Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Good news, everybody!"

Could it be true? Hubert Farnsworth of Futurama is based on Hubert Dreyfus of Berkeley's philosophy department?
Apparently an early writer for the show gave Farnsworth the first name Hubert because he took Dreyfus' courses. But, beyond this particular fact, aren't most of Farnsworth's mannerisms quite similar to those of Bert Dreyfus'?
One sees quite the parallel between Dreyfus' wonderful belief in the merits of phenomenology--not to mention the powerful analyses regarding motility and being in the world in general that he is able to elaborate with its help or through it--and the fun Farnsworth has with his Smell-o-scope. Also, they actually do look pretty similar, now that I think about it...

Here is a great interview with Dreyfus, where he talks about coming from the sciences to philosophy, the work of Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger, and teaching (his amazing comments there are in fact probably the least Farnsworthian, who likes to shut himself up in his lab).
Here is a wonderful paper of Dreyfus' on phenomenology in contrast to the (equally wonderful) work of Searle.
And here is a great paper on tele-presence: indeed, if Dreyfus were to go more in this direction, push his thought there, he would end up thinking things similar to Derrida. Cf. his reflections on tele-psychoanalysis in Psyche, volume I, Echographies, and elsewhere. Then again, if you put on anyone's thought you end up with Derrida. Sam Weber (the Derridian) is actually closer to the mark of what Dreyfus there elaborates.
And just for fun is a great picture of Michel Foucault (pictured with students from his philosophy seminar at UC Berkeley, October 1983: the students gave Foucault the cowboy hat as a gift), in an article in which Dreyfus talks about Foucault's visits to Berkeley.

5 comments:

Genevieve said...

Prof. Dreyfus is not in the photo of Michel Foucault wearing a cowboy hat.

Mike said...

Thats what I thought... but the site I got it from had a confusing caption that made me think the guy on the far right was him (and you know the early 80's hair situation of everybody can be confusing).

Mike said...

I deleted it. But cool photo, no?

Genevieve said...

You should have left it, but add the same caption as on the Berkeley post:
http://illuminations.berkeley.edu/archives/2005/history.php?volume=3

Mike said...

Aye aye!