I found this great book called Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar...

by Thomas Cathart and Daniel Klein
Understanding Philosophy through jokes.


By the mid twentieth century most ethical philosophy was metaethical. Instead of asking, "What actions are good?" philosophers were asking. "What does it mean to say an action is good? Does 'x is good' mean only "I approve of x"? Alternatively, does 'x is good' express an emotion I feel when I observe x or think about x? The latter stance is known as emotivism.

A man wrote a letter to the IRS saying , "I have been unable to sleep knowing that I have cheated on my income tax. I have understated my taxable income and I have enclosed a check for $150. If I still can't sleep, I'll send the rest."

Social and Political Philosophy.(not all blondes are dumb, but all men are men)(is this a chauvenistic or a feminist joke?)

Two bored male casino dealers are waiting at the craps table. A very attractive blond woman arrives and bets $20,000 on a single roll of the dice.

She says, "I hope you don't mind, but I feel much luckier when I'm completely nude."

With that, she strips down rolls the dice, and yells, "Come on, baby, mama needs new clothes!" As the dice come to a stop she jumps up and down and squeals, "YES! YES! I WON, I WON!"

She hugs each of the dealers, picks up her winnings and her clothes, and quickly departs.

 The dealers stare at each other dumbfounded. Finally one of them asks, "What did she roll?" The other answers, "I don't know- I thought you were watching."

German Idealism (Empiricist Immanuel Kant)

(Empiricists say that our view of the external world comes to us through our senses, therefore it is uncertain in a certain sense. Kant asked, if we experience the world differently from other people, we experience the world differently- ie taste buds taste strawberries differently, etc)

dich an sich= thing in itself

Secretary: Herr Doktor, there's a ding an sich in the waiting room.

Urologist: Another ding an sich! If I see one more today, I think I'm screaming! Who is it:?

Secretary: How would I know?

Urologist: Describe him.

Secretary: You must be kiddng!

My note---The secretary doesn't know in what way the doctor wishes for her to describe him, in other words she doesn't see him in the same manner that the doctor sees him---- clear now?

Deductive Logic.

(deductive logic reasons from the general to the particular. This is arguing from a false premise.)

An old cowboy goes into a bar and orders a drink. As he sits there sipping his whiskey, a young lady sits down next to him. She turns to the cowboy and asks him,"Are you a real cowboy?"

He replies, "Well, I've spent my whole life on the ranch, herding horses, mending fences, and branding cattle, so I guess I am."

She says, "I'm a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning, I think about women. When I shower or watch TV, everything seems to make me think of women."

A little while later, a couple sits down next to the old cowboy and asks him, "Are you a real cowboy?"

He replies,"I always thought I was, but I just found out I'm a lesbian." 

The Principle of Parsimony.

(Theories should not be any more complex than necessary... aka...Occam's razor.)

One evening after dinner, a five-year-old boy asked his father, "Where did Mommy go!"

His father told him, "Mommy is at a Tupperware party."

This explanation satisfied the boy only for a moment, but then he asked, "What's a Tupperware party, Dad?"

His father figured a simple explanation would be the best approach. "Well, son,"he said, "at a Tupperware party, a bunch of ladies sit around and sell plastic bowls to each other."

The boy burst out laughing, "Come on, Dad!! What is it really?"

Determinism Versus Free Will.

(do we have any control over our destiny?)

Moses, Jesus, and a bearded old man are playing golf. Moses drives a long one, which lands on the fairway but rolls directly toward the pond. Moses raises his club, parts the water, and the ball rolls safely to the other side.

Jesus also hits a long one toward the same pond, but just as it's about to land in the center, it hovers above the surface. Jesus casually walks out on the pond and chips it onto the green.

The bearded man's drive hits a fence and bounces out onto the street, where it caroms off an oncoming truck and back onto the fairway. It's headed directly for the pond, but it lands on a lily pad, where a frog sees it and snatches it into his mouth. An eagle swoops down, grabs the frog, and flies away. As the eagle and the frog pass over the green, the frog drops the ball, and it lands in the cup for a hole-in-one.

Moses turns to Jesus and says, "I hate playing with your dad."


(what is the structure of reality? What specific attributes make things what they are?)

When Thompson hit seventy, he decided to change his lifestyle completely so that 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 thirty pounds, reduced his waist by six inches, and expanded his chest by five inches. Svelte and tan, he decided to top it all off with a sporty new haircut. Afterward, while 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."

The Law of Noncontradiction.

A Rabbi is holding court in his village. Schmuel stands up and pleads his case, saying, "rabbi, Itzak runs his sheep acroos my land every day and it is ruining my crops. it's my land. it's not fair."

The rabbi says, "You're right!"

But then Itzak stands up and says, "But Rabbi, going across his land is the only way my sheep can drink water from the pond. Without it, they'll die. For centuries, every shepherd has had the right of way on the land surrounding the pond, so I should too."

and the rabbi says, "You' re right!"

The cleaning lady, who has overheard all this, says to the rabbi, "But, Rabbi, they can't  both be right!

And the rabbi replies, "You're right!

Circular Argument

It was autumn, and the Indians on the reservation assked their new chief if it was going to be a cold winter. Raised in the ways of the modern world, the chief had never been taught the old secrets and had no way of knowing whether the winter would be cold or mild. To be on the safe side, he advised the tribe to collect wood and be prepared for a cold winter. A few days later, as a practical afterthought, he called the National Weather Servicce and asked whether they were forecasting a cold winter. The meteorologist replied that, indeed, he thought the winter would be quite cold. The chief advised the tribe to stock even more wood.

A couple of weeks later, the chief checked  in again with the Weather Service. "Does it still look like a cold winter?" asked the chief.

"It sure does," replied the meteorologist. "It looks like a very cold winter. "The chief advised the tribe to gather up every scrap of wood they could find.

A couple of weeks later, the chief called the Weather Service again and asked how the winter was looking at that point. The meteorologist said, "We're now forecasting that it will be one of the coldest winters on reccord!"

"Really?" said the chief. "How can you be so sure?"

The meteorologist replied, "The Indians are collecting wood like crazy!"

Notion of Infinity.

(eternity can be relative)

A woman is told by her doctor that she has six months to live. "Is there anything I can do?" she asks.

 "Yes, there is," the doctor replies. "You could marry a tax accountant."

"How will that help my illness?" the woman asks.

"Oh, it won't help your illness," says the doctor, "but it will make that six months seem like an eternity!"


some of us are less impressed by the thought)

Two cows are standing in the pasture. One turns to the other and says, "Although Pi is usually abbreviated to five numbers, it actually goes on into infinity."

The second cow turns to the first and says, "Moo."