Descartes Joke

I just heard this gem:

Descartes walks into a bar.

The bartender walks up to him and says, “Would you care for a drink?”

Descartes replied, “I think not.” and disappears.

14 thoughts on “Descartes Joke

  1. My fav. world history teacher uses this joke a lot, the whole class loves it. I’ve heard it since i was a freshman in his class at highschool to a senior which i am now. It never gets old. To those who don’t get it (like brad, yet he’ll probably never see this) Descartes was the one who said, I think, therefor I am. In the joke he says I think not, so he doesn’t think, therefor he doesn’t exist, and dissapears

  2. I found this joke in the book Know It All and told it to some of my friends. It caught on like wildfire! And people say that educated people cant have fun!

  3. to Derek:

    The problem is, that you can’t conclude that he doesn’t exist just because he doesn’t think. that’s a logical fallacy. Bad joke!

  4. I heard a variation thats a bit funnier:

    Descartes walks into a bar.

    He orders a drink and finishes it.

    The bartender says,”Would you care for another drink?”

    Descartes replies,”I think not.” and disappears.

    (I wonder How many drinks he got with that one!lol) P.S. DErek might want to remove the stick from his ass

  5. I heard an even funnier variation :

    Descartes walks into a bar.

    He orders two drinks and finishes them.

    The bartender says,”Would you care for another drink?”

    Descartes replies,”I think not.” and disappears.

  6. It is a classic no doubt.
    I have heard a few versions, each version he orders a different number of drinks, sometimes he even orders shots! One time I heard him order a martini, he asked for it to be stirred. This is in direct contrast to Ian Flemmings character James Bond. James Bond doesn’t think, and thats why he isn’t. He’s just a character created by a person who does think and does exist but i digress. But anyway, back to the joke, hey stephane, when he orders two drinks, “he orders two drinks and finishes them” does he order two at a time, or does he order them one at a time. Was this at Moe’s Tavern, cause I think i was there that night.

  7. Here’s mine!

    Rene Descartes was sitting at a bar. The bartender came over and asked if
    he would like another drink. He replied, “I think not.” And he vanished.

    Heisenburg was also sitting at the bar. After Descartes vanished in a puff
    of smoke, the bartender walked over to him and asked, “Did you see that?”
    To which Heisenberg replied, “I can’t be certain.”

    The bartender then noticed Einstein was there. So he asked him if he could
    believe what had happened. Einstein replied, “It’s all relative.”

    Then the bartender noticed that Carl Sagan was there. He walked over to
    him and asked, “Can you believe that all these famous people are here in
    THIS bar?” Sagan replied, “No. Why there must be BILLIONS and BILLIONS of
    bars out there.”

  8. Anonymous replying to Derek, it is a joke dealing with a philosophical branch, namely idealism, that states nothing exists, and everything we perceive is ideas. We think, and therefore exist because (according to idealism) our thinking can be confirmed and not disputed. So, when Descartes says he thinks not, it is referring to him not being capable of thought, and therefore, not existing.

    If you are going to try to use big words, at least know what you are talking about. Therefore, idiotic reply.

  9. @Jheinn
    Actually, I think the joke is funnier on a higher level because the logic is (deliberately) flawed.

    Anonymous was correct. I do not think therefore I do not exist does NOT follow from I think therefore I am. It’s the converse, thus not logically equivalent.

    Still, I think it’s a great joke because it purposefully twists a philosopher’s words in order to get a silly punchline.

  10. I just heard this told by Lauren Artress, sage extraordinaire, at a Labyrinth workshop (Walking a Sacred Path is her amazing book) and was hoping to find it word for word to retell, so thanks, but what fun to find this site. I am a wordpress devotee and this site is gorgeous. Come visit me!