If you're overwhelmed with stimulus, if you're in an environment that continually reinforces the same ideas, it's hard to break them, in fact, nearly impossible," Cecil said. "Where you actually have time and space to reflect and think, then potentially, you can explore.

Cecil embodies his own theory: he lives on a serene spread set in a clearing on five wooded acres in Jefferson County. A brood of hens chatters in a chicken run along the edge of a well-loved garden. The deep freezer is packed with a season of fruits and vegetables.


Wes Cecil is another favorite of mine when it comes to introductory philosophy courses. Cecil is a philosophy professor at Peninsula college and focuses on the biography and work of a different philosopher with each lecture. What I especially like about him is the fact that he treats major philosophers from many camps: analytic philosophy (Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell), pragmatism (William James), continental philosophy (Jacques Derrida, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche), existentialism (Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beuvoir), and even christian mysticism (Simone Weil). Cecil has a wonderful sense of humor and gives even the most seasoned theorist a new way of explaining the significance of these major philosophers to just about anyone. I thought of including Cecil’s lectures here because of how many times I have quoted his Jacques Derrida lecture in attempting to explain Derrida’s significance to linguistic philosophers. Trust me, these a great.


Wes Cecil is, as I have said before, a remarkable, funny, passionate lecturer, a massively helpful Virgil in the Land of the Philosophical Shades.


Akkari, once infected by with the virus of radicalism, now possesses all the curiosity of a university student. He recommends that I familiarize myself with an American academic named Wes Cecil, a professor at Peninsula College in Washington whose YouTube videos include disquisitions on Arabic literature, Karl Marx, Jacques Derrida, and Simone de Beauvoir.



Comments from Listeners


Dear Wes - I would first like to take this opportunity to thank you for your wonderfully clear, entertaining and engaging talks. I try and listen to all of them on Youtube. They help me think better of thinking.


I have drawn inspiration and much clarity from your scholarship. I also appreciated your efforts to make The Buddha - that exceptional man - more understandable to us last year.


Hi Wes - Your lectures mean a great deal to me. I have learnt more than I can put in words.

As always, your treatment of the material was masterfully engaging and illuminating . . .Perfect!

Thanks again for reminding us of the joys of thinking.


Just came across your lecture on William James, and found you one of the most open-minded, thought provoking and hilarious speakers I've ever encountered. Was happy to see there's a lot more of you on youtube.