A philosophy webcomic about the inevitable anguish of living a brief life in an absurd world. Also Jokes

Wittgenstein Teaches Elementary School

Wittgenstein, pointing to a blue square: "Okay class, it's time to learn our colors. This right here is blue."

Wittgenstein, pointing to other colors: "This is red, this is green, this is yellow."

Wittgenstein, pointing to several objects of different colors: "Okay, now that we've gone over our basic colors, can anyone tell me which of these objects the word “yellow” refers to?"

Wittgenstein: "Yes...?"
Child, raising his hand: "The truck!"

Wittgenstein, hitting the child's hand with a ruler: "WRONG! It doesn't refer to any of them, because referring is impossible, the word 'yellow' is only a move in a sort of language game."
Child: "Owww!"

Wittgenstein: "It is equally possible 'yellow' is used for the square shape, or the act of pointing. Only experience in a community of speakers can, over time, clarify the usage of a word."
Child: "It hurts!"

Wittgenstein, miming crying: "Ohhh, what's the matter, does it hurt? Are you going to cry to show me that you are in pain?"

Wittgenstein: "Well guess what, i have no way of inferring your internal state by your outward behavior, for all i know you could be feeling great. So suck it up, you little shit."

Wittgenstein: "okay, the colors lesson is complete, it's time to learn predicate logic. And i'll have you all know, there is no crying in predicate logic."
"Now, does anyone here have a theory of metaphysics? Because I would love to see if I could produce more behavior that is socially recognized to indicate pain."

Wittgenstein Revises His Thesis

Wittgenstein: "You see, Russell, the world is everything that is the case."
Bertrand Russel: "What do you mean, Wittgenstein?"

Wittgenstein: "When we speak, we form a proposition, we are making a picture of the world, connected by the logical form."

Wittgenstein: "But some sentences don't connect to the world as it is, they have no empirical content. When we speak of morality or metaphysics, there is no fact in the world that connects the proposition to a truth value."


Wittgenstein: "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."
Bertrand Russel: "But wait, isn't that sentence itself “nonsense”, since it doesn't describe a truth condition of empirical content?"

Wittgenstein: " Hmm, you are right, maybe i'll have to rework it..."

Wittgenstein: " Okay, how about this: Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent, starting..........NOW!"

Bertrand Russel: "I'm surprisingly okay with it."
PERSON: "it's perfect. There are no flaws at all. I think i just solved philosophy."
How about this: no one can say anything that isn't grounded in empirical observation, except for Wittgeinstein.

Wittgenstein At The Doctor

Doctor: "Tell me Wittgenstein, on a scale of one to ten, how much pain are you in?"
Wittgenstein: "What do you mean?"

Doctor: "Just look at the chart, and tell me the number of what you are feeling."

Wittgenstein: "And you expect the answer i give you to relate in some way to my internal conscious experience of pain?"
Doctor: "Of course. The more pain you are feeling, the higher the number you say."

Wittgenstein: "But how is that possible? This is nothing more than a language game that we play in order to negotiate the next move in social situation of being in a hospital."
Doctor: "Uh..."

Wittgenstein: "Look, neither of us can know what is going on internally with each other, or anyone else. If i give a five, and the next patient gives a five, we can't compare them to see if we felt the same amount of “pain”."

Wittgenstein: "We can't even tell if we are feeling the same type  of thing. Their name for “pain” could be associated with an entirely different feeling, and that could never be discovered."

Wittgenstein: "But more than that, both of us are well aware of the fact that we have no grounding for the scale, and the fact that my answer influences your next move in this little game of ours."

Wittgenstein: "Say a young woman comes in with severe cramps. The day before she read an article in the paper that reported doctors systematically ignore or downplay women's pain."
Wittgenstein: "What do we expect she should do when answering this question? Relate the internal experience of pain to a unknowable scale? No! She will of course attempt to convince the doctor to treat her pain seriously."

Wittgenstein: "She may even play act at greater pain than she has and say an “eight” when she feels a “six”, not to make the doctor believe she is feeling more pain than she is, but only to get proper treatment, because she knows he is prone to believe she is exaggerating."

Wittgenstein: "The doctor may think he detects that she is play acting, and write down a “four”. What they are doing more closely resembles a game of poker than a scientist describing a fact about the world."

Wittgenstein: "So you see, the scale itself is merely part of the social game of doctors and patients interacting, and has nothing directly to do with pain at all! It is no different than a game of poker."

Doctor: "Right, so...I'm really just looking for a number from one to ten so I can write it down on the chart."

Wittgenstein: "Fine...a nine."
Doctor: "You aren't getting any morphine you know."

Wittgenstein: "Actually it is more like a ten."
Doctor: "You sprained your ankle, Wittgenstein, you just need to ice it."
Actually, the phrase "drug seeking behavior" doesn't denote anything in the world, per se...

James Bond vs Ludwig Wittgenstein

"Please...no! No more examples of teaching primitive language games, I give up, I'll tell you anything!"

Wittgenstein Plays Scrabble

Board games rules are based on a fundamental mistake about the nature of fun.

The Vienna Circle Solves Humor


They have a good point though, comedy was a mistake.

Is a Hotdog a Sandwich? A Definitive Study.


Carnap: "But if we made an exact scientific language the usage would never be unclear!" Wittgenstein: "No, if you made an exact scientific language, it would always be unclear, because no one is going to learn your nerd language."

A Brief History of Metaphysics

Also...everything is facts.

The Vienna Circle Solves Philosophy


Back in Vienna: "okay, now that we have written this 600 page tract that PROVES scientifically that we are not, in fact, nerds, that should put the matter to rest."

Wittgenstein's Lion

"Derrida is actually quite clear, more clear in some ways than the analytic philosophers."

Captain Metaphysics and the Problem of Language


Yes, all problems of philosophy are problems of language, but it turns out that all problems of language are problems of punching, so...

Wittgenstein in the Great War


Oh no, this is a tragedy! He died before I got to explain private languages!

The Vienna Circle Faces a Crisis of Logical Positivism


It didn't work.

A robbery at the Wittgenstein Bank


"Hi, I'd like to open a savings account" "Imagine a tribe that, instead of money, traded only in colored stones. Each color, or combination of colors, represented a different value in the trading game..." "Uh...is there someone else I can talk to?"

Wittgenstein's Monster


All he wanted to do was fit in, but the villagers were terrified of his truth tables and aphoristic style.

Gottfried Leibniz and the Quest for the Holy Grail



The French guy is being played by Voltaire, of course.

Philosophy as Therapy


Philosophy is actually a great therapy. I mean, unless you have real problems, then you should probably go to real therapy. Although I do wonder why it occurs to me to use the word "real" at this moment...

Philosophy Club


When you think about it, any club can be a fight club with enough spirit.

Analytic Office


You thought that last joke wasn't going to be an Office Space sketch? No. BOOM! Radical freedom, it's Seinfeld. And a bit of Dilbert.

Philosophical Investigations


But it turned out that the language games that they play in prison are actually pretty fun.

The Philosophy Superbowl



In many ways Wittgenstein is similar to Tom Brady, whose first Superbowl was also based on a mistake: the Tuck Rule. Also, they are both devastatingly handsome.

Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophers II: The Analytic Turn



Russell destroyed most of Frege's items too, when he threw the bag of holding into the portable hole. Frege was pretty cheesed off about it at first, but eventually he admitted it was his fault for not realizing that portable holes weren't quite as secure as he had thought.

Language Games: Philosophers Play Pictionary



Growing up in a wealthy home, Wittgenstein never actually saw a beetle as a child. When he asked his parents and relatives what a beetle looked like, they gave descriptions, but he could tell they didn't know either. As he grew older, he theorized that no one had ever actually seen a beetle. He told all his philosopher friends, who just got really excited and assumed that he was making a profound point regarding the nature of language. He was too embarrassed to correct them and simply pretended like that was what he meant all along. He still isn't sure what a beetle is to this day, or if they even exist at all.

Kierkegaard at the Rave

Hegel was DJing that night and he swears the Absolute promised to meet up with him later, but Kierkegaard was pretty sure he's full of shit.

Beetle in a Box

Five naked, blindfolded men get into a hottub. The water represents the totality of facts, what we feel with our hands represents our picture of the world, and our penises...
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