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

We Live in a Society

Do I want to eat an entire cake by myself? No. Will I do it to spite Rousseau? Abosolutely.

Thomas Hobbes and The King

Eventually they took it too far though and made Hobbes "admit Rousseau was right" and he joined the revolution.

Your Money or Your Life!

Yes, that is exactly what Rousseau meant by "forced to be free".

Hobbes, Locke, and Very Silly Hats

John Locke: "Hey Hobbes."
Thomas Hobbes, wearing an extremely silly hat: "Hey Locke."
Locke: "So uh...what's with the hat?"

Hobbes: "The King said everyone has to wear silly hats from now on, and sadly, because of the social contract, i must obey."

Locke: "Isn't that...totally stupid?"
Hobbes: "I don't want to talk about it!"
Locke: "But why obey such stupid rules?"

Hobbes, putting a silly hat on Locke: "Look, do you want to have a chaotic war of all against all? Huh? Well i don't, so we have to just wear the silly hats and stop complaining about it. Here, put this on before civilization collapses."

PERSON: "No! Nobody, even the King, can desire to have me in his absolute power, to make me a slave! Any monarch which violates our sacred natural rights: life, liberty, property, and to not have to wear silly hats, is an illegitimate ruler that needs to be replaced!"

Locke, taking off the hat: "I refuse to obey an illegitimate ruler, I'm taking off my silly hat!"
Hobbes: "Locke, no!"

Bystander, in a group of people wearing silly hats: "Hey, that guy's not wearing a silly hat!"
Another bystander: "And thus, by extension, none of us need to obey the social contract."

Locke, as chaos erupts, and the crowd starts to beat them up: "God damnit Locke, I told you!"
This is actually why there was a ministry of silly walks in Monty Python, because they live in an alternate universe where Hobbes's theory of Leviathan became the dominant political text of the 20th century.

Calvin and Thomas Hobbes

Calvin: "I hate homework, why do we have to do it anyway?"
Hobbes: "Because we must all submit to higher authority if we want to avoid a chaotic, brutal war of all against all.  "
Calvin: "Oh...uh, i guess."

[next comic strip]
Bully: "Hey kid, give me your lunch money, or I'll pound you!"
Calvin: "This is an affront! An unjust coercion to my person!"
Hobbes: "Wrong! There is only physical coercion and he is giving you a free choice between robbery and pain. He is well within his moral rights to do so in the state of nature."
Bully: "Yeah! What he said."

[next comic strip]
Calvin: "Hobbes, do you ever dream of your spirit flying far away?"
Hobbes: "No, because spirits don't exist and neither do dreams, all that exists are material bodies, Now get back to obeying the monarch!"
Calvin: "I really don't care for you, Hobbes, let's not hang out anymore."
Of course Hobbes was named after Thomas Hobbes, but Bill Watterson was too much of an intellectual coward to have the majority of the comics be based around the Leviathan.

Philosophers Rebuild Society

Bertrand Russell: "The meteor wiped out everything, only we philosophers are left!  "
Plato: "This is a great opportunity to finally put our ideas into practice and design a perfect society from scratch!"

Plato: "I think we need a wise, enlightened person to be king, to understand the forms and can guide society to justice. That's why we should pick a philosopher among us to be king. "

PERSON: "Plato, we are all philosophers, how does that help?"

PERSON: "I mean...this is sort of embarrassing, but i mean like...a good philosopher?"

Adam Smith: "Look, no need to complicate things, we just need to all act in our own self interest."
Kropotkin: "Selfishness? That will never work, Adam Smith."
Smith: "Of course it will, Kropotkin!"

Smith: "We just need is a finance system that moves capital away from the unproductive landed gentries who do nothing but collect rents, into the hands of the entrepreneurs and workers who will re-invest it in productive activities."

Smith: "Okay let's start with something simpler. Free trade! Each time we trade both of us benefits. Who wants to trade me something for this muffin?"

Thomas Hobbes, clubbing Smith to death with a rock: "The muffin is mine!"

Kropotkin: "What the hell, Hobbes, what are you doing?!"
Hobbes: "There is no sovereign! There are no rules, nothing is stopping us from a war of all against all!"
Kropotkin: "Chill out, we don't need a sovereign at all, why don't we all just cooperate?  "
Hobbes: "How can we cooperate without the King threatening to kill us?! It's Impossible! It can't be done!"

Kropotkin: "Easy. Each of us will work in the mutual aid of the others. Some of us will fish, others build homes, others farm. At the end we will all share in the proceeds and live in peace and harmony."
Hobbes: "Hmm...that sounds pretty good. Yeah, let's try that! "

Kropotkin: "Great, so who knows how to fish?"

Kropotkin: "To farm?"

Kropotkin: "To build shelters? To hunt? To make clothes?"

Kropotkin, annoyed: "Does anyone know how to do anything besides philosophy?"

Russell: "I am pretty good at predicate logic and mathematics. "

Kropotkin: "Good god, we are all going to die."
"See this is why the ideal republic has a horde of simpletons, who we lie to and they do all the hard work for us."

The State of Nature: Hobbes vs Rousseau

Thomas Hobbes: "In the state of nature man lives nasty, brutish, and short lives in a war of all against all! "

Jean-Jacques Rousseau: "Wrong, Hobbes! In the state of nature man is free to live simple, peaceful, harmonious lives! They fish, hunt, and live without pride or vanity."

Hobbes: "Wrong Rousseau! In the state of nature if get a fish you are immediately clubbed in the head and your fish is stolen!"
Rousseau: "Wrong, no one steals because they have no concept of envy!"

Hobbes: "In the state of nature you can't ever have a full English breakfast because someone always steals your black sausages!"

Rousseau: "In the state of nature no one will eat disgusting English blood sausages because they eat fresh fruit right off the tree!"

Hobbes: "There is only one way to settle this, we'll visit a primitive village and see for ourselves whose theory is right!"
Rousseau: "Fine!"
Hobbes: "Fine!"

Hobbes: "So? Who was right about men living in the state of nature?"
Native tribesmen: "Well, in a way you are both right. While we mostly live peacefully and cooperate, there is certainly conflict as well. "

Hobbes, annoyed: "Is it just me or in the state of nature do they not know how to dig into a philosophical position and defend it to the extreme?"
Rousseau: "Agreed. I hate it."
Philosophy would be a lot easier if everything were black and white.

Desert Island Philosophy

Description: four philosophers are on a desert island.

Thomas Hobbes: Well, we really have a problem. We've crashed on this island and i don't see much food around."

Kierkegaard: "Yes, we do have a problem..." 

Kierkegaard: "...what is the meaning of life?"

Descartes: "What? That's not our problem Kierkegaard, our problem is that we need to establish one certain fact on which to build our framework of knowledge, otherwise how do we even know we are on a desert island at all?"

Wittgenstein: "That's not our problem, Descartes."

Wittgenstein: "Our problem is that “we have no food”, is a negative fact, which we can't empirically verified--, because we can't do that without observing that there are no further facts to observe, which is impossible."

Descartes: "No, Wittgenstein, once we ground our-"

Hobbes, shouting: "Everyone shut up! Do you idiots not understand how dire the situation is? If we don't form a society we will all be in a war of all against all, and certainly starve."

Descartes: "Ahh, I see, Hobbes. So you are saying our problem is how do we form a new society based on rational principles?"

Hobbes: "Exactly. I suggest we form a constitutional monarchy."

Descartes: "But who will be the Monarch?"

Hobbes, waving a large stick at the others: "Isn't it obvious? The one with the stick is the Monarch. Now get to work looking for food!"
"But how do you justify your idea that we all need to follow the man with the stick?" "I'll give you a one guess..."

Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophers VIII: the Sci-fi Debate

Description: Descriptions of the player characters and dungeon master.

Simone de Beauvoir, Dungeon Master. Had a moment of existential horror upon realizing PCs have freedom, and didn't have to follow her adventure.

Aristotle, Level13 Warrior, Neutral Good. It's a little known fact, but he's the one who came up with the idea of dividing people into nine essential alignments.

Edmund Burke, Level 12 Bard, Lawful Good. Laments that while he has had many beautiful adventures, he has never had a sublime one.

Thomas Hobbes, Level 12 Paladin, Lawful Neutral. His first character died at sea, after he refused to fight back against an attacking Leviathan.

Donna Haraway, Level 10 Fighter/Mage, Chaotic Good. Once tried to merge minds with an illithid to better understand underdark social structures.

de Beauvoir: "You enter the dungeon, it smells strongly of rotten flesh and mold. You can hear running water in the distance."

Aristotle: "Monsters could be right around the corner. They must go to the fresh water to drink."
Haraway: "I take out my atomic laser canon +4, and arm the missiles."

Description: Donna Haraway's character has an atomic laser canon instead of an arm.

Hobbes: "Okay, and i...wait... what?"
Haraway: "Uh...my atomic laser canon that i grafted to my arm. With +4 enchantment."

Hobbes: "Haraway, Dungeons and Dragons is a FANTASY game, not sci-fi."
Haraway: "Well, i disagree. Mixing ourselves with cybernetics allows us to better understand our roles as heroes."
Harway: "You see, the interesting thing about a cyborg is that while it has human components, and thinks like a human, it has no past."

Haraway: "This allows them to fight for no people, because they have no culture beyond what they have created themselves. Thus they can fight for all people."

Haraway: "Oh, and also they have lasers, which are super badass."
Burke: "Come ON, can we just play by the rules in the rulebook just this once?"

Haraway: "Ah, but what is the better DnD game, to follow the rules - or to freely, creatively, make your OWN rules?"

Hobbes: "Are you serious? To follow the rules, obviously!"
de Beauvoir: "Alright, relax Hobbes, I'm the dungeon master, so i get to decide."

de Beauvoir: "Hmm..."
de Beauvoir: "Hmmmm..."
de Beauvoir: "Laser cannons are allowed."
Haraway: "Yes!"
Burke: "This is so stupid!"
Haraway: "Is it stupid? Is it? Or is it the brilliant way forward into a new kind of Dungeons and Dragons?"

Aristotle: "I agree with Hobbes, this sucks. What characteristics make a good horse is different than what makes a good man. DnD is good because of fantasy and exploration. I mean it's right there in the name. DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS!"

Hobbes: "Thank you, Aristotle."

Haraway: "Maybe i'm more interesting in exploring what is possible than exploring ancient ruins. Exploring our own consciousness and society. Isn't that the greatest adventure?"

Burke, shouting: "No, the greatest adventure is killing a fucking dragon! Obviously."
Hobbes: "Precisely right, Burke. Let's all go back to following the law. There are RULES  in life! You cant just do anything willy nilly!"

de Beauvoir: "Well, lest you forget, Hobbes, i am the Dungeon Master, and that means i AM the law. You agreed to play, so you agreed to play by my rules, and i say we are exploring the future of space feminism."

Hobbes: "I'm starting to see the appeal of revolutionaries."

Aristotle: "Oh, if we are doing things willy nilly though, can i be Billy the Kidd and carry a six shooter?"
de Beauvoir: "I don't see why not, Aristotle."

Description: Aristotle puts a cowboy hat on.
Aristotle: "Yes! Space feminism rules!"
I know this is the sixth or seventh comic that Aristotle has appeared in with a cowboy hat, but this is no the canonical explanation for how he got it. These comics are all chronically out of order, it turns out, or something like that.

Potluck Economics

"What did you bring again, Marx?" "I brought the cake." "I thought Engels brought that." "Uh...it's from both of us."

Social Contract Theory: The Game

It turns out that when you agree to play a game with Camus, you implicitly agree to the "Camus Contract". That means Camus is gonna do whatever the fuck he wants.


Although Sartre was obviously in bad faith when he said that Nietzsche has a terrible mustache, because come on.

Twelve Angry Philosophers

What? You didn't expect twelve philosophers to agree on something did you?

Buried Treasure


Risk: a Game of Conquest, a Game of Philosophy

This comic actually takes place over the course of seven hours. Not shown was the six hours and fifty five minutes of rolling dice and swearing.

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.

Sartre and Hobbes play Monopoly

Hume: Just because the rules have always said that people break out of jail when they roll a double in the past doesn't mean they do now. Check the inside of the box again.
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