#164 It goes both ways

#164 It goes both ways

And now for something completely different. Today’s comic is at once an homage to XKCD (one of my very favorite webcomics), and also a parodistic, and hopefully humorous, response to the most recent XKCD strip in which Randall pokes a little fun at Philosophy.

That’s all for today, hope you enjoy, and see you Thursday!

Discussion (14)¬

  1. Wm Tanksley says:

    It’s clear here that the essential feature of a philosopher is a beard.

  2. Wm Tanksley says:

    No, this is not sexist; the word “essential” is to be taken in opposition to the word “accidental”, Thomistically. See a recent LG phone advertisement for an illustration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vZfdj8alhk.

  3. Wm Tanksley says:

    Hmm, looks like your comment form reads URLs wrong. Here’s the same one without a period at the end: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vZfdj8alhk


  4. liosis says:

    A beard? I’ve heard that before. I seem to be having some sort of problem growing one. Can’t figure it out 😛 (that being that I’m female, how will I ever be a True Philosopher?)

    I loved this comic so much I printed it off for anti-inspiration. Every time some seems fantastic, you need to get another book.

  5. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter: A different take on the most recent XKCD: https://chaospet.com/2009/12/14/164-it-goes-both-ways/

  6. fractal says:

    I think I made the quantum mechanics/free will argument in a paper as an undergraduate. I no longer remember what my professor thought.

  7. Wm Tanksley says:

    fractal, you’re not alone; Conway and Kochen (one a famous mathematician, the other a famous quantum theorist) published a paper “proving” that quantum properties prove free will, both in particles and people and to the same extent. They missed a few philosophical details — for example, they paid no attention to compatiblism (a common problem with people discussing free will is that they assume magical libertarian free will), and much worse, they didn’t examine all of the meanings of their finding: according to this paper, which also covers the theorem very well, their proof needn’t apply to free will at all, but rather could simply be a disproof of strong determinism.

    Personally, I strongly suspect something’s wrong with their math, although I can’t work the math myself. The problem I see is that some of their assumptions require things like localization of effects within a small area, and although that kind of thing is intuitively easy to think about, there are not-disproven interpretations of quantum theory that state that such localization is impossible (for example, the Pondicherry interpretation). Because Pondicherry hasn’t been disproven, we can’t assume that it’s permissible to use localization of quantum effects in a proof.


  8. Wm Tanksley says:

    Oh, and liosis — I see you have a sense of humor; I hope you got my joke and didn’t think I was merely being a pig. If not, here’s a little more:

    Your lack of a beard is obviously only accidental, not essential. When a person begins to philosophize, they automatically undergo facial transubstantiation to possess a beard in essence, but not in accidence.

    (P.S. I’m not a fan of Aquinas.)

  9. […] EDIT – Hat tip to Grad Student, that in the comments below addressed me to a response to this strip, from CHAOSPET: […]

  10. chaospet says:

    Dear commenters: according to this blog, you all are responsible for 37% of the humor here. So, thanks!

  11. chaos872 says:

    President of Philosphy huh?
    I KNEW he existed and you were holdin out on me!
    it’s a mumifyed Descartes isnt it, tell me it’s a mumifyed Descartes

  12. liosis says:

    Tanksley, yes I realized it was all in good fun. Furthermore, my roommates recently suggested I needed a beret to replace my lack of beard, and I thought it was strange to see it show up twice in a short amount of time. Unfortunetly I haven’t got to Aquinas yet and don’t know exactly what sort of fun is being had. Next semester I shall understand.

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