In the beginning was the word, and the word was………….. What? I don’t know.. Bird? Omelette? Vajazzle? Who knows? But there was stuff and some guys in ancient Greece wanted to know why there was stuff so they invented philosophy, which means literally “love of wisdom” or in some translations “I hate this degree, but science had loads of numbers in it.” Now, to begin with there were these guys called the pre-Socratics, and they mostly sat around pondering stuff like “What is the nature of the universe?”, “What regulates physical processes?”, “Which slaves should I pork next?” etc.. and that was fine, but everything really got going when this guy turned up either called Socrates, Sokrates or as we shall henceforth refer to him- Billy Big Bollocks ™ He mostly wandered around Greece asking irritating questions, and Athens got quite pissed about this and sentenced him to not living. He also never wrote anything down – but luckily his student Plato did- and crafted a fairly whack philosophy that still shapes our lives today. So let’s do part of it really quickly- “This is a cat, this is a cat, this is a cat also, they’re all different cats but we still get they’re cats, so there must be a perfect cat living in some perfect room above us that all cats are made from”™. He also had a student called Aristotle- who did nothing that spectacular -just basically shaped, you know “Modern Logic”™ Aristotle also argued that what separates humans from the animal kingdom is our ability to reason and not much else- an idea you will find everywhere in the modern age. “Not bad chaps, and now you’re all dead.” However, the Greeks left a legacy behind that we still feel today, stuff like: hedonism- which back then didn’t mean being a selfish dick, but rather just maximizing your own pleasure and being cheerful. Atomism- which is where we originally got the idea of well I mean, look at those little guys, they’re nice aren’t they. And then Scepticism-
which well~ I’d like to see some bloody proof for that one if I’m honest 😛 Anyway, the Dark Ages came along and fuck all happened in Europe for about a thousand years, well I mean it did obviously, we’re just not going to talk about it. And around the 11th century universities as we know them popped up in Spain, France, and England [Represent]. And for the next few centuries everyone was into this thing called Scholasticism™ – which was basically quite God-y, and was all about trying to marry ancient Greek thought to Christian thought, with um.. shall we say ‘varying results?’ This bloke St. Anselm, came up with the ontological argument for the proof of God, which people still use today, and it goes a little like this- “Imagine a perfect video game, the idea of a perfect video game will be even more perfect if it actually existed which would make it super duper perfect™, therefore a perfect video game must exist- So where the fuck is it Gabe?! About a century later, we get Ockham’s razor- which goes something like “Why is France a thing? Welllll, either malevolent aliens came down in the night yesterday, created France and all of its peoples™, and altered all of world history, in a conspiratorial attempt to subvert the course of pastry forever.. Or possibility two – Maybe it’s just been there for ages? So.. maybe it’s just been there for ages?.. “The simpler explanation is generally the correct one.” The black death, then kindly wiped out about 40% of Europeans and everyone got a bit health-conscious.. Around the 15th, century everyone stopped getting wankered everyday and switched to coffee- which maybe contributed to the Renaissance- which literally means rebirth™, where we got all nostalgic for the Greeks and Romans again. Columbus discovered some shit, da Vinci drew some shit, Shakespeare wrote some shit.. Things were really picking up. During the 18th century the Age of Enlightenment began- A modern philosophy took shape and if you’ve ever heard someone yell at a philosophy major- “Yeah, but if you work in Starbucks do you really exist?”™. Well you can thank a single Frenchman for this, called Renal Dick Art™ or Renè Descartes. And one of his big ideas, was very very briefly- ‘Let’s assume we doubt everything, What can we know for certain? Wellll, does the world exist? -Dunno™. Does my country exist? -Dunno™. Does Gilbert Gottfried exist? -Dunno™. Do I exist? -Dunno™. Am I thinking? -Yes. Does that mean I exist? -Yes! Is the answer Gilbert Gottfried? What? no..™ Does it have a tail? -No, that doesn’t even.. What are you talking about? -ah then even if everything is a dream, and everyone else is fictional, at least I know I’m a thing because I’m thinking- which must mean, I think, therefore I… Wait, is it Emma Stone? NO FOR FUCK’S SAKE!!. (Akinator™) Meanwhile, over in Britain, John Locke and David Hume, are cooking up this thing called Empiricism™- which mostly says, “Look knowledge comes from the outside world, not sitting around smoking a fatty, and having a think, you idiots, there’s also some other stuff going on- Thomas Hobbes who’s also British [Represent™]. Says humans are nasty by Nature, and we need the ‘Social contract.’ Adam Smith, more or less invented modern economics, and in 1724 Immanuel Kant was born-who we shall henceforth refer to as Walter Big Wang™ -And and proceeded to tear philosophy, A new one™ “Don’t be silly” he said, “Rationalism and empiricism could work together. Everyone just shut up, read my books, be cool.” By the way, humans have categories™ in their heads, which define how they perceive the world, and will never be able to experience the really-real-world™, because we’re not God. If you want to be moral, just act in a way that if everyone did it it will be alright, and finally #check yourself before you wreck yourself. #wash your hands after toilet time. #Mic drop. Tchüss!! [Goodbye] This sparked a whole new movement in philosophy- called German idealism. The king of that cartel, a guy called Hegel, and mostly they all wanted to know, “what you can know about objects that we know you can’t know anything about, because.. we can’t know anything… about them…” ™®© Over in America, pragmatism is getting started, which when something like – All right, Europe. Lovely ideas, but do they work in practice? If yes, good✓ If not then maybe just… sssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhshut the fuck up✓ Natural philosophy, which was the study of the natural world, by then is being called science™. Science, also now has the scientific-method™. The basic rules of which are- If you notice weird shit, think about why it happened, test your theory, if your theory works✔, let other people check it, and if it doesn’t, then yeah, well done anyway, Have a.. a biscuit or something ?
Meanwhile German philosopher and all-around nice guy Nietzsche, hated everyone including God, who he killed, and said the civilization was heading towards catastrophe, and there’s no structure to the world except what we give it- which will be important in a moment- P.S. Nothing means anything, and we’re all gonna die 😀 -Morty Sanchez And we’re into the 20th century, by now philosophy has official categories namely: epistemology©- can we know shit? metaphysics©- how does shit ultimately work? ethics©- how do we know good shit from bad shit? Logic©- how do we reason shit? and aesthetics©- why this shit looks so nice. And there are loads of new movements, popping up such as existentialism©- which said look, you’re free in the world and that might suck, but just roll with it mate, you can define yourself™, and people started asking lots of questions- like how does sentience work? And other such things as human rights, and no seriously is it Gilbert Gottfried? And there’s this thing happening called post-modernism, which well it’s hard to…yeah ok, so there was modernism right, look at this- modern isn’t it? There are rules and forms and stuff, but eventually some people got bored of it and said, “Well, there’s no real narrative to anything, and everything is interpretation”- except for that statement for some reason- and stuff like this happened.. And this.. yeah..mm.. Anyway, yeah.. So.. where are we now, Well… recently, philosophy has largely boiled down to moral questions. Is abortion a right? How should you run a society? Can we use science to determine morality? And that’s the state of things today. These days science is hoovering up lots of big questions that started in philosophy, like- What is matter made of? And how do living things work? and stuff.. and even if you think philosophy has no purpose anymore, that’s fine, but it did once. There was a time, when it was the mother of almost all knowledge, and if you should be so brave or silly, as to embark on your own undergraduate adventure in philosophy, and people wish you all the best with a future career in telemarketing, just quietly remember there is yet work to be done. We still don’t know what we’re doing here. Consciousness is still a mystery The origin of matter is still a mystery, SO YOU HEAR THAT, DAD? With reference to all your bullshit.. DAD. Well yeah, I might be nearing 30, and fine, I picked the wrong degree, I get it, And no, I still don’t know what the stock market is, or when the post comes, or how to shave my testicles without inadvertently castrating myself, but by the power of Grayskull, if someone held us up at gunpoint, and shouted “You better extensively explain Aristotle’s position on dogs or you’re both fucking dead!” Let’s just say I’d be walking home a hero that night, so put that in your pipe and smoke it, DAD! Not so fucking funny anymore is it, DAD? Who’s. Laughing. NOW. *Dad.* And then, [coughs] if could maybe just hurry up, and send me that money for rent that’d be great [squeaks] [Music]