Being in the World

“Once upon a time there was a world full of meaning, focused by exemplary figures in the form of gods and heroes, saints and sinners. How did we lose them, or, might they still be around, in the form of modern day masters, in fields like sports, music, craft and cooking. Are these masters able to inspire us and bring back a sense of wonder?”

Being in the World is a documentary film by young filmmaker Tao Ruspoll exploring human beings ability, through the mastery of physical, intellectual and creative skills, to find meaning in the world. Some of the most renowned philosophers take viewers on a gripping journey to meet modern day masters – people who not only have learned to respond in a sensitive way to the requirements of their craft, but have also gathered their communities in ways that our technological age threatens to make obsolete.

The film includes interviews with Hubert Dreyfus, Charles Taylor, Albert Borgmann, Mark Wrathall, Taylor Carman, John Haugeland, Iain Thomson, and Sean Kelly.

Tao Ruspoli graduated with a degree in philosophy from UC Berkeley in 1998. The first philosophy course he took was called “Existentialism in Literature and Filme” taught by professor Hubert Dreyfus. This course inspired Tao to become a filmmaker and he went on to take all of Dreyfus’ courses, all of which had tremendous influence on him and his outlook on the world.

Ten years after graduating, Tao returned to Berkeley to revisit Dreyfus and was inspired to make Being in the World, as an attempt to bring these profound philisophical ideas to a non-academic audience. Dreyfus introduced Tao to all of his students who had now become well-known professors in their own right—from Sean Kelly at Harvard to Mark Wrathall at UC Riverside, as well as Taylor Carman, Iain Thomson, John Haugeland, and several others. Tao and his team traveled to meet and interview each of these professors and then researched and found masters in different fields who best illustrated their ideas.

3 responses to “Being in the World

  1. Deleuze wrote the following in his last work Pure Immanence: “we now have only instances where thought bridles and mutilates life, making it sensible, and where life takes revenge and drives thought mad, losing itself along the way. Now we only have the choice between mediocre lives and mad thinkers” (p.67).

    See here: Noir Realism

    We need more madness in our thinkers and mediocre commentary.

    • we certainly need inspiration and something to cut through the gossipy/idle-chatter that passes for thinking (inside the academy and out) and get to the details/heart of the matters at hand, such work(s) may not turn the tides but maybe they can keep us from the added suffering of fools.
      I left this with brer Noir a while back but seemed to fit in with our struggling against the happiness trends:

      Altogether, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book we are reading doesn’t shake us awake like a blow to the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as you put it? Good God, we’d be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, also write ourselves. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is what I believe. —Franz Kafka

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