Top 10 Philosophy Jokes

The ten sharpest philosophy jokes.

Posted Mar 02, 2013

Source: Pexels

[Article revised on 3 May 2020.]

1. Descartes invites his date, Jeanne, to a Michelin-starred restaurant for her birthday.

The sommelier hands them the wine list, and Jeanne plumps for the most expensive Burgundy on the list.

"I think not!" exclaims an indignant Descartes, and *POOF* he disappears.

2. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are on a camping trip.

In the middle of the night, Holmes nudges Watson awake, and says, "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

"I see millions of stars, my dear Holmes."

"And what do you infer from these stars?"

"Well, a number of things," he says, lighting his pipe:

Astronomically, I observe that there are millions of galaxies and billions of stars and planets.

Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.

Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.

Meteorologically, I expect that the weather will be fine and clear.

Theologically, I see that God is all-powerful, and man, his creation, small and insignificant.

What about you, Holmes?"

"Watson, you fool. Someone has stolen our tent!"

3. I am sitting with a philosopher in the garden; he says again and again "I know that that's a tree," pointing to a tree that is near us. Someone else arrives and hears this, and I tell him: "This fellow isn't insane. We are only doing philosophy."

4. A renowned philosopher was held in high regard by his driver, who listened in awe as his boss lectured and answered difficult questions about the nature of things and the meaning of life.

Then, one day, the driver approached the philosopher and asked if he was willing to switch roles for just one evening. The philosopher agreed, and, for a while, the driver handled himself remarkably well.

However, when the time came for questions, someone at the back of the room asked him, "Is the epistemological meta-narrative that you seem to espouse compatible with a teleological account of the universe?"

"That's an extremely simple question," he replied. "So simple, in fact, that even my driver could answer it."

5. How many marxists does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. The lightbulb contains the seed of its own revolution.

6. Upon waking, a woman said to her husband, "I just dreamt that you gave me a necklace of pearls. What do you think it means?"

The man smiled and kissed his wife. "You'll know tonight," he softly whispered.

That evening, the man came home with a small package which he gave to his wife. She jumped up and embraced him, and then settled on the couch to slowly and delicately unwrap the package.

It contained a book entitled, The Meaning of Dreams.

7. Two behaviorists have sex. One turns to the other and says,

"That was good for you; how was it for me?"

8. A boy was feeling very nervous about his first date, and so went to his father for advice. 

"My son, there are three subjects that always work with women: food, family, and philosophy."

The boy picks up his date and they stare at each other for a long time. The boy's nervousness builds, but he then remembers his father's advice and asks the girl,

"Do you like potato pancakes?"

"No," comes the answer, and the silence returns like a suffocating blanket.

"Do you have a brother?"


After giving it some thought, the boy plays his last card: "If you had a brother, would he like potato pancakes?"

9. Why do Marxists only ever drink horrible tea?

Because all proper tea is theft.

10. A student lent his copy of A. N. Prior's Objects of Thought to his tutor. At their next meeting, the tutor tells the student that he browsed the book and left it in the student's pigeonhole. Some time later, the student barges into the tutor's office and exclaims, "Professor, professor, someone stole my Prior!" The old man calmly replies, "You'd be lucky around here if they hadn't taken your posterior as well."

And one last one for the road

Seeing the zen master on the other side of a raging torrent, a student waved his arms and shouted out, "Master, master, how do I get to the other side?"

The master smiled and said, "You are on the other side."

Neel Burton is author of Hypersanity: Thinking Beyond ThinkingHeaven and Hell: The Psychology of the Emotions, and other books.