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Archive for April, 2009

Philosophers FAQ

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

As a professional philosopher, I am frequently asked questions. But just because I am frequently asked questions doesn’t mean that any of those questions are frequently asked. This is exactly the kind of non-trivial distinction that philosophers are so good at. Nonetheless, here are some truth-value bearing answers to several such questions.

What is the meaning of life?
Philosophers get asked this all the time, and the answer is “what the fuck are you talking about? Your question makes no fucking sense! Learn to speak English!”

What do you mean?
I mean “what do you mean?” What are you asking? Surely not the meaning of the word “life.”

No, no, I mean, what am I supposed to do?
Then why did you say “what’s the meaning of life?” That’s a completely different question! Anyway, what do you mean by “supposed to do”? According to who?

Look, if your mom tells you to take out the trash, then you’re supposed to take out the trash, right?

If I was 12 years old and lived at home, sure.
So the meaning of life is to take out the trash.

That can’t be right.
But you just said that “what’s the meaning of life” is the same question as “what am I supposed to do?” So by your own logic the meaning of life is to take out the trash.

Is this why no one talks to philosophers?
Pretty much.