Philosophy: The Musical

Here is the long-awaited “Philosophy: The Musical” cast list. Feel free to make suggestions for additions, cast changes, and musical numbers. We already have a catchy little ditty called “If I Were Alex Wendt,” but we’re still looking for an Act II opener, as well as some great one-liners.

We’re also in need of roles for Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller. It isn’t that we ran out of philosophers, it’s just that none of them said “Ben Stiller” to us.

*Aquinas: Cillian Murphy
**Aristotle: Robert Redford
*Augustine: Colin Farrell
Cox: Michael J. Fox
Dewey: David Krumholtz
Foucault: Ben Kingsley
***Gramsci: Joaquin Phoenix
***Habermas: Russell Crowe
Hegel: Christian Bale
Heidegger: Mel Gibson
**Herodotus: Liam Neeson
Hobbes: Viggo Mortensen
Hume: Robbie Coltrane
James: Brendan Fraser
Kant: William Shatner
Kierkegaard: Kenneth Branaugh
Kuhn: Sean Bean
Locke: Bradley Whitford
*Luther: Ralph Fiennes
Machiavelli: Adam Sandler
Marx: Jude Law
Nietzsche: Christopher Walken
**Plato: Jean Claude van Damme
Popper: John Malkovich
***Rorty: Eric Bana
Rousseau: Vincent Cassel
Russell: Anthony Hopkins
**Socrates: Danny Devito
Smith: Ewan MacGregor
*Spinoza: Antonio Banderas
**Thucydides: Ioan Gryffyd
Tocqueville: Clive Owen
Weber: Colin Firth
The Many Alex Wendts: Clint Eastwood, Daniel Radcliffe, Matthew McConaughey, Jackie Chan, Julia Roberts, Rupert Everett, Chris Rock
Young Wittgenstein: Orlando Bloom
Cambridge Wittgenstein: John Cleese
***Zizek: George Clooney (despite his lack of chest hair)

* The Pre-Modern chorus, which pops up sporadically to insert ethics into the discussion without context or cause. And they’re fun at parties.
** You didn’t really expect us to do this without a Greek Chorus, did you?
***Microsoft Word tells me that none of these philosophers exist. Or that I’m spelling their names wrong. Possibly both.


At 1/20/2006 7:26 AM, Blogger Bionic-Woman said...

I'll embrace geekdom - kudos on the most hilarious post ever!

Some thoughts:

1. M.J. Fox is too endearing to play Cox - or so I think. Please tell me that it wasn't the nursery rhyme association that made you go that route (Cox/Fox)?
2. Since I like Heidegger but not Mel I'm casting someone else in my version of the musical :-).
3. Good choice on Kierkegaard!
4. Ditto on Weber!
5. Julia as Alex?! LOL on the entire menu of choices there.
6. Clooney as Heidegger maybe? I'd just like to think that the intense thinking meant he was otherwise a little more playful and that he might have a pig as a pet rather than as a farm animal.

At 1/20/2006 1:11 PM, Anonymous serena said...

who are you casting as heidegger? i am curious

At 1/20/2006 4:54 PM, Blogger Priya said...

Fox as Cox: I think the rationale was we needed someone innocuous to be the new Gramsci

I reckon Clooney should stay as Zizek since he's already been tagged by others (and the "oh, there's conspiracies everywhere" theme runs through them both).

Mel as Heidegger: Maybe early Mel? The Mad Max version? I think that's what we were going for. Also, they both share a passion for often incomprehensive works of art :-)

The many Alex Wendts were born at the end of the evening...after we'd consumed large quantities of alcoholic beverarges.

And, as E said, we do have "If I were Alex Wendt" all written but ideas/lyrics/titles for other songs are much appreciated. We'll revisit Philosophy: the Musical from time to time on PTSD.

At 1/20/2006 7:51 PM, Blogger Bane said...

Ben Kingsley as Foucault is truly inspired casting. But where's Cicero on that list? Or Marcus Aurelius? You're skipping any number of oh-so-Stoic Romans. Ooo, perhaps the song and dance number "Oh So Stoic" could be an act break?

At 1/20/2006 11:22 PM, Blogger Priya said...

Thanks, Bane! Now, I'm going to spend the weekend writing lyrics to "Oh so stoic!" and annoying E about it when we meet up for Zizek (not a musical, alas, but a doco)

True: we had to leave out quite a few Romans and Greeks, including one of my faves Pythagoras (ah, I had fun with his theorem in days of yore :-)) and also Euclid and Ptolemy. Maybe we can have a Roman orgy thrown in?

At 1/23/2006 6:47 PM, Anonymous serena said...

Roman orgy, now that could make for larger audiences...LOL not sure which kinds of audience members...:)

At 1/23/2006 10:28 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

We *like* the idea of a cuddly Robert Cox. He's the teddy bear of the neo-marxist set, isn't he?

I agree, there is a decided lack of Roman philosophy in the list. Not sure if that solves our Stiller problem.

And we can't forget to write in the Musical Tractatus. Wouldn't that be excellent as a multi-school project at TUWSNBN?

At 1/23/2006 11:14 PM, Blogger Priya said...

On the subject of setting the Tractatus to music (yes, I know we are clarifying this later on), I just read this:

The Australian philosopher, Charles Hamblin (Professor of Philosophy at UNSW), died while apparently setting the Tractatus to music.

Also, we seem to be one of the last to catch on to a trend:
see here (no. 1)

At 1/24/2006 2:21 PM, Anonymous serena said...

wow who knew that this was a popular endeavor.

At 1/25/2006 1:53 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Sigh. Once again, we're beaten to a great idea by people who are more determined than we are.

I still think we should work on bringing the Tractatus to TUWSNBN.

Damn, I knew I forgot to mention something to WeberMan today. next time I'm bringing a list. And I'm going to actually look at it. And possibly check things off.


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