Just wondering...

Any idea of the origin of the following "definition" of philosophy and a joke about philosophy? I heard them from the much-respected Bulgarian Academician (philosopher of physics) Azarya Polikarov (1921-2000) in the late eighties. I guess, probably like most colleagues, the authors might have been philosophers - only highly advanced human beings can joke about the subject of their own profession.

"Definition:" Philosophy is a system for abusing terminology specifically designed for that purpose.

Joke: At a party an old lady overheard that other guests refer to a young man as "Doctor." She approached him and asked some questions about her illnesses. The young man politely replied that he is not a medical doctor, but a doctor of philosophy. The old lady could not hide her surprise: "I did not know that such an illness existed."

In the picture A. Polikarov with a letter from Einstein to him.

| Main Page |