14 February 2024

Philosophy Funnies

Q: How many philosophers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Depends on how you define “change”

An engineer, a scientist, a mathematician, and a philosopher are hiking through the hills of Scotland, when they see a lone black sheep in a field.

The engineer says, “What do you know, it looks like the sheep around here are black.” 

The scientist looks at him skeptically and replies, “Well, at least some of them are.” 

The mathematician considers this for a moment and replies, “Well, at least one of them is.” 

Then the philosopher turns to them and says, “Well, at least on one side.”

Descartes is sitting in a French bar, having a drink. The bartender asks him if he would like another. “I think not,” he says … and disappears.

Jean-Paul Sartre is sitting at a French cafe, revising his draft of Being and Nothingness. He says to the waitress, “I’d like a cup of coffee, please, with no cream.” The waitress replies, “I’m sorry, monsieur, but we’re out of cream. How about with no milk?” 

Dean is complaining to the physics department: “Why do I always have to give you guys so much money, for laboratories and expensive equipment and stuff? Why couldn’t you be more like the math department – all they need is pencils, paper, and waste-paper baskets. Or even better, like the philosophy department. All they need are pencils and paper.”

Final paper, final year for philosophy. Everyone is gathered in the exam hall, heads bulging with volumes read, sweating caffeine, shuffling feet, hands, bags, papers, pens as they sit at their desks.
The lecturer saunters in. A hush falls interrupted only by the clicking of pens and swish of the question sheets being handed out, face down, taunting the awaiting examinees.
The lecturer clears her throat, and announces to the awaiting students: “You may turn over the question sheet.”
The room collectively turns over the question sheet. In the middle of the sheet is written one line:
‘If this is a question, answer it.’
The lecturer continues: “And now you may begin.”
Dumbfounded silence. Nervous side-ways glances.
Followed by a flurry of pens and pages and writing which mutes the muffled thoughts of the many. Is this indeed a question or not? By what logic? By the thoughts of what philosopher?
One student sits back in reflection, taps her pen to on her lips. She transfers her response to paper in a single, meticulously written line:
‘If this is an answer, mark it.’

   Reasons Why God Was Denied Tenure

  • He had only one major publication.
  • And it had no references.
  • It wasn’t published in a refereed journal or even submitted for peer review.
  • And some even doubt he wrote it himself.
  • It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done recently?
  • The scientific community has had a very rough time trying to replicate his results.
  • He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.
  • He expelled his first two students for learning.
  • Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed his tests.
  • His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountaintop.


(Some of these jokes were drawn from a blog by John Messerly: https://reasonandmeaning.com/2024/02/14/short-philosophy-jokes/#more-25014)

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