Listen to music playlists to help you study like Nietzsche, Socrates, Kant and other great thinkers
The great thinkers of the past knew nothing about Youtube — which, one might be tempted to say today, first allowed them to become great thinkers. This is of course not charitable: the rise of streaming media is certainly among the most important developments in the history of education. Many students today may really wonder how previous generations coped without Youtube’s background music mixes, because the New YorkerAmanda Petrusich wrote not too long ago, “to facilitate and maintain a mood, which in turn might enable a task: studying, folding laundry, doing spreadsheets, lazily browsing the internet.”
If Youtube had been available to the important minds of previous centuries – in fact, previous millennia – what kind of study of music would it have served them? This is, in a way, a philosophical question, and a philosophy channel has provided answers: a host of answers, in fact, each in the form of a thematic Youtube mix.
On Filosofia Acadêmica you will find a playlist to study as “a 17th century philosopher” (Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Tartini), as “a medieval philosopher having the truth revealed by divine grace” (Gregorian chants), and as “Socrates after discovering from the Oracle of Delphi that he is the wisest” (many harp and boat sounds).
Uploaded over the past year, these playlists have proven to be the biggest hits of Filosofia Acadêmica (a Brazilian channel also featuring interviews like “Filosofia da Matemática com Oswaldo Chateaubriand” and “Filosofia da Religião com Domingos Faria” ). Its creator Elan Marinho also strove to create musical mixes after particular thinkers in such notable moments as “Newton puts needles in his eyes to test hypotheses about light”, “Turing inventing the computer ” and “Nietzsche above the abyss in a tightrope between the animal and the übermensch” (opening, of course, with “The Ride of the Valkyries”). Many of these selections do without the precision of the period, deviating wildly from the time and place of the subject. But then, hasn’t imaginative license always been a key part of great thinking?
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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts about cities, language and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter city books, the book The Stateless City: A Walk Through 21st Century Los Angeles and the video series The city in cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshallon Facebook or Instagram.