Listing books by Thomas Cathcart
|Full title||Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar...: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes [permalink]|
|Authors||Daniel Klein and Thomas Cathcart|
|Categories||Humor and philosophy|
|Original publication year||2007|
|ISBN||978-0-14-311387-4 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]|
The book is divided into ten chapters, each dealing with a different area of philosophy. The chapters explain concepts concerning each area, interspersed with banter and jokes.
As many people have observed, a session of jokes can often illuminate a subject more than hours of discussion can, and this book is an example of that. The book is essentially a string of jokes with banter to connect them and explain the concepts introduced in the jokes. The explanations themselves are light-hearted and full of puns. An example of a joke illustrating the difference between what philosophers call essential and accidental attributes:
And another on skepticism and the scientific method (or inductive reasoning, if you will):
In the section on the philosophy of religion are also jokes, of course, and I found this Jewish one pretty funny:
And a final one, on the relativity of time:
Go read it if you've got time to kill.