Monday, December 31, 2007

Great philosophical debates presented in the form of food

1. An ontological proposition about the tastiest blancmange

- There is a blancmange that is defined as tastier than all the rest.

- Something that exists is tastier than something that does not exist.

- Therefore, the tastiest blancmange exists.

2. The meeting of Hume and Rousseau

HUME: Strawberries and cream! I put it to you, my dear fellow: you can choose to accept it or not!

ROUSSEAU: Whipped cream?

HUME: No, straight from the cow.

ROUSSEAU: Sacre bleu! I prefer mutton chops!

HUME: Sausages, perhaps?

ROUSSEAU: On these points, a compromise must be found. Potatoes with butter stuffing?

HUME: Pumpkin, I think.

ROUSSEAU: Pumpkin it is then.

3. Nietzsche's complex relationship to sponge cake

The sponge cake is gone. The sponge cake remains gone. And we have eaten it. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has disappeared under our knives: who will wipe this cream off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become sponge cakes simply to appear worthy of it?

However, Kierkegaard later modified Nietzsche's 'we must become as the sponge cake was' theorem to 'we all live in the eternal sponge cake. It is so much more sponge cake than we can ever be. Let us all eat it and rejoice.'

4. A recipe for Plato's Republic

- Take a liberal serving of philosophers.

- Sprinkle lightly with Socratic dialogue, marinate.

- Stew them in their own aphorisms.

- Serve, as philosopher kings, with cheese and a dash of salt.

5. Syllogisms

- Only fools eat snot.
- Heinrich is a fool.
Therefore: Heinrich eats snot.

- Some bananas are green.
- The supermarket frequently stocks yellow bananas.
- Marilyn buys only green bananas.

Therefore: Marilyn does not buy bananas from the supermarket frequently.

- Hedgehogs taste the best when made with Arrowroot biscuit.
- Esmerelda's hedgehogs are not made with Arrowroot biscuit.
Therefore: Esmerelda's hedgehogs do not taste the best.

6. Aphorism

- Those who can, eat; those who can't, nibble.
- Man cannot live his life on bread alone, but with jam things look pretty bright.
- How many creaming sodas must a man pour down before he can go to the toilet?

See also: Thus Ate Zarathustra, by Woody Allen


proserpina said...

Whenever I see the word "ontological" I think of an unexpectedly boring subject I took at university called "Philosophy of Religion". I think about three seminars were spent on the ontological argument for the existence of God. God knows how. And when I did political philosophy, the very forthright young man taking the tutorial on Plato's Republic spent an inordinate and incomprehensible amount of time arguing that Bjork's "Human Behaviour" has a more philosophically apt title than some Madonna song I've forgotten. I wish someone had thought of illustrating it all with cake- might have made more sense!

However, in penance for the creaming soda line you must say three Hail Marys and listen to "Blonde on Blonde" ten times.

TimT said...

I came up with a better creaming soda line last night. I had it with an icecream so it turned into this pink fluffy stuff, and I remarked, "It's like drinking a Care Bear!" Just felt I should record it for posterity.

I think about three seminars were spent on the ontological argument for the existence of God. God knows how.

God knows how, but more importantly, philosophers can prove that God knows how.

proserpina said...

I believe that's called a Shirley Temple in most fine dining establishments, but the idea of drinking a Care Bear is indeed a more pleasing one, not least because you wouldn't get quite so much bone and gristle stuck in your teeth, although there might be more inconvenient hair. You remind me that it's been far too long since I've had a Care Bear. I love creaming soda, but, as with most things which are red and sweet, it gives me a migraine. This might have something to do with the food colouring or, as I prefer to believe, it might have deep and dark Freudian origins, since the red sweets are my favourites.

And, as to the rest, yairs, very sharp indeed.

proserpina said...

My scrabble opponent just played "westies" for 87 points. I have to have the reassurance of someone agreeing with me- that's most definitely not cricket, is it?

Maria said...

The Heinrich eats snot one is not logically sound.

Only fools eat snot
Heinrich is a fool

.... does not follow that Heinrich eats snot. Because while Fools are the only consumers on the snot-market, and Heinrich is a fool, It does not establish that there could not be a fool who is another type of eater. A non-snot eater. Perhaps a hippo-eater or a sushi-eater.


Fools eat only snot
Heinrich is a fool
Therefore Heinrich eats snot.

If: All fools eats snot
Heinrich is a fool
Therefore Heinrich eats snot

Oh gosh I am boring myself. It's too late ... I mean early ... for syllogisms ... for me.

I must say I had not put Heinrich and snot together for some time. In fact any time before this. Thankee for the opportunity, TimT.

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This is really rare debate I think those are the usual things in order to begin to philosophize because it's something common.

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