Philosophers’ Pick-Up Lines


“I didn’t know that angels could fly so low. Or that angels even existed anymore now that God is dead… amiright???”

That’s Nietzsche’s pick-up line, as imagined by Dan Caprera in a recent post at McSweeney’s. His other “famous philosopher’s pick-up lines” include:

René Descartes: “I would rearrange the stars for you, babe… And, technically-speaking, it is NOT IMPOSSIBLE for me to rearrange the stars, because everything that is external to me is subject to skepticism and, as such, the only thing I can truly be certain of is my own, rational existence.”

Jeremy Bentham: “Wanna maximize each other’s overall happiness, babe?”

And of course:

Immanuel Kant: “If loving you is wrong, babe… then I have a moral duty not to love you because loving you is an ethical decision that cannot be universalized.”

…among others. One gets the sense that lines like these may have been what Manet had in mind when he painted this poor bartender:

Édouard Manet, “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère”

Nonetheless, I suspect some readers might be particularly good at coming up with additions to this list. Of course we needn’t be limited to the great historical philosophers everyone has heard of, so we have more to work with (just don’t be mean to the living, please). Here are a few from me:

T.M. Scanlon: “No one could reasonably reject you.”

G.E.M. Anscombe: “Them? They’re all idiots. I’m the only one who knows how you think. Let’s get out of here.”

Edmund Gettier: “I bet you don’t know what I like about you.”

Peter Singer: “The most good you could do? How about joining me for dinner?”

Susan Wolf: “You’re no saint—I like that about you.”

The Churchlands: “Trust us, don’t overthink it.”

David Benatar: “One look at you and I realized just how wrong I was.”

Your turn…

UPDATE: Philosophy Blogs’ Pick-Up Lines.


Related: “Philosophers’ Break-Up Letters“; “Philosophy Valentines

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Alexandra
Alexandra
1 year ago

David Lewis: “There’s a nearby possible world in which I take you out to dinner.”Report

Able
Able
Reply to  Alexandra
1 year ago

“It would take a small localized Miracle”Report

Adam Omelianchuk
Adam Omelianchuk
1 year ago

David Lewis: Wanna come to C-world with me? Report

Ludwiggin Out
Ludwiggin Out
1 year ago

Wittgenstein: “I never thought it would make a difference to talk about what I’m feeling on the inside, until I met you.”Report

Alan White
Alan White
1 year ago

Leibniz: Hi! Wow–finally I’ve found proof this is the best of all possible worlds!
Ruth Barcan Marcus: Tag! You are definitely IT for me!
JM Fischer: I’ve got the reasons if you’ve got the response.
Neil Levy: Wanna get as lucky as you possibly can?

Report

Shifty
Shifty
1 year ago

G.E. Moore:
“I understand your doubts. But here is one hand *puts forward his hand*. And here is another *takes your hand in his*. What more proof could you need?”Report

WiseGuy
WiseGuy
1 year ago

“I might not be your ideal date, but that’s good.” Charles Mills. Report

Robert A Gressis
Robert A Gressis
1 year ago

“Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and your butt.”Report

ajkreider
ajkreider
1 year ago

Quine at BDSM club:

“Hey babe, wanna bind my variable?”Report

Eric
Eric
1 year ago

Marx: “Hey babe, you can seize my means of re-production anytime you like.”

Report

S
S
1 year ago

This is stolen from a valentine’s card I once saw somewhere else on the internet:

Wittgenstein: “I cannot speak about my feelings for you… I can only show them.”Report

Alexandra
Alexandra
Reply to  Justin Weinberg
1 year ago

“You look like you could use a transformative experience, amiright?”Report

B
B
Reply to  Justin Weinberg
1 year ago

idk, it’s ALWAYS complicated for Williams.

But there’s at least the “Internal and External Reasons” option: “I really want to get in your S.”Report

Eric
Eric
1 year ago

Bostrom: “If I were running the simulation we’re almost certainly in, I’d populate it with trillions of copies of you.”

Pareto: “Hey babe, wanna know how you can make at least one of us better off and no one worse off…”

vanInwagen: “Many argue that we shouldn’t be together, but I don’t understand their arguments. Indeed, I don’t even understand their position. Thus, they’re wrong.”Report

Vida Yao
Vida Yao
1 year ago

Gag me with a spoon. To be clear, this is not a pick up line.Report

Paremides
Paremides
1 year ago

Parmenides: “I know it sounds strange, but the truth is we’re already together.”Report

Dale E Miller
1 year ago

Sidgwick: From the point of view of the universe, it might as well be me you go out with.
Hobbes: I can’t stop your life from being poor, nasty, brutish, and short, but it doesn’t have to be solitary.
Rawls: If you didn’t know anything about me, I’m the one you’d go out with.
Nozick: Here’s my picture. Report

Theo
Theo
1 year ago

de Beauvoir: how old are you? 16 you say! Have you met my husband?Report

Michael P Wolf
Michael P Wolf
1 year ago

Quine (or really any behaviorist; take your pick): “Look, I don’t want to play it too cool here, so I’ll just cut to the chase. Clearly, you’re interested in me. How do I feel about you?”Report

Jonathan A. Neufeld
Jonathan A. Neufeld
1 year ago

Althusser: “Hey, you there.”
Report

Louis
Louis
1 year ago

Iris Murdoch: “Do you like to swim?”Report

Epi-coo-rus
Epi-coo-rus
1 year ago

Epicurus:
“Hey girl, I want to atarax-see ya later.”
“Your death might not be bad for you, but it’d sure upset me.”Report

Adam
Adam
1 year ago

Putnam: “I’ve changed my mind; we should go out.”Report

Hey Nonny Mouse
Hey Nonny Mouse
1 year ago

Descartes: “Is a girl like you doing in a place like this?”
Descartes: “I’ve seen modes of substance before, but you have principle attributes!”
Descartes: “Do you persist through change, ’cause you are the whole ball of wax!”
Diogenes: “Life in accordance with nature is free, reasonable and happy, baby!”
John Stuart Mill: “Sensual delight is a lesser sort of pleasure, but as lesser pleasures go, it’s one of my favorites”.
Plato: “In an ideal society, the government would order you to mate with me.”
David Hume: “Want to sleep with me? No? Damn, that pick-up line never works. Still, that’s no reason to stop using it.”
Aristotle: “There are three kinds of friendships. Friendships based on pleasure, friendships based on what the friends can do for each other, and those two will do us for now.”
Descartes: “The external world must exist, because there’s nothing as beautiful as you inside my mind from which to get the idea of such beauty. I know a private oven.”
Kant: “Are you a categorical imperative, because I’m completely bound by you!”
John Locke: “Your eyes are the color of the sea. Not in and of themselves, obviously.”
Kant: “You must exist in space and time, baby, because you are phenomenal!”
Kong Fuzi (Confucius): “Shall I make this room my trousers?”Report

Alvin
Alvin
1 year ago

Socrates: Hey babe. Man is by nature a social animal; and as far as I know I am a not a God nor a beast or unless you don’t want to partake of society; Let’s socialize.

Descartes: I think, therefore I like you.

Carl Jung: I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. And I want to become your chemical substance.

Albert Camus: There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is not asking you out. Report

Louis
Louis
1 year ago

Sartre: “Hell is other people, except you of course.”

Cavell: “What say we get out of here and go watch the deluxe DVD of ‘The Philadelphia Story'”?

Arendt: “It’s too hot in here, no? Let’s go somewhere cooler and talk about the human condition.”

Report

Lukas
Lukas
1 year ago

Samuel Clarke: your natural attributes are fiiiine, baby.

John Toland: oh that bulge in my pants? I swear that thing moves all by itself!

Robert Boyle: Hey girl. Want to make Seraphic Love together?

John Ray: I’ve been studying the beauty of creation for years, but your the best proof I’ve encountered thusfar.

Isaac Newton: attracted? To you?! Pray do not ascribe that notion to me, for I do not pretend to have it.

John Locke: mmmmhhmmm, God sure superadded some fine features to you!
Report

Spencer Case
Spencer Case
1 year ago

Kripke: “Fancy meeting you here… at your house… at night.”Report

David Wallace
David Wallace
1 year ago

Haskell Curry: if this sentence is true, you’ll go out with me.Report

ajkreider
ajkreider
1 year ago

William Alston:

“Ever had a religious experience? After tonight, you can say “yes”.Report

ajkreider
ajkreider
1 year ago

Descartes:

“I perceive clearly and distinctly that you’re smokin’ hot. And I ain’t no Evil Demon, (unless you want me to be).Report

Dom Lopes
Dom Lopes
1 year ago

John Perry: I’ll follow you if you’ll follow me. Report

jo
jo
1 year ago

Plato: “Don’t you remember me, babe? I am sure we have met before.”

Hegel: “When you get to know me, babe, you will feel at home in the world.”

Berkeley: “You are the most beautiful representation my mind has ever perceived.”Report

Spencer Jay Case
Spencer Jay Case
1 year ago

William MaCaskill: I was going to give this hundred dollar bill to Oxfam, but since taking you out to dinner would add more good to the world, I should do that instead. Report

Heideggeefanfiction
Heideggeefanfiction
1 year ago

Derrida: How can I say ‘I love you’, if I know the love is ‘you’ .. the word ‘love’ either as a verb or a noun would be destroyed in front of you. But seriously babe, you hot. Let’s unify our différance.Report

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago

Aristotle: “Your form could not be matched any better with your matter; we might be two separate substances, but this relationship will be anything but an accident.”
Plato: “I bet you look better than the divine idea that you reflect.”Report

Ideological possessed
Ideological possessed
1 year ago

Schopenhauer: Hey babe you know after giving birth to children women generally lose their beauty, but I don’t care about beauty, I care about the propagation of the species. When the ‘Will’ commands, we obey so let’s get started! Report