Friday, February 14, 2014

More Friday morning lightbulb jokes

How many philosophers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Six to contemplate whether the lightbulb is real,
four to try to simplify the problem by giving a definition of "lightbulb",
one to argue that whether the bulb is burnt out is a merely contingent matter and thus need not concern us,
five to argue that the virtuous person can be happy even in the dark,
one to maintain that it doesn't really matter because even if we could see we still couldn't know anything,
two to argue that the world is illuminated by the natural light of reason,
one to add that since that is the case, if you can't see, it's your own damn fault,
two to point out that the question of whether the bulb is real hasn't been settled yet,
one to theorize that the lightbulb is just a bundle of sensory experiences, most of which are black,
one to argue that since all six bulbs in the box are identical, we can freely choose which to screw in,
one to argue that that choice is too arbitrary to capture the dignity of free lightbulb-changing,
four to argue that in a just state, the lightbulb would never go out,
one to argue that it is wrong to force someone to change a lightbulb for someone else's benefit, or pay taxes,
two to argue that if the bulb has gone out, God must have meant us to live in the dark,
one to counter that if God existed, He would have changed the lightbulb Himself, so He doesn't,
one to say that we can hardly debate the existence of God when we still haven't determined if the lightbulb is real,
two to debate whether if lightning struck and by an incredible coincidence something materialized in the socket that looked like a lightbulb and emitted light like a lightbulb, it would really be a lightbulb,
three to argue that this is getting silly, but we could get somewhere if instead of thinking about the lightbulb, we started thinking about the sort of person who changes lightbulbs well,
one to argue that speculative metaphysics is meaningless nonsense and damnit people we are sitting here in the dark,

and one to reply that it certainly seems that way but we still haven't established if the lightbulb is real.


  1. None. Zero. Nada. The only light bulb changing around here will be done by an IBEW electrician (to install safely) and a LIANU labourer (to carry light bulb). Any more philosophers even contemplating light bulbs and changing and we will shut this entire philosophy business down right pronto. Capeech?

  2. My deepest apologies to our Teamster brothers. I forgot to mention that if the hardworking IBEW member and the especially hardworking LIUNA member must transverse a distance 75 meters (or 77.7 yardsUS) then of course he or she must be taken there by a Teamster member in good standing with his local. Again a Teamster, no existentialists, ethic ponders or post-modernist nihilists need apply or else you will have to get your sillygisms or whatever they are past a bunch of LIUNA guys all pissed off cause they making so little doing picket duty, you bunch of Wittgensteins all gonna electrocute youselves...