Friday, May 09, 2008

Days 5 and 6

I'm DONE!!!!! The philosopher final took a little over an hour. It was a good final, very strait forward (but not to the point of boredom, which plagued my lab final, because it essential just asked us to repeat what the text said.)

During my philosophy final somebody mentioned something about how many philosophers it takes to screw in a light-bulb. This clearly needed to be contemplated so:

How many philosophers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A light bulb requires either 0, or as many as there are in existence, or an infinite number of philosophers to be screwed in. For:

  • The philosopher will realize that the end of every worthwhile activity is truth. In the case of light bulbs the illumination of proper objects of truth is the only real end without which the screwing in of light bulbs is more properly left in potential. Sometimes truth is best contemplated in the dark, as when there is modern art in the room. So in this case it would take no philosophers to properly screw in the light bulb.
  • Additionally, philosophers will realize that there is some good in screwing in a light bulb this good is found in as much as it is more being in the activity (sometimes called, having a life, or actually doing something) than simple existence. In this case, as many philosophers as have no better thing to do would be required to fill as perfectly as possible the end, or goodness, of screwing in the light bulb. It is well known that philosophers have no life, and having no life is a lack of being which is improved by any being, so screwing the light bulb would further actualize all philosophers in existence. Thus screwing in a light bulb would require all philosophers
  • The philosopher will realize that the light bulb’s screwing partakes in the circle, the most perfect shape. The circle is most perfect because it has no beginning and no end. Thus the philosopher will realize that in order to be most perfect the light bulb should be screwed in continuously. No single man can screw in a light bulb continuously. To do anything that cannot be done by one being indefinitely, indefinitely, required an indefinite number of beings, therefore there must be an infinite number of philosophers to screw in the light bulb.
Thus, screwing in a light bulb requires either 0, all in existence, or an infinite number of philosophers.


Anonymous said...

Sed contra, the question is about a single posited light bulb but the responses seem to be centered on whether the philosopher should undertake this project.
Furthermore, some answers do not even answer this latter question, as the third answer takes up the premise that the action in question 'partakes in the circle' which, while marginally true, does not assist the argument. For the shape of the motion is better said as helical. While the helix has the appearance of a circle when viewed from the axis, it lacks the property that makes a circle continuous in the way desired, that of returning on itself. Additionally, the helix of a light bulb is of finite length, further limiting the application of the infinite.

Thus, the correct answer is two: One philosopher to ask whether this action should be undertaken, and one to change the bulb.

Becca said...

I am never going to make jokes in finals ever again.

Paul said...

i thought your proof was excellent, pat-pat