I just saw a screening of Examined Life, Astra Taylor‘s movie about philosophy. It’s a little surprising in the first place to see a movie about philosophy (as opposed to a movie that expresses philosophical ideas, of which there are many). But there’s something about the film that’s in its way even more surprising: although all of the eight philosophers in the film is a professor, only one (Kwame Anthony Appiah) is actually a professor of philosophy. Two of them (Martha Nussbaum and Peter Singer) have minor appointments in philosophy, where they might teach a few philosophy classes on the side but most of their work is done elsewhere. The majority, however, have no current official association with academic philosophy whatsoever. They’re in departments of French and Italian, rhetoric, sociology – anything but philosophy. This despite the fact that every large university and nearly every small college has a philosophy department, full of people who consider themselves philosophers. The film makes no comment on the fact.