Customer Reviews for

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar...: Understanding Philosophy through Jokes

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Delightfully Humorous

I chuckled my way through this book. Anyone who believes philosophy is dull and better relegated to the musty halls of the previous century will be both surprised and delighted by Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar. The book opens with a quotation from Groucho Marx,...
I chuckled my way through this book. Anyone who believes philosophy is dull and better relegated to the musty halls of the previous century will be both surprised and delighted by Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar. The book opens with a quotation from Groucho Marx, thus setting the tone for the future!

What follows is a delightful comparison of age-old philosophy from various schools of thought worldwide to today's modern, confusing and often downright hilarious world. Included in the book are humorous cartoons from several artists, a glossary of philosophical terms and a timeline of great moments in the history of philosophy. I laughed and I learned a bundle. Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar is a must for every librarian, scholar, student, professor or New Age theorist who ever blinked up at the bright sun and quietly asked the question, "Why?" Good for general reading and, in my humble opinion, a most worthy addition to one's permanent library.

posted by AnnBKeller on July 16, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Entertaining read

This book was an entertaining read on a boring subject. I found it funny and very pertinent.

posted by kyred on April 11, 2010

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  • Posted July 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Delightfully Humorous

    I chuckled my way through this book. Anyone who believes philosophy is dull and better relegated to the musty halls of the previous century will be both surprised and delighted by Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar. The book opens with a quotation from Groucho Marx, thus setting the tone for the future!

    What follows is a delightful comparison of age-old philosophy from various schools of thought worldwide to today's modern, confusing and often downright hilarious world. Included in the book are humorous cartoons from several artists, a glossary of philosophical terms and a timeline of great moments in the history of philosophy. I laughed and I learned a bundle. Plato and a Platypus Walk Into A Bar is a must for every librarian, scholar, student, professor or New Age theorist who ever blinked up at the bright sun and quietly asked the question, "Why?" Good for general reading and, in my humble opinion, a most worthy addition to one's permanent library.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Bathroom Read

    If you're buying a book about Plato and a platypus, chances are, you don't need a read course on philosophy. I think this book is equally entertaining for academics who need basic references in philosophy as well as those who enjoy tidbits of half-witted jokes to understand complicated ideals like existentialism.
    The book is divided up into easy-to-understand sections, but I would not call this an authoritative text on philosophy. It's sometimes funny, sometimes interesting, and sometimes worth a minute or two. I think it's a perfect book for the bathroom, to be honest. I would not sit down and read this book all in one sitting and it's not Cliff Notes for those being tested on philosophy. But if you want something conversational, entertaining, and hate subscribing to magazines, this book is for you.
    Buy it for your professor in the humanities, buy it for a student who could use a little help in the area, buy it for someone who reads the New York Times but not the New Yorker.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Funny and Enlightening

    I took a philosophy class in college and fell asleep almost everyday but always regretted not understanding philosophical ideas that are common place. This book explained them in a fun and interesting way that was not only comprehensible but did a pretty good job of keeping me awake. It's probably not the best book for someone who's already a philosophy expert but for someone who is just trying to figure it out, it's a good choice. Also, the jokes are pretty funny at times.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2010

    A very entertaining and enjoyable read

    I loved reading this book- it was funny; I laughed at least once per page.
    I read a few pages over several sittings, so perhaps that accounts for my feeling of not having actually learned all that much about philosophy, but I would recommend it to everyone looking for some entertainment, and I would still recommend it to someone who is on the prowl for some clarification of philosophic concepts, for they may have far better luck than I did!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2010

    Great Book!

    I am not presently reading this book perse but my boyfriend is, right next to me and laughing out loud on almost every page. So no, I'm not reading it but I am having the hilarious jokes read to me minute by minute. I will read the book when he is done but I feel like I am already involved. What a hilarious and wonderous little collection of insights and explinations this book has - I feel very secure reviewing it as yes indeed I have heard almost every one!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A rabbi, a priest,...

    These guys are hysterical; I'd love to hear them do a regular podcast. A philosophical version on "Things you missed in history class". I don't know how much I really learned but I had a great time doing it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2010

    Entertaining read

    This book was an entertaining read on a boring subject. I found it funny and very pertinent.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fun read, maybe learn something too

    Philosophy is so hard to get through, so this little book with its humor made some things clearer. I'm not sure I'll remember much, but I did appreciate the glossary and index at the end of the book for reference. I remember struggling with a general Philosophy course in college. This book would be a good addition to a syllbus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    one of the funniest books I have read for a long time.

    What is ' understanding?'
    After reading this book you are as far from understanding philosophy as you ever were but you will be very curious to find out more.
    Your faith in the human species will be a little bit restored.
    It is a first class feel good book.
    Keep it close to you for every day reference.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    Philosophical conversationalists, Dimitri and Tasso, have been ordained by Cathcart and Klein to guide us through a brilliantly written tome-free survey of philosophy as viewed through the lens of a 21st century skeptic. Plato and a Platypus opens the doors to the various schools of philosophy employing whimsical contemporary illustrations that at once surprise and inform the reader. There are startlingly delightful cartoons, too. Each page offers up an intro to a serious speech, an ice-breaker for a cocktail party, or an intellectual game for a baby shower. The reader is at once compelled to both keep reading and to cut away to share a passage with a friend. (That¿s what literate people do when tweaked--they read to one another. I suggest it be limited to people over the age of 6, though my 5-year-old grandson became intrigued when I shared a tongue-in-cheek segment.) Yet, this book is far from one big joke. It is a scholarly work, complete with timeline and glossary, both of which are laced with humor that belie the academic content. It would be a rational text for many a college class. Critical thinking comes to mind. So do religion, ethics, math, logic, pragmatism, and English composition. If you buy one, buy two. This little reader is the perfect gift book for celebrations and simple pleasures. It is ideal for the friendly neighborhood philosopher. It is also a fine open-anywhere for moments when you want to think deeply without the weight of war or taxes. It is a definite buy and keep book. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2012

    Recommended - for children ages 15-90.

    Philosophy made fun. Filled with funny and clever jokes. Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein work great together. I will be reading their other books as well hoping they are as good or better.

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  • Posted March 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Fun introduction to Western philosophy

    I'm just far enough away from the philosophy classes I took in college that I don't really want to delve into individual works by each philosopher, but I'm still just as fascinated by and interested in their ideas as I ever was. What, then, to do? Pick up Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar, of course! It was just as amusing as I'd hoped, and a rather surprisingly adept and lucid presentation of many of the main ideas throughout the history of philosophy. I would've appreciated a bit more information on Eastern philosophy and the ideas behind feminism, but this slim volume does an excellent job of presenting philosophy as encountered by those in the authors'---and my own---day-to-day Western existence.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Started out okay...

    I was laughing at the beginning (the book showed lots of promise), but by the end, the jokes didn't interest me as much as the topics did. And there was a small section regarding capitalism and communism that ticked me off. I didn't agree with the authors' premise regarding these issues, and it made the rest of the book less palatable for me. I don't regret reading it, but won't be recommending it to anyone that I know.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Lifts the Academic Stigma of Philosophy

    I took Philosophy in at the University of Tennessee. Man was I confused.
    This little book will give the prospective student a good insight to the science of thought without having to cut away the "fat" served in the traditional class room. The old thinkers fretted over word play. I re-learned what I had studied in college but on a more "down to earth" format. Now I understand. These Harvard writers lay it all out in plain simple english and explain the logic that confused generations of "thinkers of thought. After reading it I was thunk.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2010

    This is funny because it explains many philosophers

    I quoted the authors in a paper in a philosophy class

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Very funny but not as enlightening as I wanted

    This was a laugh-out-loud book that has the premise of tying complex and arcane philosophical concepts to humor. I was taken by the humor but was often left in the dark about what it was trying to teach me. I have never understood philosophy and unfortunately this did not help. Did enjoy the jokes though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2009

    Funny Stuff for Smart Thinkers

    Philosophy education while making you laugh.

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  • Posted July 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Perfect for Philosophy Beginners

    This book was great. First of all, it is easy to understand and covers the main ideas of many philosophies. It gives a broad understanding of the many different types of theories and thoughts out there. Second, it is sarcastic and funny so that even beginners can understand it and enjoy it. It's captivating so that you wont want to put it down (I read it while I was on vacation in Venice haha) I'm a student and it really gave me a solid base on my quest to learn philosophical principles. This book was on my wish list for a while and I am not disappointed that I finally bought and read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2009

    Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar

    Absolutely hilarious! As a college student of philosophy, this little book brought the textbook into perspective with a lot of laughs included.
    A must read for philosophy students!

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  • Posted March 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Phunny Philosophy

    Definitely more of a joke book than a philosophy book, but an absolutely entertaining read. Serious philosophers should probably avoid this book, but "weekenders" like myself will find more than a few insights.

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