Abigail Thorn

British actress and YouTuber

Abigail Thorn (born Oliver Thorn, 24 April 1993) is a British YouTuber and actor who produces the channel Philosophy Tube.

Thorn (2021)
Ideologies are like arseholes: everyone's got one, we use it every day, but you very rarely look at your own unless something's gone wrong.
If you ask three philosophers how social constructs work, you'll get four theories.


  • The nature of being raised in the way that I was, it's like, you get told you will be the future leaders of the world and then you get there and you find out the world is not enough.
  • I did kind of construct a masculinity out of the best bits of every man that I could find, like the best bits of my brothers and my dad and the best bits of the Bond movies. I tried to do the man of the 21st century thing and, absolutely on it and woke but also compassionate and fun and charming and sexy and all the rest of it and with the muscles and the beard and, I tried to do all of it and it all made me sort of miserable really.
  • The reason I left [my pre-transition videos] up is because I don't see Philosophy Tube as being about me, it's a bigger mission about education and people's relationship to knowledge that I am trying to live up to.
  • On Philosophy Tube, I call all the shots, I do all the writing, I do all the research. I plan it all out, and it's my show. I miss the feeling of being at the bottom and having to climb up again.

Philosophy TubeEdit

  • Security might never go back to the way it was. It can’t. The surveillance and the paranoia and the invasive measures can only ever expand, because it’s not actually grounded in any presently knowable facts about threat or safety. The whole game is about risk-managing the possible future, and since what might happen in the future is infinitely imaginable, the justification for more security becomes infinite too.
  • It’s not so much that I need a reason not to have my privacy invaded, it’s that somebody else should have a reason to do it. That’s kind of the point. That’s surely what it means for something to be “none of your business”. And yet, to refuse the search is to immediately mark oneself out as suspicious, as concealing something that is in fact somebody else’s business, because of the security-logic presumption that everyone is guilty until proven innocent.
  • The question I began this investigation with was, is security ever gonna go back to the way it was? And the answer I think I’m flying towards is: No, it isn’t. Unless you demand it.
  • Since the position of the transphobe is that trans people don’t really exist, as trans people, and the position of trans people is obviously that they do exist, immediately we can see that no compromise is possible. Things either exist or they don’t, there’s no middle ground. So in any debate on this issue, it’s gonna be winner takes all. The trans person then is in the impossible situation of having to prove their own existence to someone who’s every response is gonna be, “How do you know?”
  • It’s perhaps unsurprising that many though not all people would decide that faced with an opponent whose entire position is the total denial of your humanity as the kind of human being that you are, the only winning move in such a game would be not to play.
  • The other problem with saying that people like that are just a product of their time is that not everyone at that time did think like that, and it kinda lets them off the hook. A lot of people thought that slavery was okay, but you know what: The slaves didn’t. And they said so, pretty loudly and often. So if other people thought that slavery was alright, it wasn’t ‘cause they didn’t know, it’s because they chose not to listen to that. They chose not to know.
  • Racism is a full-blown normative theory in its own right. Writing it off as just “hate” which needs “love” to combat it can be a little bit reductionist; it can stop us from understanding it.
  • Trauma isn’t always like a lightning bolt where you know that you’ve been hit. Sometimes trauma is like poison that someone slips into your food in little doses and you sit down every night and you eat that poison and you don’t realize that it’s building up inside you until suddenly you stop functioning.
  • One of the advantages of facing the overwhelming, grief-like nature of climate change, is that once we realize it’s all one problem, we have a lot more allies than we thought. If you campaign for migrants’ freedom of movement, you are fighting climate change. If you support indigenous people’s rights to self-determination, if you support your local antifascists and people fighting police brutality, if you support demilitarization and nuclear disarmament… it’s all one planet.
  • The real meaning of the text, or at least one possible meaning of it, is given by something that is not present in the text itself. Basically, meaning is like jazz. It's about the notes you don't play.
  • Ideologies are like arseholes: everyone's got one, we use it every day, but you very rarely look at your own unless something's gone wrong.
  • It's always good to squat over the mirror and take a good, hard look at your own ideology sometimes. 'Cause if you don't do the thinking someone else will do the thinking for you.
  • If you ask three philosophers how social constructs work, you'll get four theories.
  • When you leave the classroom, politics and metaphysics will come at you at the same time. We're not just doing philosophy for the hell of it. We are tinkering with the engine of the world here.
  • Transhumanism makes a great conspiracy costume. There's always a lot of tech news so you can rip stuff straight from the headlines about Elon Musk putting computers in monkeys and it'll get clicks. It's also not explicitly religious or racial. If you just come out the gate and say "Jews are planning to exterminate Christian white people!" then a lot of folks will go "Yeah? Allreet, on your bike Adolf!" but if you frame it as 'Elites are planning transhumanism', then at least some people will go, 'Wait, really?' and you can always add the hardcore stuff later once you've got their attention.

External linksEdit

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