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-=[ Why did the chicken cross the road]=-

 [ << ] Chicken: The Philosophers (20b) [ >>
Why did the chicken cross the Road ?

Karl Marx: (1) It was a historical inevitability.
(2)To escape the bourgeois middle-class struggle.
(3) She was driven by the lash of economic necessity.

John Stuart Mills: It was a utilitarian function. She had tasks that were better performed on the other side.

Thomas More: For the good life and pleasure of all chickens.

Friedrich Nietzsche: (1) Because if you gaze too long across the Road, the Road gazes also across you.
(2)There was no chicken, no road, no crossing. There was only an interpretation.

Camille Paglia: It was drawn by the subconscious chthonian power of the feminine which men can never understand, to cross the road and focus itself on its task. Hens are not capable of doing this - their minds do not work that way. Feminism tries vainly to pretend there is no real difference between them, falsely following Rousseau. But de Sade has proved....

Plato: (1) For the greater good.
(2) The ideal chicken must ideally cross the ideal road. Therefore, imperfect chickens in this world cross imperfect roads, imperfectly.
(3) Because it is in the nature of chickens, strictly defined in as much as they are chickens, to cross roads.

Alexander Pope: To cluck is avian, to cross devine.

Richard Posner: As a perfectly rational, utility-maximizing being, the chicken, aware of the possible consequences of its act, voluntarily faced the risk that it would be injured while crossing the road, in order to obtain the benefits that it perceived to accrue from that transaction. Allowing chickens to make this sort of decision, unfettered by restrictions by government or elsewhere on their freedom of choice, is absolutely necessary if an efficient and free society is to be maintained . Any Philosophy 101 Professor: Why not?

Pyrrho the Skeptic: What road?

Rosenzweig: The chicken hasn't actually crossed yet, but I hope it may one day do so.

Jonathan Sacks: It is impossible to answer this quesion, (or, for that matter, any other), without referring to Alasdair MacIntyre's magisterial "After Virtue" (London: Duckworth, 1981). His argument is taken further in his "Whose Justice ? Which Rationality ?" (London:Duckworth, 1988) and "Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry" (London: Duckworth, 1990). Also of interest are his earlier works, "A Short History of Ethics" (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967), "Against the Self-Images of the Age" (London: Duckworth, 1971) and especially "Secularization and Moral Change" (London: OUP, 1967). MacIntyre's ideas are developed in a theological context in Stanley Hauerwas, "The Peaceable Kingdom" (London:SCM,1983). The Talmud Bavli and the London Beth Din also hold views on this question.

Jean-Paul Sartre: (1) In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it necessary to cross the road
(2) To impose a meaning upon her accidental existence.
(3) Because there was NO EXIT.

George Santayana: Animal faith.

Socrates: (1) I will think about it.
(2) To pick up some hemlock at the corner druggist.

Baruch Spinoza: To affirm his essance as a part of nature and God.

Henry David Thoreau: (1) To live deliberately... and suck all the marrow out of life.
(2) To be wild and free like all good things.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: (1) The possibility of "crossing" was encoded into the objects "chicken" and "road," and circumstances came into being which caused the actualization of this potential occurrence.
(2) There are indeed things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.
(3) What we cannot explain we must pass over in silence.

Zeno of Elea: (1) To prove it could never reach the other side.
(2) The chicken can never reach the other side because there are an infinitessimal number of segments between him and the other side

Zeno The Skeptic: Did she really cross the road? How can you be certain?

[ Stan Kegel, kegel@fea.net ]

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