Gerald Dworkin’s Philosophy Commonplace Book: A Review

Justin E. H. Smith in his blog:

2940044565791_p0_v1_s260x420Jerry Dworkin might not be hands-down the funniest person in the history of philosophy, but he's probably the funniest Dworkin. Not that he's had much competition. There was that one who had the line about 'clerking for Learned Hand', which always made me snicker but was probably just a one-off sort of thing, and there was that other who… well, never mind. As for Jerrys, there he's had some stiff competition indeed, and in the same broadly borschty category. But this much can be said with certainty: Jerry Dworkin has survived all the other Jerrys and all the other Dworkins, and now, with this rich epoch-making e-tome, has singlehandedly revived the genre of the commonplace book, and bequeathed to the generations a fine collection that is bound to survive its author. At least if anyone can figure out how to download the damned thing. I had to write and request a review copy, which was duly sent along. Which in turn compelled me, morally, to either fork over the $5.97 a Kindle download would have cost me, or to do a little write-up. Since I am now an employee of a French university and therefore am basically worrying at this point about stocking up enough coal for the coming winter, I decided to do the writing thing.

Let's get something straight right away. Philosophy humour is generally awful: dismal vocational coping, and nothing more, substantially no different from the bumpersticker you might spot on a sagging Econoline that reads 'Electricians Conduit Better'. And if anyone ever again suggests to me that awful Monty Python sketch about the philosophers' football match, I am just going to come clean and tell them that my ideal of humour is rather closer to Redd Foxx's classic routine, You've Got to Wash Your Ass.

More here.

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