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

Pride and Prejudice and Logical Positivism

"It is a truth universally acknowledged... "

"...that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want..."

"...of an exact scientific language with a specific formal structure and signs that are governed by the rules of deductive logic."

Description: Carnap gets out of his carriage to attend a ball.

Carnap's friend: "Well Mr. Carnap, do you see any girls you like?"

Carnap: "No, because none of them can give me an exact scientific language with a specific formal structure and signs that are governed by the rules of deductive logic."

Mary Warnock: "But don't you find that even if you create such a language, it will be grossly inadequate to discuss the most important question in life?"

Carnap: "No i do not."
Warnock: "I see. Good day, sir."

Carnap: "Who is that young woman?"
Friend: "Baroness Mary Warnock"
Carnap: "I dislike her even more than the rest."
"Later...Mary Warnock comes in out of the rain to Carnap's Villa"

Carnap: "Oh, it's you again, I don't want to marry you."

Warnock: "I don't want to marry you either. "
Carnap: "Oh. Then what do you want?"

Warnock: "I just came here to tell you that your idea that moral statements are “meaningless” has immensely harmed our ability to discuss the good."

Warnock: " and we as philosophers should be working towards clarifying moral questions, and answering real concrete questions in the world, not making them impossible to answer. "

Warnock: "I think your philosophy is second rate, and bound to fail in the end. Good day."

Carnap: "Hmm, maybe i am in love with her."
Carnap: "Too bad the concept of “love” has no empirical content and is therefore meaningless."
"Why don't I want to marry you? Because you are a fuckin' nerd, Carnap, that's why."

On The Usefulness of Philosophy

Carnap: "Hey, do you guys ever get the feeling that everything we are doing is totally pointless? "

Wittgenstein: "What do you mean, Carnap, like that life is pointless?"

Carnap: "No Wittgenstein, worse than that: what if...philosophy is pointless!?"

Carnap: "What if all of our arguments are just mental masturbation, and empirical science is the only thing capable of generating real knowledge?"

Wittgenstein: "Don't be stupid, of course philosophy is useful."

Carnap: "How so?"
Wittgenstein: "Without philosophy, how else could we ever determine whether or not we needed philosophy?"

Carnap: "That is true."
Wittgenstein: "Think next time before you say something."
"Also, who else is every going to figure out whether or not chairs exists? Scientists? Not a chance."

The Philosophers Dating Game

Host: "Welcome to the philosophers dating game. Simone de Beauvoir will interview our three mystery philosophers and decide which to go on a date with. Let's begin."

Simone de Beauvoir: "Contestant number one, if you could imagine an ideal dream date, what would it be?"

Bertrand Russell: "I would spend the night setting up a formal system of dating that is grounded in pure logic. "

Simone de Beauvoir: "Uh...okay. Contestant number two, what was the best real date you ever had?"

Alexius Meinong: "Well I went on a date with Pamela Anderson and she said she loved my system of ontology."

Simone de Beauvoir: "No, I said real dates."

Alexius Meinong: "Well, imaginary things are real, they are just lacking the property of existence. So in a sense I've been on a hundreds of great dates."

Simone de Beauvoir: "Contestant number three, what do you find to be most beautiful in a woman?"

Rudolf Carnap: "Actually i think you'll find that question to be nonsense because it has no empirically verifiable content."

Alexius Meinong: "Alright, you know what? On second thought i don't want to date a philosopher at all. They are a bunch of weird nerds."
Host: "Yes, that's what most of the contestants say."
Unpopular opinion: Aristotle was the beginning of the downturn of western philosophy, because he changed the philosophy of Socrates into what was a fundamentally nerd philosophy. In this essay I will...

Verificationist Man

Caption: "In a world rife with metaphysical
speculation, only one man has the
intellect, courage, and commitment
to verifiable science to do stop it... "

Caption: "...also, he was the only one who was a big enough nerd to care so much about stuff like that."

Caption: "He was, Principle of Verification Man!"
Description: It is Rudolph Carnap in a cape.

Carnap: "Hooray for science!"

Leibniz: "Mind and body coincide not due to causation, but because of a pre-established harmony ordained by God."

Carnap, slapping him: "That statement has no empirical content that can be verified by the sense, so it is...nonsense!"

Kant: "Reality is in itself unknowable, we can only observe the phenomenal world."
Carnap, slapping him: "Nonsense!"

Whitehead: "Reality consists of processes rather than material objects."

Schlick: "Only statements that are empirically verifiable are cognitively meaningful."
Carnap, slapping him: "Nonsense!"

Schlick: "Carnap, what are you doing? That's our theory!"
Carnap: "Wait...shit, no, hold on..."
Wait a minute, I don't care that at all, because the verification principle isn't making a metaphysical claim it is making a suggestion about how we should talk about things.

Three Little Philosophers of Science

"Once upon a time there were three little philosophers of science. The first philosopher, Rudolph Carnap, built his theory on the principle of verificationism."

"But then along came the big bad wolf, who blew his philosophy down because it couldn't adequately demarcate between science and non-science."

"The second philosopher, Karl Popper, built his theory on the principle of falsification."

"Then along came the big bad wolf, who blew his philosophy down because no actual scientific theory ever has an exact set of falsifiable criteria."

"The third philosopher, Thomas Kuhn, built his theory on a rigorous sociological account of working scientists."

"Then along came the big bad wolf, and he blew that theory down too, because it descended into relativism. It turns out that philosophy of science is hard."

Thomas Kuhn, shouting: "God damnit, you are all misinterpreting me! "
Kuhn: "is my theory crumbling because I am forced to make an increasing number of ad hoc adjusts, exactly how I described scientific theories crumble before a paradigm shift? No, it's the kids who are wrong."

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."

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."

The Vienna Circle Faces a Crisis of Logical Positivism


It didn't work.

The Bar Fight


Not shown: Camus triumphantly rebelling against the absurd by picking up a woman at the bar.

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 of the Science of Poker



The Incommensurability of that one annoying friend who always goes all in

World Cup Philosophy: Germany vs France




For best results, the commentator should be read in the voice of Michael Palin

The Analytics at the Bar


Unfortunately, all the girls left the bar too - scared off by William James

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.

The Germans Play Monopoly


I'm not sure what they expected, it was inevitable really.
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