Philosophies like Existentialism can seem often esoteric, only abstractly related to everyday life. In this episode, Alex comes to Aaron with a question of how the Existential attitude can help him and others think about their own pasts, presents, and futures. Through looking at three concepts by the Existentialists Camus, Kierkegaard, and Beauvoir, Alex and Aaron discuss how the philosophers’ insights related to time reveal practical truths about the universe.
The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus The Concept of Anxiety, Soren Kierkegaard The Ethics of Ambiguity, Simone de Beauvoir
To read a reflection on the creation of this podcast, click here.
I’ve made a few podcasts in the course of taking a class on Existentialism this semester, and each time I learn something new about the process of producing my own podcast from start to finish. Even after working for others on any different aspect of production, from editing to audio engineering to being interviewed yourself, you still learn what it really takes to bring a project to fruition when you do everything yourself. This podcast was by far the longest and most abstract podcast I’ve made so far—all previous philosophical podcasts focused mainly on explaining to my guest a singular quote or concept from a specific Existentialist philosopher. In this project, I wanted to bring together multiple ideas and multiple thinkers in order to provide some kind of survey of how the Existential attitude deals with time. It’s a topic I have found particularly interesting in Existential philosophy, and it tied in nicely with how Existentialism can be uniquely practical, so I chose that as the driving force of the narrative arc.
This was the hardest part—really making sure each concept wasn’t just thrown in back to back in one long explanatory ramble session, but was connected by a larger narrative goal. Having one concept related to the past, present, and future gave this internal structure more shape, and within each topic connecting them with some conceptual question hopefully propelled the narrative between the sections. Using a semi-personal introduction (even if tongue-in-cheek) attempted to give the whole thing an arc of drawing out something true, nuanced, yet also useful to how we think about the world around us. Beyond that, I just tried as I did in all other podcasts to create a humorous, upbeat, entertaining, but also informative tone to all of the explanatory sections of the podcast. My favorite element that might not first be noticed was trying to incorporate clock-like elements into the music, such as ticking sounds or similar repetitive musical elements.
To see the template used during the recording of this episode, click here.