Most Impressive Philosophers

Philosophy Bytes put together a 38 minute compilation of responses to the question ‘Who is the most impressive philosopher you’ve met?’ You can find it here.

I enjoyed it very much. All of the philosophers listed are certainly very impressive.  A number of women are interviewed, highlights include Rae Langton, Jenny Saul, Pat Churchland, Jessica Moss, and Liane Younge. And, at least a small number of women are listed as being impressive, including Sally Haslanger, Ruth Marcus, Frances Kamm, and Elizabeth Anscombe. Yes, there should have been more women and other minorities interviewed and listed, but I was happy that at least a few made the cut.

I also found it interesting that there were so many repeat offenders: Derek Parfit, David Lewis, Bernard Williams, Ronald Dworkin, Thomas Nagel, and John Rawls were among them.

Over all, it is worth listening to the podcast. It is an interesting piece in itself, but it is especially so if it is taken as a contribution to the sociology of philosophy.  It is a useful way of marking where we are in terms of our current philosophical preferences and potentially related implicit biases (e.g., currently, there is a strong tendency toward listing white males as being among the most impressive). I hope that as the discipline continues to change and progress that the list of the most impressive philosophers will become more diverse and inclusive.

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