Putting The Wit Back Into Wittgenstein:
July 6, 2002 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Putting The Wit Back Into Wittgenstein: Here's an impeccable satire, involving fog-like sensations, apparently written by the ever-witty Michael Frayn and featured in David Chalmers's magnificent collection of philosophical humour. Although it was clearly written and compiled by and for academic philosophers, most pieces will cause chuckling in anyone with even a very basic knowledge of philosophy. Among its many delights, the Jerry Springer parody and the Philosofighter game give some idea of the range and downright funniness of this richly uneducational resource, so deserving of a wider audience.
posted by MiguelCardoso (8 comments total)
A Chalmers link in the middle of the night (Europe time)
Trouble sleeping, Miguel? Working on some fundamental theory of consciousness this late?
posted by matteo at 5:53 PM on July 6, 2002

It must be that it is the middle of the night that makes me think this is pretentious twaddle. No offence intended Miguel, if mefi posters can have fans, I am fan of yours and get quite offended when people diss you; that link is irritating beyond belief though.
Off topic a bit, but it embraces Lit Crit and Philosophy in its own way, I recommend the latest news in the life of Joe Pernice.
posted by Fat Buddha at 6:18 PM on July 6, 2002

Although most of these pieces will only be funny to academics (who dont laugh at themselves as often as the rest of the world does) there are some gems here. The Smullyan bit is typical of the book (5000 BC, out of print) from which its drawn. One of the most entertaining books I've read in my lifetime. Great if you want to evoke that child-like feeling of discovery, at marveling at the beauty and perversity of great ideas. Here's another excerpt from 5,000 BC (for FB):

Epimenides (c. 7 century B.C.) once made a long pilgrimage to meet Buddha. When he finally met him, Epimenides said, "I have come to ask a question. What is the best question that can be asked and what is the best answer that can be given?"

Buddha replied, "The best question that can be asked is the question you have just asked, and the best answer that can be given is the answer I am giving."

posted by vacapinta at 7:13 PM on July 6, 2002

Fat Buddha, it's pretentious twaddle, but it's hilarious pretentious twaddle. Thanks, Miguel! Reminds me of Woody Allen's stuff in Without Feathers, or some Monty Python routines, or the better MST3K riffs.

I mean, for anyone who has ever dipped their toe into The Republic...

SOCRATES: Is it not true that p?
GLAUCON: I agree.
CEPHALUS: It would seem so.
POLEMARCHUS: Necessarily.
THRASYMACHUS: Yes, Socrates.
ALCIBIADES: Certainly, Socrates.
PAUSANIAS: Quite so, if we are to be consistent.
ERYXIMACHUS: The argument certainly points that way.
PHAEDO: By all means.
PHAEDRUS: What you say is true, Socrates.

From the Jerry Springer fight between the Cartesian rationalist and his post-structuralist girlfriend...

Todd: I want to tell her that unless she ditches the post-modernism, we're through. I just can't go on having a relationship with a woman who doesn't believe I exist.

Jerry: Well, you're going to get your chance. Here's Ursula!

[Ursula storms onstage and charges up to Todd.]

Ursula: Patriarchal colonizer!

Aw, stop me before I quote the whole damn site. This guy should write for SNL.

Funniest. MeFi. Link. Ever.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:32 PM on July 6, 2002

Ah, no! Nausea.
posted by semmi at 9:59 PM on July 6, 2002

heh. i had chalmers as a professor freshman year. what a nut.
posted by carsonb at 12:12 AM on July 7, 2002

of course, i mean that in the nicest way possible. he was an endearing and lovable nut. figuratively speaking.
posted by carsonb at 12:16 AM on July 7, 2002

Wonderful. I particularly liked Q: How do you get a Philosopher off your porch?

A: Pay for the Pizza.
posted by grahamwell at 6:55 AM on July 8, 2002

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