Wi-Phi, or ‘Wireless Philosophy’ is an online, open access philosophy project co-created by Yale University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Wi-Phi’s mission is to ‘ introduce people to the practice of philosophy by making videos that are freely available in a form that is entertaining, interesting and accessible to people with no background in the subject.‘
To help achieve this, Wi-Phi are working with professors of philosophy from leading American universities to create a series of bite-size, cleverly animated videos that provide thought-provoking introductions to a variety of classical philosophical issues, including the problem of free will, the existence of God and the problem of evil.
The films are likely to inspire as many questions as they answer, since one of the project’s aims is ‘for people to learn how to do philosophy rather than for them to simply learn what philosophers have thought, we see it as equally important to develop the critical thinking skills that are core to the methodology of philosophy.’
Wi-Phi see their project as a part of a larger mission: ‘building our collective capacity to engage in rational thought and discourse. By providing the toolkit for building better minds, we hope that Wi-Phi plays some small role in realizing that goal.’
The whole site is well worth checking out, both for its philosophical content and its approach to rational thought but also for great examples of how to communicate often very complicated ideas in ways that make them accessible to wider and less specialised audiences.
One of my favourites from the early content is this video from MIT philosophy professor Richard Holton looking at the problem of free will. (I’m sure everyone will relate to the concept of frustrators!)