Philosophy Tube

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Abigail Thorn in 2021
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Abigail Thorn (1993–), known by her YouTube channel name Philosophy Tube, is a British philosopher, actress, and YouTuber.

Her videos discuss political issues through a leftist perspective informed by philosophy, using the Socratic method and, since 2018, theatricality. Philosophy Tube has been met with positive critical reception and has over 1.2 million subscribers and 82.5 million views.

Thorn came out as bisexual in October 2019,[1] and as a trans woman in January 2021 (to her online followers — she'd been out with her loved ones prior).[2]


Abigail Thorn started her career writing articles for publications such as HuffPo under the name Oliver Lennard.[3] She created Philosophy Tube in 2013 with the intention of sharing her philosophy degree on YouTube for free, after the Cameron government tripled university tuition fees. She originally intended to record her college lectures,[4] but ultimately decided to use a standard "talking head" format with Thorn speaking directly to the camera about philosophy (duh),[5][6][7][8] philosophers,[9][10] political philosophy,[11][12] political theory,[13] overanalyses of popular culture,[14][15][16] and ethics,[17][18][19] and also discussing interesting comments from past videos.


After the world lost its sanity and Donald Trump ran for president of the United States and won, Philosophy Tube became more focused on socio-political issues and social justice, with longer, more in-depth video essays. In 2018, Thorn abandoned the old format and adopted a more theatrical style akin to ContraPoints, utilising studio sets, comedic/dramatic sketches, costumes, makeup, artificial lighting, and music by Nina Richards.

She has criticised reactionary topics and personalities such as Brexit,[20] Steve Bannon,[21] Jordan Peterson[22] and Ben Shapiro,[23] often by tying them to another topic (democracy, abortion, etc). She also discusses gender and sexuality from a feminist perspective.[24][25][26]

Mental health[edit]

As a survivor of an abusive relationship, Thorn's content also deals with mental health issues like trauma and depression.[27][28] She has been open about her struggle with suicide and self harm, represented by her "Cosmonaut" character,[29] and credits the UK mental health charity Samaritans for saving her life.

On August 2019, inspired by her friend Hbomberguy's Mermaids stream (which featured Thorn), she hosted a five day charity stream where she read the complete works of William Shakespeare for the Samaritans,[30] with special guests such as ContraPoints, Jim Sterling, Mara Wilson, Kyle Kallgren, Dan Olson (Foldable Human), Maggie Mae Fish and SonicFox, among others, voicing characters from the plays.[31] The stream helped raise around $130,000 (£109,440), about 26 times more than what Thorn expected.

On January 30th 2021, Thorn came out as transgender via Twitter citing her new name as Abigail and she/her pronouns.[32]

Acting and other work[edit]

Thorn has acted in the BBC comedy Ladhood[33][34], and will appear in the upcoming Sky/Canal+ series Django.[35]

Thorn has written and starred in the Off West End stage play The Prince at the Southwark Playhouse.[36] She has described it thus:

“The Prince is a show about being trapped in bad relationships – with parents, friends, lovers and even with yourself. The story follows a handful of characters in a Shakespeare play who start to realise they are all stuck inside a performance. Some are in denial about their sexuality and gender, others are just trying to prepare the next generation for the struggles ahead. My genius dramaturge Donnacadh O’Briain describes it as ‘Elizabethan scifi’ – I tell friends it’s ‘Like The Matrix if it was written in 1600.'[37]

The play received an "Offie" (Off West End Theatre Award) in the "OneOff" category[38], and has been nominated for the Broadway World Awards for Best New Play, Best Lead for Thorn, and Best Supporting for co-stars Mary Malone and Tianna Arnold.[39]

Since 2021, Thorn has co-hosted the Kill James Bond! podcast with Alice Caldwell-Kelly and Devon. They review and critique the James Bond film franchise (as well as other spy/thriller films) with the intent to "give 007 the socialist, feminist comeuppance he so richly deserves."[40] For a time KJB was the highest rating film review podcast in the UK.

External links[edit]