Amia Srinivasan is a lecturer in philosophy at University College London and a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. She mostly thinks about topics in epistemology, metaphilosophy, and social and political philosophy.
What excites you about philosophy?
Talking to smart people, contemplating the true and the beautiful, making sense of my anxieties, not having to wear a suit to work.
What is your favorite thing that you’ve written?
In terms of philosophy, a paper that no one wants to publish. (I won’t name it in case there’s still hope.) In terms of everything I’ve written, probably a sermon I gave in Oxford on the ethical challenges of tradition. It was an interesting and moving thing, being a heathen at the pulpit.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
The sea. I find it mystifying that this isn’t everyone’s answer. What is wrong with people?
What is your favorite book of all time?
James Baldwin’s Another Country. It’s an astonishing, flawed book, full of pain.
Where is your favorite place you have ever traveled and why?
Siwa, the Great Sand Sea, Egypt. It’s the only non-seaside place that I think is as beautiful as the sea.
You’re stuck on a desert island and you can only have one recreational activity. What is it?
What 3 items would you take to a desert island other than food and water?
Do people count as items? Probably not. Snorkel, solar-powered hifi, bed.
What is your least favorite type of fruit and why?
Strawberries. They’re overrated. They’re good when macerated in sugar, but what isn’t.
If you could only use one condiment for the rest of your life, which condiment would you pick and why?
Lao Gan Ma (‘godmother’) chili sauce. It’s a sublime thing, produced by a family company out of Guizhou, China. It’s spicy, savoury, salty, really all that is good and holy.
Where would you go in a time machine?
I feel like nothing good can come of time travel, and fervently hope it’s not possible.
Find out more about Amia here.
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