PHILOSOPHICAL LIMERICKS AND CLERIHEWS

Young Saul questioned Russell on names,
And refuted quite all of his claims.
A name’s not a description,
It’s just a baptism.
And with that Russell went down in flames.

 

Charles Taylor found fault with modernity
Because it had short-changed fraternity.
The Self, he opined,
Was much more than just Mind.
With deep meaning it must be combined.

 

Robert Brandom inclined to infer
The commitments he thought that there were.
But his normative attitudes
Struck many as platitudes,
Which complaint he dismissed as a slur.

 

The philosopher Rawls would commence
By sparing the worst-off some pence.
Robert Nozick demurred,
Thought Rawls’ notions absurd.
And that was their principal difference.

 

A clever old holist was Davidson.
He found Chomsky’s linguistics just overdone.
We don’t need a theory
To parse any query.
Thanks to Quine, we have radical translation.

 

Three cheers for old Alasdair Mac,
Who said that we all must go back.
It’s a telos you need,
You’ll surely concede,
Or you’ll be without virtue, alack.

 

CLERIHEWS

 

Edmund Gettier
Couldn’t have said it better.
JTB
Wasn’t his cup of tea.

 

Simon Blackburn
Talks out of turn.
A moral mandate, he construed,
Was just an emotional attitude.

 

Tyler Burge
Could not resist the urge
To single out a thought
That looked like his, but was not.

 

Robert Brandom
Is not a man to keep mum.
He’s openly complicit
With making it explicit.

 

Saul Kripke
Would agree
That he’s nostalgic
For modal logic.

 

Judith Butler
Is a philosophical hustler
With a proclivity
For performativity.

 

Variant:
On naming, young Saul questioned Russell,
And engaged in a far-reaching tussle.
A description unique
Was just too darn weak.
A name’s function is properly causal.

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