Philosophers Gift Guide

Philosophers Gift Guide


I thought Daily Nous should get in on the year end list action. But what would be a good list? Top philosophy blog posts? 3 Quarks Daily has that cornered. Best philosophy books published this year? Like I’ve had time to read enough books this year to make a list (I thought of this one but it turns out it came out last year). Fave pop songs of 2014? A bit outside DN’s bailiwick (but ok here’s a fun one). Big news items in the philosophy profession this year? Hmmm… were there any? I’m at a loss. (Though I suppose at a personal level there was this.)

There’s a joke that mathematicians and deans like:
Q: What is the difference between a mathematician and a philosopher?
A: The mathematician only needs paper, pencil, and a trash bin for his work. The philosopher can do without the trash bin.

It’s a dumb joke. The philosopher needs an armchair, too. Duh. But it gave me an idea.

What do philosophers use? That’ll be the list.

Philosophers, think about what you use in your day to day life that is anywhere from directly to tangentially related to your work, broadly construed, and share it in the comments below. Then we can all “accidentally” leave our browsers open to this page for potential gift givers to come across when they see our computers, which we can “accidentally” leave on and in their lines of sight. Or maybe you want to get something for another philosopher in your life. Or for yourself.

I’ll get the list started with a few things:

  • This website would not exist without coffee. I often make coffee at home and bring it to work in the Klean Kanteen 20 oz. wide mouth insulated bottle. It keeps the coffee hot for a really long time, and if you get it with the “cafe” lid you can sip hot coffee all morning from it as if it were a regular cup. It doubles as a water bottle, too.
  • I keep the Flexion phone charger in my work bag, but it is slim enough to fit in a coat pocket unobtrusively. It is great for getting a few hours of extra battery life from your phone when you can’t plug it into a wall.
  • I write in books in pencil, and for some reason I like these small, old-fashioned metal pencil sharpeners.
  • It is very difficult to make chocolate banana rum milkshakes, when you need a break from work, without a blender. My old one died and I hope to replace it with this one, which is supposed to be comparable to Vitamix and Blendtec machines for a lot less.
  • This small 32 GB USB 2.0 flashdrive is advertised as shock and water resistant. It fits on my key ring, so I always know where it is — lost, somewhere, with my keys.
  • Traveling for conferences or talks? I like this suitcase, which should fit as carry-on on most airlines.
  • Standing desks are all the rage, but let us not forget that one of the perks of academia is being able to work without getting out of bed. For such occasions, or when one can make it to the sofa but no further, there are lap desks. I have one like this and it keeps my laptop from melting my legs.

Your suggestions?

guest
20 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lauren Leydon-Hardy
Lauren Leydon-Hardy
6 years ago

We’ll all know who to thank when our stockings are stuffed with dozens of tiny pencil sharpeners.Report

Joanna
Joanna
6 years ago

A hat. To prevent all the good ideas and theories from flying out of one’s head 🙂Report

Kate Norlock
Kate Norlock
6 years ago

Seriously, a hat for grading in freezing offices that have gone over to “energy saving” settings as the students are gone. Flip-mittens, ditto. Possibly a Slanket.
Space-heater, electric heating pad, thermal socks.
Noise-cancelling headphones, preferably Bose, for those grading on campuses from which the students have not yet left.
Snack-baskets for the grading grind: Kettle corn, pretzels, chocolate-covered nuts, dried fruits. My kingdom for tuna in bar-form!
Hip flask. (Could have something in it, too!)
USB-port compatible Projector for the APA session that assures you visuals and PowerPoint are not options.Report

michaela
michaela
6 years ago

Gym memberships, athletic, creative, etc. outlet classes, and related things. I get nothing done unless I exercise for three hours a day.Report

Luke
Luke
6 years ago

I never write in pencil! A good pen is also a great gift.Report

Alan White
Alan White
6 years ago

An Oontz for both your office and home to pair with your phone so you can play the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1. 10 cc had me at the first deciliter.

“Dear Committee Members” by Julie Schumacher. A book of nothing but tortured academic letters of recommendation. Ever been punched in the gut and tickled under the arms all at once? Now that’s finally not just some merely described phenomenology.

Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch chardonnay from down under. Sip and blog as you were meant to.Report

Evelyn
Evelyn
6 years ago

Depends on the kind of philosopher I think! For mine, the RIGHT kind of pen (picky, they are), homemade cookies, videogames (if you can find one he doesn’t already have) and scotch!Report

Mark Alfano
6 years ago

I would not have finished my dissertation without Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Fawlty Towers, so some sort of DVD or subscription to good viewing seems like a nice present.Report

Cathy Kemp
Cathy Kemp
6 years ago

Double-wide conductor’s music stand, to serve as portable, adjustable, collapsible standing-desk/credenza. Good anti-fatigue mat. Mechanical keyboard.Report

Sigrid
Sigrid
6 years ago

To inspire the do-it-yourselfers in your orbit. These little guys help organize and offer a reminder that we are not locked into the path we were born in: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e4/6d/63/e46d6335a2feec0c947e72f27ab6ce75.jpgReport

Kate Norlock
Kate Norlock
6 years ago

And iTunes cards, to buy the shows that we used to watch on TVs.Report

Sergio Tenenbaum
Sergio Tenenbaum
6 years ago

For your extra geeky philosopher, Randall Munroe’s “What If” is a sure bet. In this book, you get definitive answers to important hypothetical questions such as “What would happen if instead of writing the symbols of each element in a table of elements you put the actual elements side by side?” or “How fast could you go over a speed bump and still live?”Report

Owen Flanagan
Owen Flanagan
6 years ago

The electric pencil sharpener that I keep on the bookshelf behind my reading chair is the best gift I received since Santa began delivering to me last century.Report

Kathryn Pogin
Kathryn Pogin
6 years ago

These are cool (if you scroll through the options, some of them are philosophy books): http://www.litographs.com/

And snack baskets are wonderful!Report

Roxanne
Roxanne
6 years ago

Puppets from the Unemplyed Philosophers Guild! http://www.philosophersguild.com/Finger-Puppets/Report

David Killoren
David Killoren
6 years ago

A fair coin, with which to experimentally confirm your intuitions about probability. You can also use it to decide what to believe about various philosophical questions. In a pinch, you can use it to buy a number of different very cheap things.Report

Manyul Im
6 years ago

Cases of Rockstar, Red Bull, or any other energy drink — their name is Legion — and an I.V. drip because I’ve been nonmorally good this year.Report

C
C
6 years ago

Dark horse conan comic reprints that I use as incentive to grade with the pomodoro timer. DORK. And scotch for when I’m done.Report

SK
SK
6 years ago

Portraits of philosophers, by Renee Bolinger. Kant cups, Frege pillows, Aristotle iPhone covers. Link: http://society6.com/reneebolingerReport