The Idler Philosophy Free School

Idler Philosophers on the steps of St Paul’s

Here is Dirk Lindner‘s lovely pic of the School of London, taken on 20 November on the steps of St Paul’s.

Time to get wise.

Here is the list of philosophers:


John is the founder of QI and produced the great TV hits Blackadder, Not the Nine O’Clock News and Spitting Image.

PLATO: Angie Hobbs

Angie is Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield and has written extensively on Plato. She is Honorary Patron of the Philosophy Foundation.

ST PAUL: Nick Spencer

Nick is research Director at Theos, a think tank promoting clear thinking on religion and society and author of Atheists: The Origin of the Species (Bloomsbury).

PLOTINUS: Mark Vernon

Dr Mark Vernon teaches philosophy at the Idler Academy and is the author of many books including Plato’s Podcasts.

CICERO: Patrick Ussher

Patrick is a post-graduate student at the University of Exeter working on Stoicism. He runs the Stoicism Today project. He will be teaching as Cicero the Sceptic.

EUCLID: Alex Bellos

Alex is an author and popular mathematician. He is the author of the Sunday Times best-seller, Alex’s Adventures in Wonderland, and is on mission to communicate the joy of numbers.

DEMOCRITUS: John Mitchinson

John is Director of Information at QI and co-founder of crowd-funding publishing platform, Unbound. Democritus was known as the laughing philosopher and first conceived the idea of atoms.

EPICURUS: Tom Hodgkinson

Tom is editor of the Idler and co-founder of the Idler Academy of Philosophy, Husbandry and Merriment. He is the author of the best-sellers How to be Idle and How to be Free.


Jules is author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations. He will teaching ancient Stoicism. Jules is policy director at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary University of London.

SOCRATES: Peter Worley

Peter is CEO of The Philosophy Foundation and author of award winning books on doing philosophy in the classroom. He is President of SOPHIA, the European Foundation for the Advancement of Doing Philosophy with Children..


Jock is a poet recently diagnosed with cancer. He has chosen not to accept chemotherapy. He was given three months to live six months ago. In earlier life he was a roadie for The Clash and the Pogues.

PTOLEMY: Danny Wootton

Danny is a musician and artist. He teaches music at the Idler Academy through the medium of the ukulele.

PROTAGORAS: Martin Robinson

Martin is a former teacher and author of Trivium 21st C, a book which aims to reintroduce the study of the ancient Trivium – grammar, rhetoric and dialectic – in schools.

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