Philosophical WTF



  • My cousin and her husband were taking a philosophy course. For the exam, the teacher placed a wooden chair (no relation to a wooden table) in front of the students, and instructed them to write an essay proving that the chair exists.

    My cousin, an English major, ripped into it and wrote 22 pages to explain why the chair exists. Her husband, a mathematician, wrote, in it's entirety: "What chair?"

    He got the only "A".

     



  • Sounds like something I would see in a chain letter that would somehow transition into religion and tell me to add my name and forward it on.



  • The last time I heard that story, almost word-for-word verbatim, was five years ago when I took my last philosophy course. That story's been around for ages man!



  • Were I the subject of this urban legend, I would have instead written "What Essay?"



  • [quote user="RayS"]Were I the subject of this urban legend, I would have instead written "What Essay?"
    [/quote]

    And the teacher replied, "What exam?" 



  • "What grade?"



  • [quote user="plato"] My cousin and her husband were taking a philosophy course. For the exam, the teacher placed a wooden chair (no relation to a wooden table) in front of the students, and instructed them to write an essay proving that the chair exists.

    My cousin, an English major, ripped into it and wrote 22 pages to explain why the chair exists. Her husband, a mathematician, wrote, in it's entirety: "What chair?"

    He got the only "A".[/quote]

    Apparently no one bothers to make up new stories any more.   Hell, you could have seen it on "Sabrina the Teen-Aged Witch" (what?  I'm a sucker for talking cats): http://www.bccnet.force9.co.uk/transcripts/sttw104.htm

    Also, no decent professor would ever give an A for a 2 word answer to an essay question.  If he started with that as a thesis statement and then went on to explain his logic for that statement, maybe; it's a valid answer, but without explanation it's...well, a quote from a tv show.

    You should watch the flickering on your cave wall more, Plato, and your tv less.

    -cw



  • You don't know how weird philosophy depts are. I can quite well see that happening (maybe an A's stretching it, but under some professors, a decent grade at least), although I can also see a minimum length being applied the following year.

     

    Reminds me of the 'shortest self-replicating program' in the IOCCC, that was zero bytes of source code, and obviously outputs nothing.



  • That's a very familiar one. Sounds like the Urban Myth snopes.com disproved regarding the philosophy essay "Why?". Where the only student who got an A wrote "why not"

    If this is anything other than a pisstake, provide the university and faculty please.


     



  • [quote user="plato"]

    ...and instructed them to write an essay proving that the chair exists.

    [/quote]

    Shouldn't it be the teacher asked them to write an essay proving that the chair DOES NOT exist?

    http://www.19.5degs.com/element/18215.php 



  • [quote user="wing"]

    That's a very familiar one. Sounds like the Urban Myth snopes.com disproved regarding the philosophy essay "Why?". Where the only student who got an A wrote "why not"

    [/quote]

    Yeah, as if someone would get an A for answering a question with another question.



  • ROTFLMAO

    You are right Ironfoot.....

    The real WTF is that all posts before yours did not see that.

    The answer makes no sense, and is not funny when the essay was to prove that the chair DOES exist......



  • [quote user="CodeWhisperer"]

       Hell, you could have seen it on "Sabrina the Teen-Aged Witch" (what?  I'm a sucker for talking cats)

    [/quote]

    I would have thought you a sucker for teen-aged witches.



  • No, no, that wording is correct. By asking the teacher: "What Chair?", the teacher would have to indicate the chair proving it exists. It exists for the purposes of the essay BECAUSE the teacher used it to pose the question.

     

    heh. 



  • [quote user="danielpitts"]"What grade?"
    [/quote]

    "F."

    "Leave now."



  • [quote user="plato"]

    My cousin and her husband were taking a philosophy course. For the exam, the teacher placed a wooden chair (no relation to a wooden table) in front of the students, and instructed them to write an essay proving that the chair exists.

    My cousin, an English major, ripped into it and wrote 22 pages to explain why the chair exists. Her husband, a mathematician, wrote, in it's entirety: "What chair?"

    He got the only "A".

    [/quote]

    Of course, even if this wasn't copied verbatim from any of a number of web sites/chain e-mails, its totally bogus to think that a Philosophy prof would accept a 2 word response to an essay on a final exam.

    Anybody who took Philosophy in college knows that Philosophy teachers like you be extremely repetitive, use small words, and explain EVERY FREAKING DETAIL of your theory. That's why a simple question can spawn 10 pages of response. Every philosophical essay in college, for some reason, must be based on the single premise that the reader has no prior knowledge of the subject and in fact posesses nothing but a facility for reason -- whatever that is.

     (I hated philosophy classes.)
     



  • It seems to me like every nation has a story like this. In germany every person that has no story to tell will tell you the following story:

     

    "Dude, a friend of mine did such a cooooool and craaaaaaazy thing, you know. He had to write an exam and the question was "What is audacity? So he just wrote "That right here is audacity" and left the room. The teacher gave him an A for that, omg this is so cool right?"

     

    Attention whores.

     



  • [quote user="savar"][quote user="plato"]

    My cousin and her husband were taking a philosophy course. For the exam, the teacher placed a wooden chair (no relation to a wooden table) in front of the students, and instructed them to write an essay proving that the chair exists.

    My cousin, an English major, ripped into it and wrote 22 pages to explain why the chair exists. Her husband, a mathematician, wrote, in it's entirety: "What chair?"

    He got the only "A".

    [/quote]

    Of course, even if this wasn't copied verbatim from any of a number of web sites/chain e-mails, its totally bogus to think that a Philosophy prof would accept a 2 word response to an essay on a final exam.

    Anybody who took Philosophy in college knows that Philosophy teachers like you be extremely repetitive, use small words, and explain EVERY FREAKING DETAIL of your theory. That's why a simple question can spawn 10 pages of response. Every philosophical essay in college, for some reason, must be based on the single premise that the reader has no prior knowledge of the subject and in fact posesses nothing but a facility for reason -- whatever that is.

     (I hated philosophy classes.)
     

    [/quote]

    Yeah, philosophy is nit picking insanity. If it were possible to get good grades for two word essays, then it would be possible to blitz most philosophy courses with the words "Shit happens."

    Philosophy is, for the most part, more and more complicated ways of stating this fact or enquiring into the validity of this fact only to find it be true. And even if someone proves it wrong, you know what? Shit happens.



  • [quote user="Some Idiot"]

    If it were possible to get good grades for two word essays, then it would be possible to blitz most philosophy courses with the words "Shit happens."

    [/quote]

    It is possible for two words to be brilliant.

    It is also possible for two words to be brillant.

    It all depends on the context. A philosophy professor would understand this. It is entirely possible that the right two words in response to the right question would in fact garner an A on a philosophy assignment.

    Furthermore, I'd not be so quick to complain about the original poster. I've had people I know regurgitate various urban legends as things that actually happened to them, and on one occasion I have been present when a friend really did receive a support call asking about the cup holder on a PC. The friend in question, of course, had heard the story of the CD tray and rapidly "educated" the caller - who in all likelihood had ALSO heard the story and was just making a prank call. So even if this story has no basis in truth, anyone along the chain might have been the one responsible for the setup.

    Besides, perhaps the philosophy professor had heard the story, and was mightily amused when a student responded with the stock answer. Philosophy grades are not given for being smart or knowing the material, but for agreeing with the professor.

     



  • [quote user="CDarklock"]

    Philosophy grades are not given for being smart or knowing the material, but for agreeing with the professor.

    [/quote]

    Shit happens.



  • [quote user="CDarklock"]

    Furthermore, I'd not be so quick to complain about the original poster. I've had people I know regurgitate various urban legends as things that actually happened to them...

    [/quote]

     It is also tempting to belittle the intelligence of those who take the bait on these urban legend tales. But I've known a lot of very smart people fall for the circulating email, just because they don't follow snopes.com as faithfully as I.

     [quote user="CDarklock"]

    Besides, perhaps the philosophy professor had heard the story, and was mightily amused when a student responded with the stock answer. Philosophy grades are not given for being smart or knowing the material, but for agreeing with the professor.

     [/quote]

    I have what might be called a 'split-level' college career. I attended my university 1985-87, and again 2000-2002, when I graduated with my bachelor's degree in December. In  my 'first' college career, I took Philosophy 115, which was 'Logic.' The course dealt with syllogisms, ANDs, ORs, and fallacies. It was very useful for an IT student.

    When I returned to school, I still had to take one more philosophy course, so I took 'Intro.' The man's lectures were as dry as toast. There were no projects, no quizzes - just 2 tests, then the final. The tests were 3 essay questions, you pick 2 and get to writing. That was your grade. It was plain from the teaching style that flights of fancy on the essays would not be rewarded. The questions were designed to make you recount the lectures, with some small insight on your part. I never broke the 'B' barrier.

    I might add that of the various articles and issues discussed in class (evolution vs. creationism, abortion, etc.), the professor never gave an indication of his opinion. I suspect this is rare, though. This was my first class on September 12, 2001. The professor came in and said, "For what it's worth, I'm not interested in the lecture either." He then proceeded to give the lecture. 


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