Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar . . .: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes
Paperback – June 24, 2008
Teaches the principles and concepts of philosophy through one-liner jokes, vaudeville humor, cartoons, and limericks, in an irreverent introduction to the great philosophers and philosophical traditions, from Existentialism to Logic. Reprint.
This New York Times bestseller is the hilarious philosophy course everyone wishes they’d had in school.
Outrageously funny, Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar... has been a breakout bestseller ever since authors—and born vaudevillians—Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein did their schtick on NPR’s Weekend Edition. Lively, original, and powerfully informative, Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar... is a not-so-reverent crash course through the great philosophical thinkers and traditions, from Existentialism (What do Hegel and Bette Midler have in common?) to Logic (Sherlock Holmes never deduced anything). Philosophy 101 for those who like to take the heavy stuff lightly, this is a joy to read—and finally, it all makes sense!
And now, you can read Daniel Klein's further musings on life and philosophy in Travels with Epicurus and Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change it.
"[Cathcart and Klein] know their stuff, and wear their learnedness lightly, and Plato and a Platypus is a pleasure to read.…I can't help but love this book, and I have been quoting liberally from it" —Philosophy Now
"A Hoot." —Times Literary Supplement
"What happens when you mix corny jokes, one-liners and vaudeville humour with some of life's great lessons? You get an extraordinary read you'll want to share with as many people as possible." —Orlando Sentinel
“The zaniest bestseller of the year.” —The Boston Globe
“I laughed, I learned, I loved it.” —Roy Blount, Jr.
About the Author
Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein pursued the usual careers after majoring in philosophy at Harvard. Tom has worked with street gangs in Chicago, doctors at Blue Cross Blue Shield, and has dropped out of various divinity schools. Daniel has written several novels and nonfiction books as well as jokes for comedians like Flip Wilson and Lily Tomlin. Daniel Klein lives in Massachusetts, and Thomas Cathcart lives in New York City.