Friday, December 31, 2010

Broings On With the Philosophy Bro: An Announcement

Whats up, Interwebs?

It's been great doing these summaries all week, and I think I've got a good proof of concept here, but I've decided to discontinue this blog.

No, I'm just kidding, I'm having a blast, and I think it's so cool that you guys enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy writing them. So, the summaries will continue. Right now, I'm going to shoot for a new summary every weekday. Fair warning, it's possible that might be too much and I'll have to cut down to a MWF schedule. I know, that would suck, but shit happens (could happen).

I've gotten suggestions and questions that don't fit into a single book, or that are about parts of certain books, or general ideas - things that don't quite work into the summary format. So, every Monday I'll cover a couple of those, and it shall be called Mailbag Monday, and it will be good. Questions go to the same e-mail address, which is So do book offers, movie deals, and marriage proposals. Just kidding about that last one. What kind of bro do you think I am?

Thanks for e-mailing me suggestions! I have a huge list, which is awesome - you have ensured the future of this blog. Keep 'em coming, bros. The more people who suggest a work, the sooner I'll get to it. Hopefully. Brobably. Whenever I feel like it, really.

Over the next week, I'll be moving over to a new URL and redesigning the site, so be patient. It's going to be awesome. In the meantime, you can now get sweet PhilosophyBro apparel (obviously, more designs forthcoming) at Philosotees. If you want a design I have on something I don't, like pants or a different size or lacy panties or whatever, shoot me an e-mail. 

Also, you can now follow me at PhiloBro on Twitter. 

Also also, /r/philosophy, stay classy and thanks for the boost! You guys are awesome.

-The Philosophy Bro

John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty": A Summary

Let me start by saying that democracy is awesome.  We gave monarchy a try, and in theory it sounds like a good idea, but for some reason even when those bros started out with the best intentions, they always turn into huge assholes and get overthrown. And revolutions are a TON of work. Who wants to go through that kind of effort every single goddamn time some guy raises taxes too much? Not me. Fuck that. I value naps too much. So huge props to whoever came up with democracy. Bloodless revolutions, checks and balances, seriously, it's the tits.

Okay, but here's the problem. Yeah, I get it, the people rule themselves, but it's more like every person is ruled by all the people. And by "all the people", I mean "a majority of the people." And when shit gets out of control, how the fuck do you overthrow a majority?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nietzsche's "Thus Spoke Zarathustra": A Summary

Your humanity is conditional, and if that makes you uncomfortable, you're doing it wrong. Maybe you didn't hear, but God is dead. And good. fucking. riddance. Except, for some reason, people won't let him go and it's going to destroy humanity. Everything you've ever thought was right or wrong, you thought because someone told you. And they only told you because someone told them. But how the hell could they possibly know better than you? Who the fuck put them in charge? The Great Big Dead Guy in the sky? Fuck that. Let them waste their lives trying to please others who exist and Others who don't. 

Seriously. We have limitless potential, and we're wasting it worrying about sin and Hell and Heaven. And maybe you don't actually believe in any of that. You think that makes you better than anyone else? Wrong answer, asshole. It makes you worse.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hobbes' "Leviathan, Books I and II": A Summary

Everything is made of particles, and they're constantly bumping into each other. It's how shit moves, but that's not all -  it's how you think, and how you speak,  and how you imagine; we all interact based on the motion of these particles, and it has one very important consequence:

Dudes are fucking dicks.

Seriously, there's no way around it. Have you ever seen a guy acting like an asshole and thought, "What a fucking asshole?" Well, Spoiler Alert: You're an asshole too. Everyone is an asshole - there's no avoiding it. It's a motherfucking law of nature, like gravity or John Stamos' hair. And if we're allowed to do whatever the fuck we want, shit gets real real, real fast. One greedy motherfucker steals something , some bro preempts him with his own attack, some other guy tries to show everyone else how big his dick is, and suddenly everyone is trying to kill everyone else.

And there's only one way to fix it. It's not pretty, but it's fucking super-effective.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Plato's "The Allegory of the Cave": A Summary

Socrates: "Why do people think philosophy is bullshit? Let me put it this way - imagine you're in a cave, all chained up so you can't turn your body at all, and all you get to look at is this one wall. Some assholes behind you are making shadow puppets using the light from a fire and making echo noises and that's all you or anyone else chained up has seen or heard all your life. Sounds terrible, right? Except it's all you've ever known, shadows and echoes, and that's your whole world - there's no way you could know that, really, you're watching a slightly-improved M. Night Shyamalan film.

"In fact, you get pretty good at understanding how the patterns in the show work, and everyone else chained up is like, 'Holy shit bro, how did you know that that tree was going to fall on that guy?' and you're like, 'It's because I fucking pay attention and I'm smart as shit.' You're the smartest of the chained, and they all revere you." 

Glaucon: "But Socrates, a tree didn't really hit a guy. It's all shadows." 

Socrates: "No shit, Glaucon, but you don't know that. You think the shadows are real things. Everyone does. Now shut up and let me finish.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Camus' "The Myth of Sisyphus": A Summary

Look, so, nothing matters, right? Shit's fucking weird. We all want to know how the universe ultimately works or who's running the show or whatever, and it turns out - TRICK. FUCKING. QUESTION. No one's running the show, and the world is unreasonable. Ever had some shit happen to you that made you go, "Why the fuck did that happen? There's no reason for that." Turns out, you were right. So our attempts to impose reason on the world will fail. Death and taxes, my friend. Death and motherfucking taxes.
So what do we do? What's the point? Should we just end it if nothing matters? No, says Camus, thats the pussy way out. Instead, we should embrace the fact that nothing makes sense. Don Juan, the fuckaholic that started it all, he embraced the absurd. Life has no meaning, so he. fucked. everything. He didn't try to impose meaning or find meaning or make his own meaning - that shit is useless, and Camus says there's no hope for that, so cut it the fuck out.