What is the value of philosophy in everyday life and work?

Can philosophy offer us not just a way of life, but a way to make a living?

In Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave, the final lesson is that the philosophers who have escaped the darkness and ignorance of the cave must turn back,

and apply their hard-won wisdom for the good of society.  

In the Zen Oxherding pictures, a metaphor for the journey to enlightenment,


the final picture is of a smiling monk entering the marketplace with bliss-bestowing hands.

In this podcast, I interview different species of philosophers who found their way through the wilderness beyond the ivory tower…

  • Naturals: people who majored in philosophy in college or study it in their spare time, and bring a philosophical edge to their work that gives them a leg up on their colleagues and competition.

  • Rogues:  philosophers making a living in the wild practicing their craft.

  • Agents:  professors in the world of academia but not quite of it who might moonlight doing other things.

  • Escape Artists:  those who tried to get into academia but couldn’t, or did, but decided it was wasn’t for them—and had to go through the grueling process of reinventing themselves and fighting their way into another career

We explore…

  • How they forged a new professional identity

  • How they built intellectually engaging, socially impactful, and occasionally lucrative careers

  • How philosophy can add value in business, government…and pretty much everything else.

From their stories, I distill the decisions, strategies, and habits that powered their success. Whether you are…

  • a college student wondering what to major in

  • a grad student piecing together Plan B

  • an academic looking to overhaul your department, or moonlight pursuing a passion project, throw in the towel and start a new career

  • or just someone interested in the power of ideas, people’s origin stories, and the marriage of passion and profession

I hope you find inspiration and guidance from their stories.






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