Asia Forcucci is an intern working with the APA blog for the summer. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She is completing a double major in philosophy and French. She is also a member of the UMass Honors College, as well as a member of the French National Honors Society. Her main interests in philosophy are postcolonialism, as well as existentialism.
What excites you about philosophy?
In my opinion, philosophy is what makes humans special. We are lucky enough to have the capacity to inquire about life’s biggest questions, as well as think critically about our situations. To me, it is exciting that philosophy can be used to answer humankind’s deepest questions. In order to do this, people need to channel their most profound sense of creativity. I think that humans are naturally very creative animals. Self-expression is extremely important, and we do this through creating and inventing new things. I think that philosophy requires a lot of creativity, combined with critical thinking. As someone who is not creative in the traditional sense, philosophy is really exciting to me because it allows me to be creative as well as just create in general. In the words of Camus, “to create, that is to live twice.”
What is your favorite sound in the world?
What three things are on your bucket list that you’ve not yet accomplished?
What is your favorite book of all time?
My favorite book of all time is Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I love the dark humor, the absurd elements, the social commentary, the aliens, and the general philosophic nature of the book. In fact, I have “so it goes” tattooed on my arm.
I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates weird literature.
What is your favorite film of all time?
I absolutely adore Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It is about a man, Joel, who finds out his ex-girlfriend, Clementine, got her memories of their relationship erased. Fueled by spite, Joel gets the exact same procedure done. The movie takes place primarily inside Joel’s mind, within his memories, but it also takes place in real time before and after the procedure. The cinematography is stunning, especially when Joel’s memories get deleted inside his mind. The viewer sees his memories literally crumble and fall apart. This adds surrealist elements to the film.
I also really like how it is not a traditional love story. I think that our society romanticizes love too much, so I like love stories that don’t have a traditional fairy-tale ending or plotline. Clementine and Joel had a tumultuous relationship, and even at the end when they meet for the second time, they know that their relationship will not last. However, they realize they want to remember each other this time.
What are you reading right now?
I’m currently re-reading Black Skin White Masks by Fanon. This book is one of my favorite philosophical works, because it really opened my eyes to the evils of colonialism. The effects of colonization are not only institutionalized and systemic, but they are also psychological and embedded in the cultural collective unconscious.
In my opinion, Black Skin, White Masks is a quintessential postcolonial philosophy work. I also think it needs to be read more by people who do not study philosophy, because more people need to understand the repercussions of colonization.
What books are currently on your ‘to read’ list?
Which books have changed your life? In what ways?
The Stranger by Albert Camus. I read it in my French class my junior year of high school, and it changed my life because it introduced me to Absurdism. I was fascinated with the philosophy of the absurd, and that fascination sparked my interest in philosophy in general. If I had not read that book, I possibly would not have been studying philosophy now.
If you could have a one-hour conversation with any philosopher, or historical figure from any time, who would you pick and what topic would you choose?
I would want to talk to Kurt Vonnegut. I think I’d just want to talk to him about the meaning of life, or the universe. I think that with him, that would be a really fun conversation.
Also, I would love to hear his commentary on Trump’s presidency.
Who is your favorite philosopher and why?
I love Camus because Absurdism really speaks to me as a philosophy. I think it is liberating to live in a universe that is absurd, and not feel a sense of despair. It also resonates with me that humans should revolt against their given condition.
Who do you think is the most overrated philosopher?
This might be very controversial, but I think that Aristotle is the most overrated philosopher. I feel like he gets godlike status among other philosophers. Obviously his works are extremely important to Western Philosophy, and they provided a very important foundation for it. However, there is nothing about his philosophy that really interests me or excites me.
Where is your favorite place you have ever traveled and why?
Morocco was most definitely the best place I have ever traveled to. I was lucky enough to spend three months there. Morocco is not only extremely beautiful, but it is home to a very wonderful and unique culture. Also, I was lucky enough to broaden my philosophical knowledge while I was there. I learned a lot about colonialism and postcolonial philosophy, as well as Islam and Islamic philosophy.
If you could only use one condiment for the rest of your life, which condiment would you pick and why?
Soy sauce, because it goes with everything.
Where would you go in a time machine?
Ancient Egypt! How did they build the pyramids?
What technology do you wish the human race could invent right now?
Teleportation. It would make traveling so much easier, and we could explore other planets!
This section of the APA Blog is designed to get to know our fellow philosophers a little better. We’re including profiles of APA members that spotlight what captures their interest not only inside the office, but also outside of it. We’d love for you to be a part of it, so please contact us via the interview nomination form here to nominate yourself or a friend.