Skip to content

The cult of celebrity: a peripatetic meetup through the Berkeley hills

Photo of
Hosted By


What is it that fascinates us about the lives of celebrities, including those we'll probably never meet? We might look down at tourists who flock to Beverly Hills to gawk at the mansions of movie stars, but here in Berkeley we have our own celebrities whose lives we might find intensely interesting, be they philosophers, other academics, scientists, inventors, writers, or activists.

This will be a peripatetic meetup, meaning that we'll walk around while we discuss the cult of celebrity. We'll discuss fame and celebrity while walking past homes of people who are famous for making us think, inspiring us, and improving our lives. No part of this meetup will take place on anyone's private property.


• "How philosophers have viewed fame", snippets from Lao Tzu, Heraclitus, Marcus Aurelius, Boethius, Arthur Schopenhauer, Francois de La Rochefoucauld, George Santayana, Lin Yutang, C. Wright Mills, and Robert Nozick:

• "The cult of celebrity", podcast (listen to it or read the summary) with Dr. Angie Hobbs, philosopher at the University of Warwick:

For those without a car, Codornices Park is on AC Transit's 65 bus line from the downtown Berkeley BART station:¤t_schedule=11052 (

We plan to finish our walk around 4 p.m. If you have tickets to see the world-famous celebrity Richard Dawkins ( at Stanford University ( at 7 p.m. that night, you will have plenty of time to drive there.


The particular route we take will depend on the attendees' interests. We'll work it out when we meet at Codornices Park. Here is one ambitious possibility (7 miles):

Streets included in this route:

• Euclid Ave. (

• Vine St. (

• Hawthorne Terrace (

• Le Roy Ave. (

• Rose Walk (

• Rose St. (

• Grizzly Peak Blvd. (

• Miller Ave. (

• Sterling Ave. (

• back to Grizzly Peak Blvd. (, and continuing on Grizzly Peak Blvd. (

• Poplar St. (

• San Luis Rd. (

• San Antonio Ave. (

• Yosemite Rd. (

• Monterey Ave. (

• Bonita Ave. (

• Henry St. (

• Shattuck Ave. (

• Oxford St. (

1201 Euclid Avenue · Berkeley, CA