Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein

Summary: A brief introduction to philosophy through jokes.

I have repeatedly commented about my lack of a philosophy background in my education. I have been reading books to make up for that for years. In some ways, I alternate between trying to get the main ideas and understanding the actual history. Both have some value but are not the same type of work.

Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar is a book that tries to get the reader to the basic ideas of philosophy but does not have much interest in the history of philosophy and how or why different movements arose. The presentation is mostly topical, with chapters on logic, metaphors, existentialism, or ethics. And the format is fairly standard. There are “jokes,” and then the jokes are explained. Some of the jokes are actually funny. And some of them are less funny.

The problem is that while I got something from the philosophical explanations, it wasn’t good enough to understand what they were explaining fully. And the jokes are funny enough to read for the humor. If you are doing what I was doing, using it to take another approach at the ideas and using this as a lighter method, then it does what it is supposed to do.

The audiobook is free if you have an Audible membership, and the Kindle edition was on sale last month. I alternated back and forth between the Kindle and the audio version. This short book has 4 hours of audio or about 200 pages of content, but there is some value. I wouldn’t pay full price for the audio or the Kindle edition. And I am not disappointed that I read it. But it isn’t going to be a highly recommended book either.

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audible.com Audiobook

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