In the spirit of end-of-the-year lists, here is an amusing collection I just came across: who you are, as revealed by your favorite philosopher.
Socrates: People who didn’t study philosophy.
Plato: People who did study philosophy, but only as an elective.
Aristotle: People who know they should tidy their room, but never do.
Parmenides: People who cross their legs in a slightly stiff and awkward way.
Pythagoras: People who are suspicious of beans.
Thomas Aquinas: People who express overly convoluted arguments to justify things that we all already agree with.
Francis Bacon: People who like art, but know little about science.
Thomas Hobbes: Highly intelligent, highly irritable men.
Rene Descartes: Americans who call him “dez-car-dees” and love saying “I think therefore I am” but don’t know what “cogito ergo sum” means.
John Locke: People who read Newsweek, but only because they haven’t yet discovered The Economist.
David Hume: Jolly people with a lingering sense of urgency.
Immanuel Kant: People who are never, ever late.
Machiavelli: People who wear their collars turned up, and probably earn more than you.
Gottfried Leibniz: People who wear berets, but shouldn’t.
George Berkeley: People who got the heebie-jeebies from watching The Matrix.
Hegel: People who pause in conversation, grasping for the longest word they can think of to express a simple idea.
Friedrich Nietzsche: People who came to philosophy during the most awkward 15 minutes of their teenage years.
Adam Smith: People who secretly enjoy romantic comedies.
Karl Marx: Men with beards and women who don’t wear makeup.
John Stuart Mill: People who like scotch and soda.
Gottlob Frege: People who wear different coloured socks.
Bertrand Russell: People who secretly want to smoke a pipe.
Ludwig Wittgenstein: People you’re always surprised to see in the queue to the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
Jean-Paul Sartre: People who once smoked – and may still do – even though they hate it.
Simone de Beauvoir: Men who think quoting philosophy impresses women; women who aren’t impressed by men quoting philosophy.
Martin Heidegger: People with a disconcerting lazy eye, so you never know if they’re talking to you.
Jaques Derrida: People with expansive bookshelves, prominently displayed, few of which have been read.
Michel Foucault: Good looking people who wish they were better looking.
John Rawls: People who fantasise about working for Obama.
Ayn Rand: People who are polite but insistent, and who wear comfortable shoes.
Richard Rorty: People who still like merlot, no matter what anyone thinks.
Noam Chomsky: People who confuse a conversation for an argument at dinner parties.
Daniel Dennett: People who have never watched commercial television.