Philosophy came into his life through the back door. A subject rather heckled by his classmates in the STI2D technological terminal class (science and technology of industry and sustainable development). He had chosen this sector because it involved drawing, certainly technical, at the time when he was already practicing video editing and thought of becoming a graphic designer or videographer. Philosophy has since conquered the first place in his life, and he intends to make it loved by the general public.
Having become a teacher, Rémy Roth, 25, started talking about it on YouTube in August 2021 before launching at the end of February, with the help of a friend, in a series of daily videos (90 in all) on the network. social TikTok, popular with young people. Time, language, truth… his account, under the pseudonym lantique399revises in two minutes the essential of each notion of the program for the ultimate and dreaded test of philosophy of the baccalaureate.
The tone is relaxed but the form classic
Many other national education teachers are investing in TikTok, but the originality of this young teacher is undoubtedly not to try to amuse. The tone is relaxed but the shape classic, and the decor, a library. Result: 3,800 subscribers, which is honorable without making it a star.
“We must not pretendthat philosophy is super cool, he argues. She is exciting, can help people, but requires effort. The culture of entertainment nurtures the culture of the ephemeral, the instinctive, and the confrontational. Philosophy requires above all an ability to listen and rigorous thinking. Besides, don’t imagine me putting on a show in front of my students. I try to involve them, but it’s a lesson. »
In class, in two public high schools in Forbach (Moselle), he strives every day to disprove the cliché of a useless subject in front of pupils coming largely from modest families or even culturally deprived, and some of whom have learned French. recently – he also teaches newcomers. The issue is civic: “Knowing how to express oneself and structure one’s thoughts is the condition of emancipation and of any collective project. » So he makes himself available, as during confinement where he used Instagram a lot to respond to his students.
Not much older than them, of course he plays with his youth, his finely trimmed beard and his tattoos under his rolled up sleeves. He is fond of references to Greek mythology: the staff of Asclepius, god of health, the cup of hemlock (a poison), or the dagger, symbol of stoicism. He invites everyone to consider with pragmatism what can happen and to cultivate self-discipline. He himself was already doing it as a teenager, practicing martial arts at a high level, in particular Vietnamese kung fu.
Rémy Roth also values the philosophical potential that already exists in youth culture. During a symposium, he exposed how the very contemplative video game death stranding, by Japanese Hideo Kojima, portrays societal choices and places the player in the position of recreating a bond in the face of disaster.
He remembers how he himself gradually awakened to so-called intellectual disciplines, when he was not predestined there. “I have always liked to learn. As a kid, I read encyclopedias. After the baccalaureate I felt the need to continue and enrolled in a bachelor’s degree in humanities where I explored psychology, sociology, art history… and philosophy, which appeared to me as a particularly concrete matter. Besides, my technical training is a plus, because it attaches me strongly to reality. Above all, I like to transmit. Already in college I was helping friends. »
Other forms of extension
He started teaching philosophy at the age of 21, as a contractor in various high schools in Lorraine, in parallel with the end of his first year of master’s degree. And he recently obtained, at the beginning of May, the Capes through the internal competition, ranked 8e of France.
Bursting with ideas for the years to come, he now hopes to move towards other forms of popularization, perhaps in the public space, and aimed at adults, whom he would like to question to encourage them to organize their thinking.
“I want to contribute to a healthier society, where people think more. Today people have opinions, speech is freed, but it often remains a commodity. They express indignation, empathy, but in the end they don’t listen much”, regrets the great admirer of the Socratic dialogue. He hopes for a society rediscovering a taste for dialogue where one engages not to beat one’s adversary, but to find together the best collective response.
His inspiration: the world of science fiction
In the blockbuster First contact, in 2016, Denis Villeneuve portrays extraterrestrials whose language linguists seek to understand. A familiar world of Rémy Roth, who has been writing science fiction novels since he was 17.
“Trying to understand what is new before fighting it is a value that is dear to me, he explains. This goes for worldviews. To solve problems, we need to think on the scale of the human species. And of less short duration: we must ask ourselves which individual and which group we want to be tomorrow, what we want to serve. »