country South Africa, this is an interesting concept and I think this community probably has the most promise on this list.
While there are other communities, many are behind paywalls and in forum structures. Bevry has forums and long discussion video formats where the community can join in on. Some of these discussions are almost five and half hours in length. It fills the gap for unbiased, genuine discussion in the philosophical space.
They also are unusual for tackling things such as shooter manifestos and investigative journalists such as Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang. They are tackling difficult social and historical subjects in very long formats and in a philosophical space and I think it makes them quite unique in their approach and scope.
Stefan Molyneux | Freedomain
“Freedomain, the largest and most popular philosophy show in the world. With more than 4,500 podcasts, 10 books and 600 million downloads, Stefan has spread the cause of liberty and philosophy to millions of listeners around the world.”
Cancel culture resulted in his YouTube being shut down. While I don’t agree a lot with what he says, or with how he engages in debate with opponents (which is often in a condescending and hypocritical manner), I enjoy the unique long format call-in shows with listeners.
He has done a lot of work in getting people engaging with philosophy and pushing people to put their values into action, and he has an active community.
Incredible range of philosophers and ideas covered with original recording and footage.
“Collection of Philosophy Videos (both Analytic Philosophy & Continental Philosophy, technical academic and introductory content): Epistemology, Logic, History of Philosophy, Consciousness, Science, Political Theory, Ethics, Ontology, Religion, History of Ideas, etc.
Everything here is for educational purposes. Nothing is monetized or for commercial use. The purpose is just to promote and spread good philosophy content. If there’s any problem, please let me know, I will gladly take something down if necessary.”
This channel I love for the scope of philosophers it covers, especially lesser known ones as well as concepts that I wouldn’t have come across or particular philosophical takes on certain themes – because I’m not particularly interested in the philosophy as a whole or author – but find their take on a subject interesting.
History of Philosophy without any gaps
Extensive podcast of ancient pre-socratic philosophy and the ancient Greeks as well as other cultures.
“Peter Adamson has been producing the History of Philosophy podcast since late 2010. When he launched the series he was a professor of philosophy at King’s College London, and he retains a professorial appointment there. But his main position is now at the LMU in Munich, where he is Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy and runs the Munich School of Ancient Philosophy together with Christof Rapp and Oliver Primavesi. Peter’s research has mostly concerned philosophy in the Islamic world and its Greek sources, and he has published and edited numerous books and written dozens of research articles in this area.”
“My only goal in life is to make a podcast that brightens people’s lives a little bit. I want to be the notification on your phone that doesn’t induce any stress. Thank you for making that dream of mine possible…Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday.”
Very easy to digest with explanations that seek to make you understand philosophy in a very practical way with real world examples at every turn. Plus the podcast has transcripts!
“John Vervaeke, PhD is an award-winning lecturer at the University of Toronto in the departments of psychology, cognitive science and Buddhist psychology.”
“Professor Bonevac works mainly in metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, semantics, and philosophical logic. His book Reduction in the Abstract Sciences received the Johnsonian Prize from The Journal of Philosophy. The author of five books and editor or co-editor of four others.”
“psychotherapist and writer, with a keen interest in spirituality and inner life. I have a PhD in ancient philosophy, as well as degrees in physics and in theology.”
Mark Vernon has created an incredible playlist on one of my favorite poems Dante’s Divine Comedy. He has affordable courses and is very passionate about his work which combines philosophy, spirituality and literature.
PhilosophyInsights. This channel aims at making political content easily accessible. By skimming through hours of content for every video, I provide the best selection in order to add educational value. The focus is on central ideas of classical liberalism, conservatism and libertarianism and criticism of overreaching feminism, social justice, post-modernism, socialism and Marxism.
Whether or not you are interested in politics, politics is interested in you – as the saying goes. Your way of life depends on a current philosophy of social organisation to continue and celebrate, or the abolition of one. Either way there is no escaping philosophy so you might as well know more about it.
Regardless of whether you read Loche or Marx – Politics is there and affects your life with or without your involvement.
I’m not saying that you must follow this or that political philosophy, I’m being transparent in sharing what philosophical resource with regards to political philosophy I have found useful.
The above recommendations are what I have personally found useful to learn about philosophy whether about ethics, aesthetics or political structure. Inform yourself and make your own decisions that align with your own values and beliefs.This isn’t a blog about politics but I mentioned it because political views are inseparable from philosophies that have come before them. Politics are a part of philosophy, you don’t need to read political philosophy but if you happen to want to, there are resources such as this one among many.
Voiced Over Animated Channels
Some of these are highly underrated but can really help you reframe some of your life events or a great way of being introduced to certain philosophical concepts.
“In the modern world we are assailed each and every day by opinions disguised as fact. The talking heads from the realms of religion, science, politics, and the media all claim to possess knowledge. In this gladiatorial arena of argumentation too often the victor is the loudest voice, not the strongest argument. The mob chooses the views that live and die on the basis of their heart, their fears, or their pain. Rarely do they include their head. Having grown weary of this lifestyle of panem et circenses, I long to journey back across the Mediterranean to a land of logos and arete. If you share this sentiment, I implore you, continue reading and aide me in this quest…”
Academy of Ideas
“We create videos explaining the ideas of history’s great thinkers. We do this to help supply the world with more knowledge, to empower the individual, and to promote freedom.”
The School of Life
“The School of Life is a collective of psychologists, philosophers and writers devoted to helping people lead calmer and more resilient lives. We share ideas on how to understand ourselves better, improve our relationships, take stock of our careers and deepen our social connections – as well as find serenity and grow more confident in facing challenges.”
Freedom in Thought
Documentaries and list videos narrated by a 20-something Swedish guy.
Pursuit of Wonder
“Wonder is the feeling of curiosity and/or appreciation inspired by something that is beautiful or unfamiliar. At Pursuit of Wonder, we produce content with the goal of creating that feeling. We cover a wide range of topics related to things like social, emotional, and intellectual wellbeing, with a variety of formats including video essays, short stories, guided experiences, and much more.”
What are your favorite online sources of general philosophy?