Philosophy jokes – part 2 (therefore p)

Woman thinking, puzzled, therefore p

Philosophy jokes – part 2 (therefore p)

Anselm: I can entertain an idea of the most perfect state of affairs inconsistent with not-p. If this state of affairs does not obtain then it is less than perfect, for an obtaining state of affairs is better than a non-obtaining one; so the state of affairs inconsistent with not-p obtains; therefore it is proved, etc.

Brandom: Sellars has established to McDowell’s and my satisfaction that p. Therefore p.

Brandom (alternative): Sellars argues that p. (Actually, Sellars argues that not-p, but that was wearing his black hat.) Therefore p.

Chalmers: These considerations tend to suggest something in the vicinity of the ballpark of p. Therefore p.Cha

Chisholm: P-ness is self-presenting. Therefore, p.

Churchland: Certain of my opponents claim to think that not-p; but it is precisely my thesis that they do not. Therefore p.

Davidson: Let us make the following bold conjecture: p.

Earman: There are solutions to the field equations of general relativity in which space-time has the structure of a four- dimensional Klein bottle and in which there is no matter. In each such space-time, the claim that not-p is false. Therefore p.

Feyerabend: The theory p, though “refuted” by the anomaly q and a thousand others, may nevertheless be adhered to by a scientist for any length of time; and “rationally” adhered to. For did not the most “absurd” of theories, heliocentrism, stage a come-back after two thousand years? And is not Voodoo now emerging from a long period of unmerited neglect?

Fodor: My argument for p is based on three premises: q, r and p. From these, the claim that p deductively follows. Some people may find the third premise controversial, but it is clear that if we replaced that premise by any other reasonable premise, the argument would go through just as well.

Goodman: Zabludowski has insinuated that my thesis that p is false, on the basis of alleged counterexamples. But these so- called “counterexamples” depend on construing my thesis that p in a way that it was obviously not intended — for I intended my thesis to have no counterexamples. Therefore p.

Goldman: Several critics have put forward purported “counterexamples” to my thesis that p; but all of these critics have understood my thesis in a way that was clearly not intended, since I intended my thesis to have no counterexamples. Therefore p.

Grunbaum: As I have asserted again and again in previous publications, p.

Hurley: Most philosophers think it is a priori that not-p. Therefore p.

Hurley: P gives me an “aha!” reaction. Therefore p.

Jackson: The folk think that not-p. But I just called them “the folk”. Therefore p.

Jackson (alternative): No amount of tub-thumping by dualists (including my past self) carries any weight in establishing that not-p. Therefore p.

Katz: I have seventeen arguments for the claim that p, and I know of only four for the claim that not-p. Therefore p.

Outline Of A Proof That P1:
by Saul Kripke

Some philosophers have argued that not-p. But none of them seems to me to have made a convincing argument against the intuitive view that this is not the case. Therefore, p.

(1) This outline was prepared hastily — at the editor’s insistence — from a taped manuscript of a lecture. Since I was not even given the opportunity to revise the first draft before publication, I cannot be held responsible for any lacunae in the (published version of the) argument, or for any fallacious or garbled inferences resulting from faulty preparation of the typescript. Also, the argument now seems to me to have problems which I did not know when I wrote it, but which I can’t discuss here, and which are completely unrelated to any criticisms that have appeared in the literature (or that I have seen in manuscript); all such criticisms misconstrue my argument. It will be noted that the present version of the argument seems to presuppose the (intuitionistically unacceptable) law of double negation. But the argument can easily be reformulated in a way that avoids employing such an inference rule. I hope to expand on these matters further in a separate monograph.

Lewis: Most people find the claim that not-p completely obvious and when I assert p they give me an incredulous stare. But the fact that they find not- p obvious is no argument that it is true; and I do not know how to refute an incredulous stare. Therefore, p.

Loar: To think that not-p is to over-intellectualize. Therefore p.

Loar (alternative): Not-p is true from the transparent perspective. But I take the oblique perspective. Therefore p.

Lycan: See my “…” where I argued for p. Therefore p.

Lycan: Representationalism entails p & not-p. Therefore p & not-p.

McGinn: Someday someone might discover that p, and I want to get the credit. Therefore p.

Morganbesser: If not p, what? q maybe?

Plantinga: It is a modal theorem that <>[]p -> []p. Surely its possible thatp must be true. Thus []p. But it is a modal theorem that []p -> p. Therefore p.

SOCRATES: Is it not true that p?
GLAUCON: I agree.
CEPHALUS: It would seem so.
POLEMARCHUS: Necessarily.
THRASYMACHUS: Yes, Socrates.
ALCIBIADES: Certainly, Socrates.
PAUSANIAS: Quite so, if we are to be consistent.
ERYXIMACHUS: The argument certainly points that way.
PHAEDO: By all means.
PHAEDRUS: What you say is true, Socrates.

Putnam: Some philosophers have argued that not-p, on the grounds that q. It would be an interesting exercise to count all the fallacies in this “argument”. (It’s really awful, isn’t it?) Therefore p.

Rawls: It would be nice to have a deductive argument that p from self- evident premises. Unfortunately I am unable to provide one. So I will have to rest content with the following intuitive considerations in its support: p.

Routley and Meyer: If (q & not-q) is true, then there is a model for p. Therefore p.

Schmitter: I have a lot of arguments for p, though none of them are very good. Therefore p.

Searle: The argument for not-p has seven steps, and I’m way too old for that. Therefore p.

Searle: I know that p is true because I teach it to my undergraduates. Therefore p.

Sellars: Unfortunately limitations of space prevent it from being included here, but important parts of the proof can be found in each of the articles in the attached bibliography.

Siegel: I’ve considered and rejected one possible defense of a key premise in one possible argument for not-p. Therefore p.

Siewert: You don’t think that phenomenology supports that p? Look haaaarder! Therefore p.

Siewert (alternative): Now that I’ve taken you on this little journey, I’m beginning to lose my grip on what it means to say that not-p. Therefore p.

Smart: Dammit all! p.

Stove: While everyone knows deep down that p, some philosophers feel curiously compelled to assert that not-p, as a result of being closet Marxists. I shall label this phenomenon “the blithering idiot effect”. As I have shown that all assertions of not-p by anyone worth speaking of, and several by people who aren’t, are due to the blithering idiot effect, there remains no reason to deny p, which everyone knows deep down anyway. I won’t even waste my time arguing for it any further.

Strawson: Anyone who says that not-p is using the terms differently from me. Therefore p.

Strawson and Zimmerman: Only philosophers would think that not-p. Therefore p.

Thompson: Not-p? That just doesn’t work for me. Therefore p.

Unger: Suppose it were the case that not-p. It would follow from this that someone knows that q. But on my view, no one knows anything whatsoever. Therefore p. (Unger believes that the louder you say this argument, the more persuasive it becomes).

Wallace: Davidson has made the following bold conjecture: p.


Attributed to other various philosophers:

I’m tired, I went surfing, therefore p&~p.

P* and representationalism holds. Therefore p.

Not-p entails that there are sense-data. Therefore p.

It’s completely implausible and a violation of common-sense intuition to think that not-p. Therefore p.

P is a bold and controversial claim that shatters common-sense intuition. Therefore p.


See also philosophy jokes part 1 (random) and part 3 (Why did the chicken cross the road?)


Note: These statements have been attributed to these philosophers by various others, and do not necessarily represent their views. The list has been compiled by: David Chalmers, Amy Kind, Henry Fitzgerald, Daniel Nolan and probably many others; but has gone out of circulation about a decade ago. This is an attempt to revitalize it. If you wish to contribute to this list, please send me a brief email.

(Currently 1 visits)

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. January 9, 2016

    […] also philosophy jokes part 2 (therefore p) and part 3 (why did the chicken cross the […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.