very funny

good joke on Maggi Dawn’s site – I’ve pasted it below for those unwilling to click through…

René Descartes is sitting in a pub, he’s had a bit too much to drink, and is beginning to feel the effects.

“Another beer?” asks the landlord. “I think not,” says Descartes, and promptly vanishes.


4 thoughts on “very funny

  1. it is based on a common logical fallacy though.

    Cats have four legs, but you can’t say “This is not a cat, therefore it doesn’t have four legs”. It might be a dog and still have four legs.

    The correct version of the negation of implication is that if Descartes doesn’t exist, then he doesn’t think, which is of course true, but makes for a poor joke.

  2. Brodie: 🙂

    On the one hand for some strange reason, I find that posting that kind of complaint amuses me.

    On the other, there is a genuine difficulty, because that A => B getting switched round to !A => !B is one of the easiest logical traps to fall into, and I really think we should try to guard ourselves against it as much as possible. You leave yourself open to all sorts of manipulation by unshady characters in business, politics and the media if you aren’t alert to spot problems in thought.

    The thinking too much thing – I don’t know if I do really, but I can’t think of any measure of time better than the thought, so if there really are amounts of existing, then for a given time, the person who has thought (and experienced) the most in that time has existed more than someone who hasn’t thought or experienced as much.

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