Jane McGuire

7 unexpected celebrities who have studied philosophy

7 unexpected celebrities who have studied philosophy

First published date April 29 2015 Amended date February 03 2016

Philosophy – using logic and theory to find truth in the things we don’t understand – sounds clever right? Studying philosophy sounds a little scary, yet in actual fact most of us use it all the time without realising it. To help you realise just how great it can be to read Socrates and Plato, we’ve turned to the red carpet (of course) to bring you seven unexpected celebrities who have studied philosophy. Warning – you might be surprised!


Woody Allen

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Although he never actually graduated, Woody Allen took courses in philosophy before being expelled from New York University. Luckily, this didn’t seem to affect his successful film career.


Harrison Ford

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Before becoming Han Solo or Indiana Jones, a younger Harrison Ford studied philosophy, but dropped out a term away from graduating. He would then work as a carpenter for ten years, before landing his dream acting role in a galaxy far far away.


Ricky Gervais

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Famous funny man Ricky Gervais is one of the UK’s most famous faces. Comedian, actor, film director, producer, screenwriter and philosopher; although the last is not something he usually adds to his repertoire, Gervais graduated from University College London with a 2.1 in philosophy. Who would have thought it?


Pope John Paul II

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Perhaps the least surprising addition to this list, before being ordained and becoming the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II studied philosophy. Since his death in 2005, John Paul has been made a saint by the Church.


Steve Martin

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He’s been in every comedy worth its blockbuster status, but before turning to acting Steve Martin studied philosophy at California State University. In fact, the star considered becoming a philosophy teacher rather than an actor, later saying in an interview ‘it changed what I believe and what I think about everything.’


Matthew McConaughey

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He’s considered a bit of a hippie in the world of the red carpet, so it seems rather fitting that Matthew McConaughey studied philosophy. Our favourite McConaughey quote on life – ‘and at the end of your life, all the things you thought were periods, they turn out to be commas. There was never a full stop in any of it.’


Ed Miliband

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Before his days as a politician, you would have found Ed Miliband swotting up on philosophical theories from the Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford.


Want to find out more about the meaning of life? Got a few questions you want answering, take a leaf out of these celeb’s books and sign up to a philosophy course

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.