What use is Philosophy?

Just before the 2nd Philosophy of Education Conference hosted by Azim Premji University, in May 2014, I received an email from Prakash asking if we could conduct a set of interviews with the speakers at the conference. Though I was initially unsure, one thing led to another and I am glad that Jagjot, Prakash and I finally did manage to do a series of interviews with speakers such as Stephen H. Phillips, Gopal Guru, Theodore Lewis, Milbrey McLaughlin, Sundar Sarukkai, Parimal G. Patil, Venu Narayan, Rohit Dhankar, Geoffrey Hinchliffe, Heinz-Dieter Meyer and Elizabeth Rata.

We discussed various formats – including that of Examined Life – a famous 2008 documentary film directed by Astra Taylor; and finally decided to do the interviews in two parts. In the first part, I asked the speakers to explain what, according to them, is philosophy and what use is it; as well as what they felt was the role of philosophy of education in particular. The second part of the interviews was about the papers that they had presented at the conference – my attempt was to get them to summarize the key points in common conversational language.

The film below is an edited compilation of their responses to the first set of questions. Hope you will enjoy watching it!

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