Saturday, April 07, 2007

Philosophers Gone Wild

Not to be underdone by the various instantiations of the "Girls Gone Wild" phenomenon, philosophers have started their own extreme movement, "Philosophers Gone Wild." Why let Paris and Brittany get all the glory?

These ostentatious philosophers have been known to drink in the heady brew of Plato, Aristotle, Sankara, Anselm, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Pascal, Nietzsche, Russell, and even lower luminaries such as Max Stirner and Fichte, and to inflict their ideas at random on unsuspecting bystanders in public places.

Here are some scenes of extreme philosophy:

1. At a McDonald's, Professor Blowhard assails a cashier with the ontological argument and refused to pay until she says whether the argument is sound and valid. She refuses and the police are called. Blowhard badgers the police with Descartes' first meditation, asking them how they know they are not being deceived by an evil demon god. The police put on the cuffs and radioed ahead for a psychiatrist to be on hand at the station.

2. A a laundromat, Professor Pompous corners clothes washers with the question as to whether the number of items they have to wash should be understood in nominalistic or realistic terms. He offers to pay for the wash if the stunned patron will think about it. "You have 12 items. Is the number 12 just a name for a collection or does it exist in its own right in a world of ideas?" One person took him up on it, the others hurled epithets not found in a philosophical dictionary.

3. At a recreation center Professor Know-it-All asks the life guard whose life they would save from downing if they could only save one life: Pascal or Nietzsche. The lifeguard, turning down the rap on her boom box, says she has never met either person. Know-it-All then proceeds to explain the lives and philosophers of the respective philosophers for about ten minutes until the lifeguard pushes him into the water (the deep end).

4. Professor A. Posteriori stands on a street corner in Denver and recites (with passion) from memory Nietzsche's parable of "The Madman" A small crowd gathers and asks her where is begging cup is. She replies, "I have no cup, but we have killed God, you and I! What does it mean?" A few people throw money at her feet and go back to work. Surrounding beggars ask her to share her chops.

5. Professor InnateIdeas has an idea. He takes the light rail back from school and asks a passenger whether Leibniz concept of the principle of sufficient reason is an apriori truth, a contingent proposition, or something else. The passenger pushes the emergency button and Professor InnateIdeas is arrested for disturbing the peace.

6. Professor Antithesis vows to do for three days doing nothing but asking everyperson in his immediate vicinity, "But how do you know that?" He then denies their answer--if there is one. He arrested for public drunkenness, but continues his vow in jail.

7. Distinguished Professor OntologicalUltimate corners a student at a community college who is listening to his iPod while eating. "Are you listening to apologetics or logic lectures?" he cried. "What the *&#," came the reply: "I'm hanging with Snoop Dog." "Dog excrement, it is," replied a smug Professor Ultimate--shortly before receiving a swift kick to a region of the body that Dog often raps about.

8. Professor Meta asks his waitress at The Outback what the ontological relationship is between her monads to his monads. She slips then him a piece of paper with her phone number on it and winks. Meta is nonplussed and begins excitedly reciting portions of Leibniz's Monadology from memory, mentioning also that he is happy married. The waitress then calls the police and Meta is arrested on sexual harrassment charges.

Philosophers are going wild. Are you?

7 comments:

Jon said...

...Professor Know-it-All asks the life guard whose life they would save from downing if they could only save one life: Pascal or Nietzsche.

I'd wager Pascal. Although a public recitation of "The Madman" would be pretty cool.

Fletcher said...

Absolutely (objectively, for all people, in all places, at all times) hilarious!!

I woke my wife from her (rare) nap with my out-loud laughing as I read this post. I think the part where you specified that Professor KnowItAll got pushed into the deep end did we in, I just couldn't hold it in any longer.

Fine work.

Fletcher said...

.. well that's what started it, but then I really busted up when I read: "Professor Antithesis vows to do for three days doing nothing but asking everyperson in his immediate vicinity, "But how do you know that?" He then denies their answer--if there is one. He arrested for public drunkenness, but continues his vow in jail."

danny wright said...

Are you OK?

Matt said...

Given that I just did some work on Descartes #1 was worth a good chuckle.

gimmepascal said...

This is hilarious.

But you forgot the scene where Professor Cogito E. Sum asks a government employee at the DMV office a simple question and receives the reply "I'm sorry, I don't know." Professor Sum reminds the robot employee that his existence as a thinking subject is indubitable--therefor he must think, not merely sit in front of a plexi-glass window with a blank stare. Within seconds the professor is arrested by a security guard who heard and witnessed these disparaging comments from a monitor in the back that was attached to a hidden camera.

The Trousered Ape said...

Sorry for posting so late in the game, but these were pretty funny!

Shawn