Comic Relief --
for the pathologically philosophical



Philosophy Light-Bulb Jokes-Rev 9
by Glenn Miller (gmiller@netcom.com)

New--added 10/11/97 (from Reader submissions)

How many existentialists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Two. One to change the lightbulb and one to observe how the lightbulb symbolizes an incandescent beacon of subjectivity in a netherworld of Cosmic Nothingness.

How many Marxists does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. The lightbulb contains the seeds of its own revolution.

How many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb?
Six. One to change the bulb, and five to form a society to preserve the memory of the old light bulb.


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Added 9/29/97 (from archaeology)

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
Generally only one, but some rooms we can't even get into since 1933.

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
Are you kidding?! Why would we let them do that?! The broken bulb is a national treasure, pointing to our rich, rich history and culture. No, we would rather build a shrine there, and charge admission to see the 'ancient luminosity device'...hmmm, maybe we could even sell little figurines...

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
Actually they are afraid to do it...they think that if they remove the top layer bulb, that they will disturb the (presumed) earlier bulbs that are screwed in beneath the one that is currently showing...

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, but it will take years and years of initial site study...we have to first correlate all the surrounding furniture and domestic devices, and then decide whether the anthropological theory about the bulb being a cultic object (based on its central location in the room, its being up out of reach--symbolizing transcendence, and its obviously sun-like shape) is a correct socio-economic understanding...

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
All of them. One to change the bulb, and the rest of them to weep about what Thiering, Allegro, Baigent and Leigh will write about it...

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
No amount of them can do it, but for an underground antiquities dealer it only takes 5 minutes...

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
501--one to take the old bulb out, and 500 to proclaim that it confirms the biblical record...

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
501--one to take the old bulb out, and 500 to proclaim that it dis-confirms the biblical record...(so much for the univocity of the archaeological record, eh?)

How many archaeologists does it take to change a light bulb?
Well, actually, it only takes a couple to remove the old bulb, but then they get so involved in studying the old bulb (especially in trying to correlate its appearance with all other burned-out bulbs within a 1000 km radius), that they never get around to putting the new bulb in...
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How many Daniel Dennett's does it take to change a light bulb?
Depends on how many versions of the light bulb there are, matched up with the number of versions of Dennett...

How many David Chalmers does it take to change a light bulb?
Whoa! Now THAT's a hard problem!

How many David Chalmers does it take to change a light bulb (version 2)?
I am not sure we can even APPROACH the light bulb with the existing tools...we will need to develop different sorts of human limbs for that probably...

How many Roger Penrose's does it take to change a light bulb?
I don't know the exact number, but I am sure it must be some rather elegant prime...

How many zombies does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, but I am sure it does it differently than we do.

How many Godelians does it take to change a light bulb?
Three, but don't ask me to prove it.

How many Strong Cartesian Dualists does it take to change a light bulb?
I am not sure they actually can. I had 12 of them in here yesterday trying it, but even with all dozen of them standing on each other's shoulders, they STILL couldn't reach the light bulb!

How many epiphenomenalists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one--and all he or she has to do is to rearrange the furniture on the floor.

How many eliminative materialists does it take to change a light bulb?
Actually, I am afraid to ask them. The whole lot of them went outside last week, started a parade in which they were carrying signs like "I've lost my mind and I am PROUD of it" and "I've never had a mind ever" and "I am completely mind-less; just ask my colleagues"...would YOU feel safe approaching such a group?...I didn't think so.

How many neuroscientists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only the dumb ones could do it--the others could not pass the BBB (Brain-Bulb-Barrier)

How many Glenn Miller's does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, but it takes him a long, long time. He has to research the history of the light bulb, the layout of the building, the different kinds of bulbs, etc. Plus, he has to whine for a while about having a couple of hundred other burned out lightbulbs in backlog to change...

Added 1/21/97

How many leaders of the Jesus Seminar does it take to change a light bulb?
I really don't think they can do it anymore; but then again, maybe I am too cynical.

How many leaders of the Jesus Seminar does it take to change a light bulb?
Actually, they couldn't find the bulb and gave up, muttering something about it must have been eaten by wild dogs or something like that...

How many leaders of the Jesus Seminar does it take to change a light bulb?
Well, at first we thought maybe they could do it, but when they looked at the bulb they decided somehow that it really wasn't the bulb in question and put it down, and for quite some time now, they have been in the kitchen trying to 'unscrew' an onion--and there's not much of it left either...(hmmm...I just noticed something...when you look at an onion from the side, with its stem still attached, it looks like a letter from the alphabet...odd)

New-added 11/1/96

How many particles does it take to change a light bulb?
Hmmm...well, if we know the position of the burned-out light bulb, then we cannot answer this question with certainty.

How many particles does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, but IF the particle is a large one, then I has to do it VERY quickly. If a smaller particle, then it can take its time.

How many particles (okay, okay--how many 'amplitudes') does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, if it is supervised very carefully by a macro-entity.

How many fermions does it take to change a light bulb?
Actually, no more than one is allowed--unless the light bulb is exactly on a state line somewhere, so that the fermions could stand on different sides of the line.

How many bosons does it take to change a light bulb?
Probably only one or two, but bosons are so gregarious, we've never seen less than a gaggle try it!

How many particles does it take to change a light bulb?
Depends on how "excited" they are about the job.

How many particles does it take to change a light bulb?
On some days, none (e.g. fortuitous quantum fluctuation days)...

How many electrons does it take to change a light bulb?
Don't be absurd--you have the question backwards--it's "how many light bulbs does it take to change an electron" silly!

How many particles does it take to change a light bulb?
What a futile question! Don't you realize that any energy exchanged between the change-er and the change--ee is probably going to be in the form of photons anyway?! With all that light, why even hassle with changing the bulb?! (Good grief, what DO they teach these folk in school nowadays?)

How many Classic Foundationalists (epistemology) does it take to change a lightbulb?
Depends on whether the bulb is incorrigible or not...

How many Quantum physicists does it take to change a lightbulb? (version two)
Depends on the room size--you need to fill the room first with blind-folded scientists. Then, upon a signal, they all remove the blindfolds and look toward the general area of the 'old' bulb. Then, when the waveform collapses, whoever is CLOSEST to the newly 'congealed' bulb, grabs it, and WITHOUT blinking, makes the change. Also, this procedure MAY required one additional physicist to remove a dead cat from the room

How many Natural Selectionists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Well actually, we won't even TRY to change the bulb. We will simply stop using the room that has the burned out bulb, and start using only rooms with FUNCTIONING bulbs. That way, over time, ....

How many punctuated equilibrists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Actually, they say it cannot be done-at least not for large light bulbs. But, on the other hand, very very small bulbs-like those in miniature Christmas trees-CAN be changed, but ONLY if they are placed in some very isolated spot (like a shoe box under the bed). The good news is that, if the conditions are right, these little bulbs change VERY RAPIDLY! (The bad news is they may not be bulbs when they're done.)

How many chaos theorists does it take to change a light bulb?
None, they just get the butterfly to flap its wings a SECOND time.

How many quantum physicists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one, actually, but it takes two DISTINCT steps. First, she must look in the general direction of the bulb (to collapse the wave function-you can't very well change a bulb scattered all over the room, now can you?!) and then replace it before she blinks.

How many cultural constructivists does it take to change a light bulb?
[Actually, they refused to answer, on the grounds that the joke perpetuated the myth of objectivity (mumbled something about an 'objective bulb'). Then told me to go read Durkheim in the dark. Go figure.]

MEANT.
How many Derrida'ists THOUGHT YOU does
D
E
P
E
N
DS
it take on WhAt YoU
to change a light bulb?

How many Inerrantists does it take to change a light bulb?
Actually, the bulb is not really broken. If we could see it through 1st century eyes and worldview, we would see that the bulb is PERFECTLY FINE.

How many Errantists does it take to change a light bulb?
Don't be silly. It is impossible to have a bulb that is free from flaws-they ALL are burned out--if you look closely enough, with an open mind, and WITHOUT your dogma. You can't 'fix' this problem.

(Contributed by Prof. John Bigelow of Monash U.)
How many philosophers does it take to change a light bulb?
Depends on how you define 'change'.

How many existentialists does it take to change a light bulb?
Two--one to bemoan the darkness until the other redefines something else as light.

How many Classic Idealists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one--he prays, God turns his head to pay attention, the light bulb moves!

How many Analytic Philosophers does it take to change a light bulb?
None-its a pseudo-problem...light bulbs give off light (hence the name)...if the bulb was broken and wasn't giving off light, it wouldn't be a 'light bulb' now would it? (oh, where has rigor gone?!)

How many Reformed epistemologists does it take to change a light bulb?
1.37--and that needs no explanation because it is a properly basic belief.

How many monists does it take to change a light bulb?
Don't be silly, there is only ONE monist...

How many deconstructionists does it take to change a light bulb?
On the contrary, the NILE is the longest river in Africa.

How many liberation theologians does it take to change a light bulb?
None--WE shot out the bulb in the name of Christian revolution!

How many Kantians does it take to change a light bulb?
Two to change the phenomenal bulb; and one to explain that we might not have actually changed the bulb-an-sich at all.

How many evolutionists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one (to aim the x-ray machine) but the bulb changes very, very slowly

How many Creation Scientists does it take to change a light bulb?
Two: one to change it quickly, and one to point out that no transitional forms occurred at all.

How many Nietzschians does it take to change a light bulb?
.00001

How many Heraclitians does it take to change a light bulb?
None--its never the same light bulb again anyway

How many Process philosophers does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one really fast one--to stand in front of the bulb and block it from prehending the attribute of 'brokenness' in the next 1/32nd of a second!

How many Humean's does it take to change a light bulb?
None--since the bulb actually contains a gaseous substance, and thus contains no 'abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number' nor any 'experimental reasoning concerning matters of fact and existence' it will simply be removed and thrown in the fire...

How many speech act theorists does it take to change a light bulb?
Do you really want to know or are you simply asking me to change it?

How many philosophers of language does it take to change a light bulb?
None--we can't see the referent through the opacity of the phrase 'light bulb'.

How many phenomenologists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only a couple, but by the time they get through with it, the 100-watt bulb has been reduced to a night light.

How many skeptics does it take to change a light bulb?
Actually, they won't do it--they have no sense of urgency about the situation--they aren't sure they're really in the dark...

How many modal logicians does it take to change a light bulb?
In WHICH world?

How many fatalists does it take to change a light bulb?
None, why fight it?

How many Anselmists does it take to change a light bulb?
Only one is NECESSARY.

How many Aristotelians does it take to change a light bulb?
Exactly four (it's a causality thing)

How many theodicists does it take to change a light bulb?
100-one to change the bulb, and 99 to explain why an infinite God of love would allow darkness to occur in the world at all

How many solipcists does it take to change a light bulb?
Actually there are none left in existence...they simply "solipcided away"

How many fallibilists does it take to change a light bulb?
Three, but I COULD be wrong about that.

How many Epicureans does it take to change a light bulb?
None-they're too busy taking advantage of the darkness!

How many Hegelians does it take to change a light bulb?
None-the bulb is just at one dialectical pole between 'bright' and 'dark'--it will eventually synthesize these into at least some dim glow for us...

How many Cartesians does it take to change a light bulb?
None--unfortunately, when the bulb blew out, they were all so shocked that they stopped thinking for that brief moment--and 'poof', they all just blinked out of existence.

How many Kuhnian constructionist philosophers of science does it take to change a light bulb?
You're still thinking in terms of 'incremental change'--what we really need is paradigm shift...we don't need a bulb with more attributes added on, we need ubiquitous luminescence.

How many decision theorists does it take to change a light bulb?
PROBABLY two.