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Banner advertisement, Facebook.
“C-o-g-i-t-o . . . e-r-g-o . . . s-u-m.”
I never used to pay any attention to those ads for on-line degrees until the other day at work. Sheree Lynn, the boss’s daughter, is supposed to report to me in human resources but her dad left early to play golf and all of a sudden she’s prancing around like she’s Assistant Director of Benefits!
Socrates: “Take my On-Line Philosophy course, and in a few short months you’ll have a Plato of your own to write stuff down for you!”
I tell ya–that kinda insubordinate crap royally frosts my ass. So I decided right then and there–enough is enough! I’m getting my on-line degree in philosophy and busting out of this sweatshop.
“Should we be willing to call anything a thing? Show your work.”
I’d been thinking about it for a long time and if you think, therefore you am–Descartes said that. I’d see those little emoticons for “Law Enforcement” and “Nurse” in the ads when I’d check out singles in my area, and I was always intrigued by the one for “Philosopher.” The ones for the other top professions were smiley faces, but the one for Philosopher was a frowny-face. I liked that–it must mean philosophers don’t have to suck up to their bosses!
Arthur Schopenhauer: Wrote In-a-Gadda-da-Vida, later recorded by Iron Butterfly.
So I been saving up for the course, and today I took the plunge. Philosophy’s a profession that’s almost recession-proof. For other jobs, the unemployment rate goes up and down all the time, but for philosophers like 90% are unemployed all the time. You can’t beat those odds!
“What is truth? Well, like if a guy says he ‘needs some space’ but he’s actually porking your best friend, his prior statement was false.”
The first course they sent me was epistemology–maybe because I’m studying to get an e-Ph. D. Anyway, epistemology is the study of how we know we know the things that we think we know. It’s really interesting, but it’s like a House of Mirrors! You can’t think or say anything without immediately questioning it. Makes me glad I’m taking the course on-line. What if I was in a real class and had to go to the bathroom and asked to be excused and the professor said “How do you know you have to go to the bathroom?” I could wet my pants before I thought up an answer!
Spinoza: Z-z-z-z-z . . .
But it got me thinking–how do I know that my on-line degree in Philosophy is real? I mean, if I went to a real school I’d see other kids and a professor in class, even though the testimony of the senses is notoriously unreliable. But as a student in an on-line Department of Philosophy, the things I see when I look around me are my crappy couch that my ex-roommate Cindy spilled Diet Pepsi on, my sick spider plant that seems to occupy a crepuscular netherworld between death and life, and my cat Kitzi. Is that sufficient for me to be able to assert without fear of contradiction that my degree will be the real deal?
“I wanna be a Superman–just like Nietzsche!”
The critical thinking skills I’ve developed so far tell me no. So I look around my kitchenette for additional evidence in support of what I believe is a synthetic versus an analytical proposition. Let’s see–CD player, unicorn poster, blender for margaritas, bills, more bills–even more bills.
Wait–that’s it! I rip open the envelope from Mastercard and there it is! $89.99 to eUniversity.com, Introduction to Philosophy. Just like Samuel Johnson refuting Bishop Berkeley by kicking a rock or a dog or something!
It doesn’t get any realer than a bill, unless you dispute something or somebody stole your credit card, which never happened to me, although sometimes I’ll dispute something if like I buy a pair of capri pants and take a ride on some guy’s motorcycle and they get a bunch of those little pilly things on the seat. The seat of the pants, not the seat of the motorcycle.
I bet I get an A++!
Available in Kindle format on amazon.com as part of the collection “Let’s Get Philosophical.”