Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Amalthea gave me a book today called "Plato and a Platypus walk into a bar... Understanding Philosophy throug Jokes.
It's a great book, so I thought I'd include some of the concepts and jokes. Let's start simple:


Does the universe have a purpose? Aristotle thought so, to him everything has a telos or inner goal. The seed to become a plant or flower, it is was the seed is meant to be.

Here's Mrs. Goldsteins view: Mrs. Goldstein was walking down the street with her two grandchildren. A friend stopped to ask her how old they were.

She replied, "The doctor is five and the lawyer is seven."

Obviously, Mrs. Goldstein has a definite idea of what her grandchildrens' telos is.

Aristotle thought that the telos of human life was happiness, a thought disputed by philosphers ever since. If Mrs. Goldstein's grandkids are meant to be a doctor and a lawyer, is this what they necesarrily want to be? And would their telos make them happy? Which begs the question, what is happiness? Ah, but that's for another philogag.

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