I Am So Smart. S-M-R-T
Philosopher calls Homer Simpson “our greatest philosopher”
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: February 15th, 2012
n a recent issue of the English newspaper The Sun, Julian Bagginni, editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine, explains why he thinks The Simpsons is a veritable font of philosophical thought, and why the character of Homer Simpson in particular, deserves a place in the pantheon next to big thinkers like Decartes, Spinoza, and Hume.
“For me,” Bagginni says, “The Simpsons is much more than a funny animated series — it's a work of philosophy. And it does philosophy better than most philosophers.”
Bagginni doesn’t put forth a very convincing case however. He never directly compares any of Homer’s lines to any particular school of philosophical thought, and the examples he does sites seem to show Homer as a character whose insights are fairly trite.
“In the world of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie, it becomes impossible to take anyone as an ultimate authority or to demonize anyone as completely evil,” Bagginni says. “Even corrupt characters like Mayor Quimby and Chief Wiggum are so ridiculous you laugh at them but don't hate them.”
"The Simpsons does philosophy better than most philosophers." — Julian Bagginni, The Philosophers' Magazine
Okay, but that just means the humor on The Simpsons is absurdist, and that everyone in Springfield is shown to be buffoonish and prone to failure. Saying that people are not all good or all evil isn’t exactly a deep philosophical treatise.
It just seems that Bagginni could have found some better examples to shore up his argument.Of course, we’re not saying that Homer isn’t a brilliant character, or that The Simpsons isn’t a brilliant show. Because he is. And it was, in its heyday, and is occasionally still.
So in honor of the The Simpsons airing its impressive 500th episode this Sunday, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite Homerisms, suitable for a frame-able cross stitch, or just for repeating ad nauseam to your coworkers.
“Beer: The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems.”
“If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing.”
“Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?”
“Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It's what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel.”
“Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”
“Old people don't need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use.”
“Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream?”
“Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!”
“Everyone is stupid except me!”