Wednesday, November 11, 2015

In the Republican Presidential debate on Tuesday, November 10, Senator Marco Rubio said: "Welders make more money than philosophers.  We need more welders and less philosophers."  Senator Rubio might have learned from reading Plato that politicians often play fast and loose with the truth, and this is no exception.  But it is also a moment that calls for another limerick.  So here goes:

Let's hear it for Pliny the Elder,
Philosopher, discipline-melder.
But to some that poor chump
Would be richer than Trump,
If his name had been "Pliny the Welder".

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


“To signify, language is needed,
But signs have all been superseded.
All presence is absence,
And absence is non-sense:
In selling this crap I've succeeded."

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I’m down with my man, Wilfrid Sellars,
He’s one of those cool Pittsburgh fellars,
Just totally driven
To junk what he’s given:
He's one of the great myth dispellars.


With that grand Davidsonian flair
It was Donald who said, “Don’t despair!
When you meet someone new
And they’re talking to you,
Just assume that there's something up there."

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

GOTTLOB FREGE (1848-1925)

“You all have to read my Begriffsschrift,
Post Kant it should bring you great uplift.
The symbols are crazy
And all oopsydaisy,
It's logic's remarkable Boole-shift."

Thursday, April 30, 2015

WILLARD VAN ORMAN QUINE (by Warren Goldfarb)

Van Quine thought that meaning is dead
It’s not just that it ain’t in the head
You can translate one way
But there’s always much play
In construing what others have said

Note: Warren Goldfarb, prosodist extraordinaire, was my philosophical (and logical) mentor when I was an undergraduate at Harvard (1982-1986).  Had it not been for his help and sage advice, I would not be a philosopher, I would not have met my spouse, my children would not exist, and so on.  Ergo: thanks, Warren!


That iambic pentameter’s cool,
Had to learn it in primary school.
But trimeter’s the best
When the foot’s anapest:
In great poetry limericks rule.