Philosophy 101: Plato and a platypus walk into a bar (part1)

“Plato and Platypus walk into a bar” ? “sounds fun!” I thought. This title with such kiddo cover forced me bought the book during my wait departing to 張家界 in search of Pandora (where Avatar shot those amazingly beautiful mountains CG them into those floating mountains in Movie). I bet you again will ask,”In search of yourself Carol?” I may like to put it as,”Wonders, in search of wonders!”

As the subtitle says, understanding philosophy through jokes. Gags and philosophy are quite alike I agree. Their construction and payoff are similar and tease minds in similar ways – confound and amaze sense of the way things are, flip worlds upside down and to hunt out the hidden truth and wisdom about life. This book says, “What the philosophers calls an insight, the gagster calls a zinger” . Anything that can help people appreciate thousands of years of efforts at understanding the big questions in life can’t be all that bad I thought.

This 200 pages book explores Existentialism to Logic drawn from the ideas of some great minds the world has ever known: Kant, Mills, Groucho Marx (an American comedian who said ” these are my principles; if you don’t like them, I have others.” ) ,etc. Sounds heavy? It’s totally the opposite!! It cracks me up with witty gags.

OK, so here’s an example from the book’s beginning which addresses teleology (do things have an innate purpose?):-

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.'”

One more Philogagging:-

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.”


NOW off to beach for a short intermission to rest my brain, more gags from this book to come…..so wait up.


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