Friday, May 8, 2009


So we have a two-day "Reading Period" between the end of classes, a weekend, and final-exams. Given the rhythms of the academic year, this "Reading Period" is more often a period in which to collapse, or take in some oxygen, get silly, or otherwise recover. I know academia looks easy, but it's a bit of a long haul from late August through end-of-May, at least for the gray matter.

I decided to get silly and write some doggerel about philosophy, in the spirit of Reading Period, and recalling certain blue-book exams I took many moons ago. Or maybe it's catterel. Cats do tend to get that look on their faces that suggests, "I'm afraid I cannot possibly consider your request, as it conflicts with my ontology."


You can't shake Zeno's hand.
Socrates: a syllogistic man.
Look for Plato in a cave--
but only ideally, you knave.
According to Aristotle,
bottle embodies Bottle.
Nietzsche was a Super guy
who went a bit cuckoo--why?
Just to spite us, Heraclitus
said change will always change us.
Enough with playing games,
said William (not Hank) James:
How do ideas work all day,
and Say affects Do in just what way?
Sartre made a kind of cafe art
out of making meaning: to start,
you say that things are just absurd.
In the Beginning, was the Word.
Marx was one classy, bearded dude
who thought the Ruling Class was rude.
Descartes thought, thus thought he was.
Cogito, ergo Doritos, Cuz.
Spinoza knows a thing called God--
the only Substance--how very odd.
Sophie and Phil went up the hill,
then took Fig Newton's gravity pill.
Be, know, think, define, and do--
philo-silly on the nutshell. Whew.

Hans Ostrom
Post a Comment