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Here's a lively, hilarious, not-so-reverent crash course through the great philosophical traditions, schools, concepts, and thinkers. Its Philosophy 101 for everyone who knows not to take all this heavy stuff too seriously. Some of the Big Ideas are Existentialism (what do Hegel and Bette Midler have in common?), Philosophy of Language (how to express what its like being stranded on a desert island with Halle Berry), Feminist Philosophy (why, in the end, a man is always a man), and much more. Finally it all makes sense! PLATO AND A PLATYPUS WALK INTO A BAR by Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein (2007) Understanding philosophy through jokes
Read by . . : Johnny Heller Publisher . : Recorded Books (2007). #C4255 ISBN . . . .: ISBN-10: 142817379X ISBN-13: 9781428173798 Format . . .: MP3. Bitrate . . : 128 kbps Source . . .: Genre . . . : Philosophy, Humor Unabridged .
Take it from Zeno paradox - this is a funny book. Salesman: "Ma'am, this vacuum cleaner will cut your work in half. Customer: "Terrific! Give me two of them."
What better way to illucidate the fundamental difference between the categorical imperative and the golden rule: "A sadist is a masochist who follows the golden rule."
The great philosopher Aristotle once said "Humor is the only test of gravity, for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious." Taking this tenet to task, Cathart and Klein tackle all the major philosophical perspectives--ancient and postmodern alike--and make them universally accessible through hilarious jokes that cut straight to the core of the principle. Hobbes, for instance, believed that life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." Why then, the authors ask, did he complain about it being short?
Nicely tagged and labeled, cover scan included.
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Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar – Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes is a book that explains basic philosophical concepts through classic jokes. Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein, graduates of Harvard in philosophy, collaborated on the book. After being rejected by 40 publishers, the book was accepted by Abrams Image, an imprint of ABRAMS Books, and immediately became a bestseller. It has been translated into 20 languages and appeared on bestseller lists in the U.S., France, and Israel. Plato and a Platypus examines the classic categories of philosophy, with concepts explained or illustrated by jokes. The chapter titles -- "Metaphysics," "Logic," "Epistemology," "Ethics," "Existentialism," and "Philosophy of Language" -- are serious, but the approach is a mix of serious and comic. The authors explain the philosophy behind their book this way: “The construction and payoff of jokes and the construction and payoff of philosophical concepts are made out of the same stuff. They tease the mind in the same ways…philosophy and jokes proceed from the same impulse: to confound our sense of the way things are, to flip our worlds upside down, and to ferret out hidden, often uncomfortable, truths about life. What the philosopher calls an insight, the gagster calls a zinger.”
Quote from the book: "A guy comes home from a business trip and finds his wife in bed, a nervous look on her face. He opens the closet to hang up his coat, and finds his best friend standing there, naked. Stunned, he says, "Lenny, what are you doing here?" Lenny shrugs and says, "Everybody's got to be someplace." In this gag, Lenny is giving a Hegelian answer to an existential question. The question is about the existential circumstances in the here-and-now, but the answer is from a grand, universal vantage point, what the latter-day Hegelian, Bette Midler called, “seeing the world from a distance."
"An optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears that this is so."
[Book Dedication} "To the memory of out philosophical grandfather GROUCHO MARX who summed up our basic ideology when he said, "These are my principles; if you don't like them, I have others." - - - In a section on Aristotle contrasting between "essential" and "accidental" properties, Cathcar and Klein offer this illustrative joke:
When Thompson hit 70, he decided to change his lifestyle completely so he could live longer. He went on a strict diet, he jogged, he swam and he took sunbaths. In just three months' time, Thompson lost 30 pounds and reduced his waist by six inches. Svelte and tan, he decided to top it off with a new haircut. Stepping out of the barbershop, he was hit by a bus. As he lay dying, he cried out, "God, how could you do this to me?" And a voice from the heavens responded: "To tell you the truth, Thompson, I didn't recognize you."
We laugh - why? The answer to the question 'why' gives us understanding about philosophy, ourselves, and the world around us.
Consider it Philosophy 101 as taught by Jackie Mason. A philosophical fallacy like 'post hoc ergo propter hoc', assigning a causal role to something simply because it preceded something else, becomes more engaging when illustrated:
A New York boy is being led through the swamps of Louisiana by his cousin. "Is it true that an alligator won't attack you if you carry a flashlight?" asks the city boy. His cousin replies, "Depends on how fast you carry the flashlight."