Theory Gang
NeoAcademia Episode 2: Dr. Greg Sadler

NeoAcademia Episode 2: Dr. Greg Sadler

Applying philosophy in and outside the University

NeoAcademia is a biweekly exploration of the shifting walls of the ivory tower.

This week, I’m joined by Gregory B. Sadler (Greg, if you’re besties) who has made hits like Half Hour Hegel and Nicomachean Ethics. I found Greg, like most people, searching for answers…and a (slightly) abbreviated explanation of complex philosophical topics, and I reached out to him because he seems like a dude who puts his philosophy into practice - a true stoic.

While editing this episode, I reflected on the purpose of this podcast: to explore what is happening with knowledge in and outside the modern academic system. Greg is quite unique in that he is a professor with a very successful YouTube channel. He serves as a great model for a NeoAcademic, but as we discuss, it’s a lot of work and with little incentive. Believe it or not, Greg isn’t a tenured professor.

As we start to understand what the modern NeoAcademic looks like, we can figure out how to get there. I’m sure there are many paths, and they will not all look like Greg’s, but even if Greg were to quit today, the outcome of his career will be creativity, introspection, and a deeper love for philosophy inspired in the hundreds of thousands of people that have seen Greg’s videos.

Great Success! - Borat - quickmeme

Show Notes

1:47 Using social media as an academic: credentialling, pre-emptive blocking, the expenditure of attention

7:49 Academic Philosophy: Uncompensated work on the not-so-cutting edge 


11:49 Why do we need to be in Academia to study philosophy?

18:42 Failures and debasers of philosophy and communicators of science

21:05 The erosion of institutional trust and the Uses of the University

28:11 Breaking out the “good china” for non-philosophy students

32:04 Fake quotes & garbage takes

35:26 How you can engage with Greg in Stoic town

38:10 The one thing couldn’t pay Greg not to do

40:20 Greg’s YouTube Origin story - not being from an academic family 

49:22 Students ripping themselves off for their own education these days

52:05 Where are philosophers in the battle for academia and inquiry?

54:26 Stoicon on October 29th

For more resources from this episode, check out the collection Greg and I created for you. Use the password “neoacademia” for access.

Readocracy is NeoAcademia’s first sponsor, and I highly encourage you to check out the tool. I have been using it daily for years now, and I even include some of my personal metrics in my monthly Rabbithole newsletter for my paid subscribers. It’s a fun way of reflecting on what you consume.

To receive Behind The Scenes bonus footage of NeoAcademia and more, you know what to do…

EDIT: Taking a page from Michael Estrin at Situation Normal, I’ve got a couple questions for you: What is your interest in exploring the shifting walls of Academia? Did you ever dream of being a professor? If you are or were an academic, what is that dream about?

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Exploring the shifting walls of the ivory tower...