Ryan's Reviews > Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes

Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart
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's review
Mar 02, 08

bookshelves: philosophy-history, non-fiction, humor
Read in March, 2008

This book successfully combines two of my favorite subjects, philosophy and dumb jokes to great effect. It's a quick little read that uses humor to define philosophical schools of thought, or maybe uses philosophers to explain humor, I'm not sure which. Either way, it is a fun time for those with a penchant (and background) in philosophy and a knack for telling bad jokes.

And to add to the many quotes other reviewers have shared, here's one on situational ethics: "Armed robbers burst into a bank, line up customers and staff against the wall, and begin to take their wallets, watches, and jewelry. Two of bank's accountants are among those waiting to be robbed. The first accountant suddenly thrusts something in the hand of the other. The second accountant whispers, 'What is this?' The first accountant whispers back, 'It's the fifty bucks I owe you.'"


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Ryan It's pretty entertaining (and a very quick read; I'm halfway through it from my bus ride to and from work today). I think it's funnier if you've read a bit of philosophy and really enjoy silly academic/nerdy jokes. In addition to the obvious humor value, it does go through the history of philosophy chronologically for a nice overview as well. If only I could remember the jokes for my academic social functions I would be the envy of nerds everywhere.

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