JM Coetzee on Philosophy, Fiction, and the Academy with Sam Filby

Episode 57

In this episode, I am joined by Sam Filby, a graduate student in philosophy at Northwestern University. We discuss JM Coetzee’s novel, Elizabeth Costello, which is a fictionalized account of a writer who gives a series of lectures on the ethics of eating animals. We simply try to figure out what is going on in this puzzling novel of bad ideas.

Sam Filby is a PhD candidate in philosophy at Northwestern University. His dissertation concerns the relationship between history and ethical concepts, with particular emphasis on the work of G.E.M. Anscombe and Friedrich Nietzsche. Outside of ethics, he has published on philosophy of literature and philosophy of religion.

Jennifer Frey is an associate professor of philosophy and Peter and Bonnie McCausland Faculty Fellow at the University of South Carolina. She is also a fellow of the Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America and the Word on Fire Institute. Prior to joining the philosophy faculty at USC, she was a Collegiate Assistant Professor of Humanities at the University of Chicago, where she was a member of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts and an affiliated faculty in the philosophy department. She earned her Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, and her B.A. in Philosophy and Medieval Studies (with a Classics minor) at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. She has published widely on action, virtue, practical reason, and meta-ethics, and has recently co-edited an interdisciplinary volume, Self-Transcendence and Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology. Her writing has also been featured in Breaking Ground, First Things, Fare Forward, Image, Law and Liberty, The Point, and USA Today. She lives in Columbia, SC, with her husband, six children, and chickens. You can follow her on Twitter @jennfrey.

Sacred and Profane Love is a podcast in which philosophers, theologians, and literary critics discuss some of their favorite works of literature, and how these works have shaped their own ideas about love, happiness, and meaning in human life. Host Jennifer A. Frey is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina. The podcast is generously supported by The Institute for Human Ecology at the Catholic University of America and produced by Catholics for Hire.

Meet your hosts: