Causes of Deaths of Philosophers
Maintained by Hugh Mellor but apparently last updated in 2005, the Causes of Deaths of Philosophers website humorously speculates about, well, the causes and descriptions of deaths of philosophers. To wit:
Husserl: Phenomenally bad luck
Ryle: Gave up the ghost
Dancy: No particular reason
Sellars: Not given
Benacerraf: Number was up
Wittgenstein: Became the late Wittgenstein
Plato: Caved in
…and so on.
It is Halloween, the holiday of the dead, so what better day to start adding new entries and updates to the list?
Sean Kelly: whooshed away
Sally Haslanger: cut on the bias
David Estlund: ideally, neverReport
David Lewis: modally relocated
Donald Davison: misinterpreted
W.V.O. Quine: variably devaluedReport
Aristotle: lost his nous
Locke: substance abuse
Hume: no ideaReport
Rawls: Contract killing
Williams: One thought too many
Moore: It’s an open question
Foot: Trolley accidentReport
Korsgaard: bad constitution
McDowell: rails to infinity
Bratman: didn’t stick to the planReport
Descartes: stopped thinking
Spinoza: fell into lens-grinding machine, made spectacle of himselfReport
A.J. Ayer – Came up positivist
David Hume – It was just one damn thing after another
Tim Williamson – Hit by a bus. Insufficiently luminous
Alvin Plantinga – All part of the proper function. Nasty part of the design plan.
Friedrich Nietzsche – Brain cancer. Brain cancer. Brain cancer. Brain cancer. Brain cancer. Brain cancer. Brain cancer…Report
Alvin Plantinga: stopped functioning properly
Daniel Dennett: stopped making the intentional stance.
Immanuel Kant: became part of the noumenal realm.
Peter van Inwagen: became particles shaped fertilizer-wise.Report
Levy: hard luck case
Nadelhoffer: flickered out
Fischer: became unresponsive
Wolf: selfless sacrificeReport
I thought Aristotle hung himself with a nous?Report
Leibniz’ cause of death was unobserved.
In sleep went Epictetus, unperturbed.
Johnson, Sam died thus: against a stone.
And Nietzsche lost the will to pow’r his bones.Report
21 grams Leiter.Report
Zeno: Lifeline cut in half, then in half, then in half…
Dummett: Drowned in the seas of language
Epicurus: Swerved into a tree while drivingReport
Hume: didn’t make the connection; Leibniz: opened a window; Plato: caved in; Socrates: turned a hipster; Descartes: had it on the tip of his tongue; de Beauvoir: got married; Sartre: made a choice; Kant: fell asleep while reading Hume; Hegel: proofread the Phenomenology; Heidegger: got hammered; Wittgenstein: fell of a ladder; Anscombe: didn’t mean to; Aristotle: at the right time; Plotinus: was born; Rousseau: tied up; Rawls: we’ll never know.Report
Habermas: unforced force
Churchlands: folks say they ‘died’; still searching for a material explanationReport
Carnap – unverified
Duhem – underdetermined
Derrida – différaitReport
I learned the following joke many years ago…
Did you hear that George Berkeley died? Yeah, his girlfriend stopped seeing him.Report
Nietzsche: a fan called him “the God of Modern Philosophy”Report
Tye: not poised
Chalmers: lost in two-dimensional semantics
Kripke: not rigidly designated
Noe: dancing with death
Churchlands: reduced and eliminated
Cartwright: Belied by the laws of physics
Kim: causally irrelevant
Derrida: never existed outside textReport
Russell: Ticker stopped
Whitehead: Natural processes
Dretske: Motor troubles
Langer: Key not foundReport
Hugh Mellor actually did include my entry for Russell in his list, but different versions of the list have been circulating.
Bertrand Russell: He thought the pier was longer than it was.Report
I’m not sure if these ones work in English but I give them a go.
Marx: fell from the superstructure.
Heidegger: asked about nothingness and got his answer.
Derrida: story ended.
Foucault: history of sexually transmitted diseases.
Gadamer: reached his horizon (lived long as hell!).Report