Merlin Featured in APA: An “Into Philosophy” Series Interview

American Philosophical Association

Special Series

Into Philosophy: Philosophy as a Way of Life

An American Philosophical Association special series by Jeremy Bendik-Keymer and the “Into Philosophy” Team.  This interview with Merlin CCC Founder & Director, Marisa Diaz-Waian, is part of a collection of collaborative essays/mini-series called “Philosophy as a Way of Life.”  

“I met Marisa (pronounced “Marīsa”) at the 2019 Philosophy as a Way of Life conference at University of Notre Dame. She was part of a group of folks who had been at a previous NEH workshop together, many of whom rented a house to share during the conference in South Bend. One night, I shared a fire with them and happened to sit next to Marisa during the sing-around. Learning about what she’s been up to, I was heartened. Her group is doing community-based philosophy woven into people’s lives. I thought that academics might find inspiration from her organization about how to extend what we focus on in our studies into long-term, community-based practice – the books alive & philosophy people-sized, & people part of the country-side.

Marisa & I exchanged sets of long voice-recordings as a way of conducting our interview. She then wrote up a transcript based on her replies to my questions from her voice-notes. She also adapted material from a forthcoming book chapter in various places. Then I subtracted my questions, edited her responses lightly, and sent it out to Sidra & Katherine (my co-editors). Some more voice notes, a phone call, and further emails ensued. Given only in Marisa’s voice as a dramatic monologue, what’s here resulted from that several-month-long process – Marisa taking the stage in a happier version of a Sam Shepard play.” — Jeremy Bendik-Keymer

(Reposted from the APA)


It was an honor & joy to partake in this collaborative interview series. The questions asked invited me to think about and make connections that had been there all along but not yet been articulated.  Thank you so much to Jeremy Bendik-Keymer and the Into Philosophy team for all of the care & support you showed throughout…and for seeing something real, worthwhile, and philosophical in my very personal story and what has come to be this wonderful and ever-evolving community called Merlin.

– Marisa Diaz-Waian

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