Reading Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar (2007-12-25)

A New York boy is being led through the swamps of Louisiana by his cousin. "Is it true that an alligator won't attack you if you carry a flashlight?" asks the city boy.
His cousin replies, "Depends on how fast you carry the flashlight."
--Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein, Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes

Confusing the cause of an alligator attack is an example of post hoc ergo propter hoc, a fallacy that Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar describes in chapter II, "Logic." (It is a minor spoiler to opine that the punchline of the best post hoc ergo propter hoc joke is, "'Schmuck, that's the way you wave a towel!'") Logic is one of ten topics in the book that together give an overview of the story of philosophy. Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein summarize major schools of thought in each topic, and illustrate them with interspersed jokes. I read their book--a gift from Ryan--on Christmas Day at our apartment and friends'. I found it funny, and finished wanting more details on some philosophers--or at least more jokes.


afaucher said...

They are watching you.

afaucher said...

Ha, I could miss a barn. This makes no logic because it was not intended to be here.