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Descartes's Stove (bloomsburyliterarystudiesblog.com)
36 points by Vigier 29 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 15 comments



I was taught that he climbed inside a large brick oven, which is what he literally says. Alone with his thoughts inside a quiet oven. I mean, it is the middle of winter and if other soldiers also wanted to stay warm, don't you think a heated room would be more crowded?


I majored in philosophy. Descartes is at the center of the only philosophy joke I ever heard.

Socrates, Kant and Descartes were sitting in a bar, talking about baseball:

- Socrates: Dodgers are gonna win it all this year. They're unstoppable.

- Kant: Totally agree. Betts, Ohtani, Freeman. Go Dodgers. What do you think, Rene?

- Descartes: Well, they have the hitting, but I don't think [Poof! Descartes disappears.]


The various anecdotes[0] about Diogenes are almost nothing but jokes[1]; he used humanity as his straight man.

— Not the Diogenes? I have been looking for you... I am Alexander, king of Macedon, called by some "the Great"; do you have any boon you wish to ask of me?

— Yes: please move a little to the left. You're standing in my sun.

[0] https://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/gr...

[1] compare Moore's The Comedian? "It came true. You're lookin' at it."


Here are two more for you.

Sartre is sitting at a cafe and orders coffee with no cream. The waiter says, "I'm sorry, Monsieur Sartre, we are all out of cream -- how about with no milk?"

man goes to bertrand russell. says he hates his beard but will not shave it. russell says "treatment is simple. great barber pagliacci is in town. he will shave all men (and only those men) who will not shave themselves." man bursts into tears. "but bertrand,"


Descartes sits down in his seat on an airplane and the steward asks, "would you like some tea?", to which Descartes replies, "I think not" and poof!, he disappears out of existence.


I could use an explanation of the last one.


It’s a combination of Russel’s paradox, and the joke about a clown named pagliacci.

Russel’s paradox is: there’s a barber in town who only shaves men who don’t shave themselves. Does he shave himself?


"but bertrand... I am pagliacci"

Induction: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/induction-problem/


Do you expect someone to read all that or is there a particular passages that would explain the joke?


You could read the whole thing but it would be quicker to infer that if I need to explain the joke,


Assuming the converse is really putting Descartes in front of the horse.


This is a good occasion to pitch the sublime https://existentialcomics.com/comic/1


This may have been why Descartes preferred the French formulation of the cogito Je Suis, Je Exist.


"Analytic geometry represents space as a vacuum oriented by abstract coordinates and occasionally inhabited by bodies, not as an atmosphere already filled with airborne materials of varying composition, density, temperature, and velocity."

Deep stuff.


This also makes me think about Descartes' ball of wax - which he handled while pondering the Great Deceiver. One of his great writing techniques was to bring the reader to the room where he was writing at that moment in time.




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