“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.
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.
- Moby Dick, Existentialism, Heroic Nihilism, Polytheism – Herman Melville (Hubert Dreyfus lecture) (disquietreservations.blogspot.com)
- Being in the World: a screening and discussion (conditionsofmediation.wordpress.com)
- Harman on Heidegger: ‘Buildings as Tool-Beings’ (bodyoftheory.com)