Daniel Klein

Books: Philosophy

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy through Jokes (2007) Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein

Plato and a PlatypusMy dad got me this book for Christmas, and I'd been reading a few pages at a time before bed, but last night I didn't know what I wanted to read so decided to finish this book off.

It's a cute conceit–presenting philosophy through humor and jokes. Admittedly this probably works very well for an intro college class. We get an over view of all the philosophical big names and traditions. I can't say that I feel like I have a better understanding of any of the subjects covered, though it was a refresher for the ideas and individuals.

Additionally, as much as I love a good joke as the next person, for me jokes should be told out loud, and I am quite certain that most of these jokes work much better in the classroom when they are being told aloud, rather than read off the page. However, I'm perfectly willing to admit that this might just be a personal failing.

But I did find one joke that I wanted to mention as it reminded me of someone in particular:

Two cows are standing in a field. One says to the other, “What do you think about this mad cow disease?”
“What do I care?” said the other, “I'm a helicopter.”

So cute, but not anything I'd gone out of my way to read if it hadn't been a gift.

Rating: 5/10