A Twitter Tour of Western Philosophy

By Pessin, Andrew | The Christian Science Monitor, September 28, 2009 | Go to article overview

A Twitter Tour of Western Philosophy


Pessin, Andrew, The Christian Science Monitor


When both neocons and lit profs are all atwitter about the same thing, you know it's got to be big.

It seems that two young undergrads at the University of Chicago, Emmett Rensin and Alex Aciman, recently landed a deal with Penguin Books to publish their book "Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books, Now Presented in Twenty Tweets or Less."

Why plod through 3,000 pages of Proust, after all, when you can just get the gist while listening to podcasts on the subject with your iPhone? Just think how much more time you would have been able to waste in college if you hadn't had to splash through the stormy seas of of "Moby Dick"!

In fact, though, I think Mr. Rensin and Mr. Aciman could do better: Who has the time, these days, for a leisurely meander through 20 whole tweets about anything?

So here, for those of you seeking, between tweets, to plug some gaps in your education, is a brief tour of Western philosophy up to the 20th century, a very manageable one tweet at a time.

Socrates: Drinking hemlock; toes tingling; legs getting numb. Maybe unexamined life worth living? Guard!

Plato: Symposium 2nite 7pm, @ The Cave. Open mike, open bar. Under 21 admitted free.

Aristotle: 2 say of what is, that it is, is true; 2 say that it is not true, is false. And this is what is, and thus true; and there4 not false.

(Early) Augustine: In Carthage w/the Smashers 2nite total caldron of lust here XXX!

(Later) Augustine: John 3:16.

Anselm: God must exist, for otherwise that than which none gr8ter can b conceived would b 1 than which a gr8ter CAN b conceived, fool. …

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