
A photographer from a well known national magazine was assigned to
cover the fires at Yellowstone National Park.
When the photographer arrived, he realized that the smoke was so
thick that it would seriously impede or make it impossible for him
to photograph anything from ground level. He requested permission to
rent a plane and take photos from the air.
He arrived at the airport and saw a plane warming up near the gate.
He jumped in with his bag and shouted, “Let’s go!” The pilot swung
the little plane into the wind, and within minutes they were in the
air.
The photographer said, “Fly over the park and make two or three low
passes so I can take some pictures.”
“Why?” asked the pilot. “Because I am a photographer,” he responded,
“and photographers take photographs.”
The pilot was silent for a moment; finally he stammered, “You mean
you’re not the flight instructor?”
The Origin of Chapstick
The old cowhand came riding into town on a hot, dry, dusty day. The local sheriff watched from his chair in front of the saloon as the Cowboy wearily dismounted and tied his horse to the rail a few feet in front of the sheriff.
“Howdy, stranger…”
“Howdy, Sheriff…”
The cowboy then moved slowly to the back of his horse, lifted its tail, and placed a big kiss were the sun don’t shine. He dropped the horse’s tail, stepped up on the walk, and aimed towards the swinging doors of the saloon.
“Hold on, Mister…”
“Sheriff?”
“Did I just see what I think I just saw?”
“Reckon you did, Sheriff…I got me some powerful chapped lips…”
“And that cures them?” “Nope, but it keeps me from lickin’ em!
A new arrival in Hell was brought before the devil. The devil told his demon to put the man to work on a rock pile with a 20pound sledge hammer in 95 degree heat with 95% humidity.
At the end of the day, the devil went to see how the man was doing, only to find him smiling and singing as he pounded rocks. The man explained that the heat and hard labor were very similar to those on his beloved farm back in Georgia.
The devil told his demon to turn up the heat to 120 degrees, with 100% humidity. At the end of the next day, the devil again checked on the new man,and found him still happy to be sweating and straining. The man explained that it felt like the old days, when he had to clean out his silo in the middle of August on his beloved farm back in Georgia.
At that, the devil told his demon to lower the temperature for this man to 20 degrees with a 40 mph wind. At the end of the next day, the devil was confident that he would find the man miserable. But, the man was instead singing louder than ever,twirling the sledge hammer like a baton. When the devil asked him why he was so happy, the man answered,
“Cold day in hell, the Falcons must be in the SuperBowl!”
Philosophers’ Proofs that p
Davidson’s proof that p:
Let us make the following bold conjecture: p.
Wallace’s proof that p:
Davidson has made the following bold conjecture: p.
Grunbaum:
As I have asserted again and again in previous publications, p.
Putnam:
Some philosophers have argued that notp, on the grounds that q. It would be an interesting exercise to count all the fallacies in this “argument.” (It’s really awful, isn’t it?) Therefore p.
Rawls:
It would be nice to have a deductive argument that p from selfevident premises. Unfortunately I am unable to provide one. So I will have to rest content with the following intuitive considerations in its support: p.
Unger:
Suppose it were the case that notp. It would follow from this that someone knows that q. But on my view, no one knows anything whatsoever. Therefore p. (Unger believes that the louder you say this argument, the more persuasive it becomes.)
Katz:
I have seventeen arguments for the claim that p, and I know of only four for the claim that notp. Therefore p.
Lewis:
Most people find the claim that notp completely obvious and when I assert p they give me an incredulous stare. But the fact that they find notp obvious is no argument that it is true; and I do not know how to refute an incredulous stare. Therefore, p.
Fodor:
My argument for p is based on three premises:
(1) q
(2) r, and
(3) p
From these, the claim that p deductively follows. Some people may find the third premise controversial, but it is clear that if we replaced that premise by any other reasonable premise, the argument would go through just as well.
Sellars:
Unfortunately limitations of space prevent it from being included here, but important parts of the proof can be found in each of the articles in the attached bibliography.
Earman:
There are solutions to the field equations of general relativity in which spacetime has the structure of a fourdimensional Klein bottle and in which there is no matter. In each such spacetime, the claim that notp is false. Therefore p.
Goldman:
Zabludowski has insinuated that my thesis that p is false, on the basis of alleged counterexamples. But these socalled “counterexamples” depend on construing my thesis that p in a way that it was obviously not intended — for I intended my thesis to have no counterexamples. Therefore p.
Kripke:
Outline of a Proof That P1
Some philosophers have argued that notp. But none of them seems to me to have made a convincing argument against the intuitive view that this is not the case. Therefore, p.
_______________________________
1. This outline was prepared hastily–at the editor’s insistence–from a taped manuscript of a lecture. Since I was not even given the opportunity to revise the first draft before publication, I cannot be held responsible for any lacunae in the (published version of the) argument, or for any fallacious or garbled inferences resulting from faulty preparation of the typescript. Also, the argument now seems to me to have problems which I did not know when I wrote it, but which I can’t discuss here, and which are completely unrelated to any criticisms that have appeared in the literature (or that I have seen in manuscript); all such criticisms misconstrue my argument. It will be noted that the present version of the argument seems to presuppose the (intuitionistically unacceptable) law of double negation. But the argument can easily be reformulated in a way that avoids employing such an inference rule. I hope to expand on these matters further in a separate monograph.
Routley and Meyer:
If (q & notq) is true, then there is a model for p. Therefore p.
Plantinga:
It is a modal theorem that []p > []p. Surely it’s possible that p must be true. Thus []p. But it is a modal theorem that []p > p. Therefore p.
Chisholm:
Pness is selfpresenting. Therefore, p.
Morganbesser:
If not P, what? Q maybe?
Haack:
Unfortunately, by the very nature of logical codationalism I cannot offer a proof that P along the elegant lines of BonJour’s coherentist proof. Indeed, I cannot offer a PROOF that P at all, and for two reasons; first, because PROOF (as opposed to proof) embodies a linear foundationalist conception of justification that cannot survive the “up, up and away” argument, and second because BonJour’s own account of justification falls prey to the “drunken students” argument. Nor can I offer a proof that P, as I seem (like Fodor) to have mislaid my theory of the a priori.
Yet a case can be made — in modest, fallibly naturalistic terms — for P. And if the criteria embodied in codationalism are in fact truthconducive (and if they are not, then every other theory of justification is likewise a failure since codational criteria are used by coherentists and foundationalists without proper appreciation of their interconnections), then this will amount not to a PROOF nor yet a proof that P, but simply a proof that P, based on the explanatory integration of P with the rest of my beliefs that are explanatorily integrated with each other.
The explanatory integration at work in this proof is rather like that found in a crossword puzzle. . . . [Remainder of the proof is left as an exercise for the reader. For the solution, consult next Sunday's London Times.]
Margolis’s disproof that p:
The assumption that P — indeed, the belief that P is so natural and obvious as to be beyond dispute — is so deeply woven into Western thought that any attempt to question it, much less to overthrow it, is likely to be met with disbelief, scorn, and ridicule. The denial of P is a deep thesis, a theme of courage, a profound insight into the fundamental nature of things. (Or at any rate it would be if there were a fundamental nature of things, which there isn’t.) Anyone unfamiliar with the hidden brutalities of professional philosophy cannot imagine all the nasty things that will be said about someone who dares to mount an assault on P. (Just look at how neglected Protagoras is now — they even cut his writings up into tiny little bits!)
It has repeatedly been alleged that the denial of P is selfrefuting. Extraordinary! As if one bold enough to deny P would feel bound by the conventions of dialethism on which alone any charge of selfrefutation rests! Once we have seen through this delusion, we are free to dismiss as nonsense our current vision not only of philosophy and science but also that quaint notion of ‘the good life.’ We are also free to discard antiquated Hellenic prejudices as to what counts as proof and disproof, whilst retaining (of course) a proper sense of logical rigor. Hence, the foregoing constitutes a disproof of P.
Searle:
Some people have claimed that notP. How can that be? I just don’t get it. When I think about notP, it makes me sick to my stomach, and I lie awake at night worrying about the future of philosophy. Therefore, P.
Anselm:
I can entertain an idea of the most perfect state of affairs inconsistent with notp. If this state of affairs does not obtain then it is less than perfect, for an obtaining state of affairs is better than a nonobtaining one; so the state of affairs inconsistent with notp obtains; therefore it is proved, etc.
Churchland:
Certain of my opponents claim to think that notp; but it is precisely my thesis that they do not. Therefore p.
Feyerabend:
The theory p, though “refuted” by the anomaly q and a thousand others, may nevertheless be adhered to by a scientist for any length of time; and “rationally” adhered to. For did not the most “absurd” of theories, heliocentrism, stage a comeback after two thousand years? And is not Voodoo now emerging from a long period of unmerited neglect?
Plato:
SOCRATES: Is it not true that p?
GLAUCON: I agree.
CEPHALUS: It would seem so.
POLEMARCHUS: Necessarily.
THRASYMACHUS: Yes, Socrates.
ALCIBIADES: Certainly, Socrates.
PAUSANIAS: Quite so, if we are to be consistent.
ARISTOPHANES: Assuredly.
ERYXIMACHUS: The argument certainly points that way.
PHAEDO: By all means.
PHAEDRUS: What you say is true, Socrates.
Smart:
Dammit all! p.
Stove:
While everyone knows deep down that p, some philosophers feel curiously compelled to assert that notp, as a result of being closet Marxists. I shall label this phenomenon “the blithering idiot effect”. As I have shown that all assertions of notp by anyone worth speaking of, and several by people who aren’t, are due to the blithering idiot effect, there remains no reason to deny p, which everyone knows deep down anyway. I won’t even waste my time arguing for it any further.
G. E. Moore:
Some philosophers have argued that notp, on the grounds that q. To show that p, I must therefore refute q. How can I do this? I think there really is no better or more rigorous argument than the following. I know that p. But I could not know this, if q were true. Therefore, q is false. How ridiculous it would be to say that I didn’t know p, but only believed it and that perhaps it was not true! You might as well say that I don’t know I’m not dreaming now!
Three men: a philosopher, a mathematician and an idiot,
were out riding in the car when it crashed into a tree.
Before anyone knows it, the three men found themselves
standing before the pearly gates of Heaven, where St
Peter and the Devil were standing nearby.
“Gentlemen,” the Devil started, “Due to the fact that
Heaven is now overcrowded, therefore St Peter has agreed to
limit the number of people entering Heaven. If anyone of
you can ask me a question which I don’t know or cannot
answer, then you’re worthy enough to go to Heaven; if not,
then you’ll come with me to Hell.”
The philosopher then stepped up, “OK, give me the most
comprehensive report on Socrates’ teachings,” With a snap
of his finger, a stack of paper appeared next to the Devil.
The philosopher read it and concluded it was correct.
“Then, go to Hell!” With another snap of his finger, the
philsopher disappeared.
The mathematician then asked, “Give me the most complicated
formula you can ever think of!” With a snap of his finger,
another stack of paper appeared next to the Devil. The
mathematician read it and reluctantly agreed it was
correct. “Then, go to Hell!” With another snap of his
finger, the mathematician disappeared, too.
The idiot then stepped forward and said, “Bring me a
chair!” The Devil brought forward a chair. “Drill 7 holes
on the seat.” The Devil did just that. The idiot then sat
on the chair and let out a very loud fart. Standing up, he
asked, “Which hole did my fart come out from?”
The Devil inspected the seat and said, “The third hole from
the right.”
“Wrong,” said the idiot, “it’s from my asshole.” And
the idiot went to Heaven.

