I whipped it up in a few minutes when I remembered I should really update the old, broken-ass one. It won't be this lame forever. Though it kind of does make you think back to the days of GeoCities, doesn't it? I should put some animated gifs here. Whoops, I probably shouldn't put so much text in this space. How about you...

Three Minute Philosophy is a weekly comic educational video series by Australian writer S Peter Davis that explores the history and ideas of philosophy in easy to digest language.

The original series was started in 2008 and although the audio was poor and the drawings were terrible, I had teachers contacting me to ask if they could use the videos in classes, and also, if I could stop swearing so much in them, that would be great. As a former teacher myself, I'm delighted to have the opportunity to inspire learning in an entertaining way.

You are welcome to use these videos in class, by the way. Someone's gotta teach the kids how to think.

AESOP: Parable and Analogy

There actually isn’t a hell of a lot of scholarship out there on Aesop’s relationship with philosophy, which is surprising given that his work (if “he” even existed as a man rather than a character) was acknowledged by some of the most important of the Greek philosophers. I think because what we know about the man himself is probably mostly apocryphal, and less important than the work that’s attributed to him.

Nevertheless, I find the story of Aesop pretty interesting. Ever since I was a child, reading stories about the tortoise and the hare and whatnot, I’ve been curious about who this person was. And studying Aesop does give some insight into the progression of early western philosophy from its beginning stages in the Greek literary tradition. So I figured, why not give him a more prominent place in my own work than the tiny footnote he’s usually awarded in most histories of philosophy.

Research for this was kind of difficult, but if you’re interested, I did manage to get quite a bit of insight from an obscure monograph titled “Paul’s Offer of Leniency” by Donald Dale Walker, available in limited form on Google Books. It’s a theological work on the Bible, but it’s quite helpful.


XENOPHANES: Questioning Religion

Most histories of philosophy start with Thales of Miletus, I think pretty much because that’s where Aristotle put the beginning of philosophy and, later, Bertrand Russell in his History of Western Philosophy. Personally, I don’t find Thales all that interesting, nor the best place to begin when studying philosophy as an evolution of ideas, but that’s just my preference.

I want to begin instead with Xenophanes, who came along a few decades later, if only to show how philosophy grew in part out of mysticism and religion. The question we might want to ask is: Why is Homer not regarded to be a philosopher, but Xenophanes is, when they were both pretty much talking about the same things? Hopefully I’ve given a satisfactory answer to that, as always, in around three minutes.

S Peter Davis is a writer and freelance editor who has written for His work has appeared in the New York Times bestseller You Might Be A Zombie (And Other Bad News). You can contact him at