Arun Mani J

Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes

30 January 2024
Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart, Daniel Klein

For a long time, I thought philosophy means having abstract vague questions that are highly opinionated in nature and don’t have a solid answer. It includes questions like what is the meaning of life?, is the action fair? etc. But then I felt like - okay, but what is there for someone to study it so seriously?. In short, I thought philosophy is a topic of conversation people have from time to time in boring evenings where they themselves know that there is no proper answer. Sigh.

Okay, turned out to be, philosophy is kinda that but not that. I asked my friend to give me practical examples of where philosophy is used. I asked her to give a problem and explain how philosophy is used to solve it. She tried explaining me that you can’t understand philosophy just like that and yes, I didn’t.

I found out this book from a bookclub. The name sounded good and I felt like it will help me understanding philosophy. Well, after reading I can say that the book didn’t help me with my original objective in anyway. But, at least, it told me that philosophy is so vast and yea, spawns some long boring evenings and end up confusing people like me.

So the book presents some topic and a lot of jokes. I expected the book to explain the concept and then explain it with the jokes or at least explain the joke with the concept. But, the book takes a lot of things for granted. There is no real explanation actually. The book discusses a few paragraphs about the topic and then presents jokes.

The jokes are popular too, some small differences and twists. So it is highly probable that you know the jokes already.

In conclusion, if you already know or learning philosophy, then this book can be a nice companion in the journey. But if like me, you are a fresher, then this book may not be ideal, unless you wanted a book of jokes.