Monday, April 18, 2011

On Dutch TV with Humanists

Who knew that the Netherlands has such an organised humanist movement that they even have their own radio and TV network? Who knew that they have such good taste and judgement that they are producing a twelve-part TV series on philosophers, to be broadcast in the autumn? And who knew that one of their researchers, tasked with finding out about Mary Wollstonecraft, would discover her on Twitter, and thus be directed to this blog and me?

Mary is moving in proper philosophical circles: the others to be featured for an hour each are Socrates, Epicurus, Erasmus, Coornhert, De Montaigne, Spinoza, Kant, Multatuli, Sartre, and Arendt. I think I knew that Erasmus and Spinoza were Dutch, but so too were Coornhert and Multatuli, of whom I had not heard. The programmes will focus not only on the philosophers' lives and ideas, but on their impact today. 

It turns out that Dorothee Forma, the woman tasked with creating the episode on Mary Wollstonecraft, had made a radio documentary about her back in 1989. It's in Dutch, of course; I don't suppose any kind bilingual reader might give us the highlights in the comments?

The HUMAN homepage is impressive. What other media network do you know that has sidebar options such as human rights, practical idealism, care and education, and self-determination? The slogan, in the logo above, translates as "dare to think". I like to think Mary Wollstonecraft would have been a founding member of the board of directors, had that opportunity presented itself. Come to think of it, she was more or less an inaugural staff member of Joseph Johnson's Analytic Review, arguably a C18 equivalent for the debating of human-centred ideas.


  1. praisegod barebonesApril 20, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    Great news - although there's a bit of me that wishes the researcher had found this version of Mary W. on Twitter...!/marythehyena

  2. Hmph! Hyenas and zombies, forsooth! I have promised a look at the undead. Perhaps sooner rather than later. Let's just say that
    @1759MaryWol1797 is far more active than the hyena.

  3. Great news! Watched the Vimeo doccie. I always knew my Afrikaans would come in handy. :)

  4. Janet, glad to have you here! And not only because you understand Dutch. Would you like to tell us more of what you made of the programme? Either here, or perhaps better, at today's post .