"Jean-Paul Sartre had eyes that looked in different directions, so you never really knew in which direction he was philosophising."
This book is about nothing. In mathematics there's only one way for nothing to exist, but there are an infinite number of ways for there to be something. So "something" is therefore more stable than "nothing". Which means that the more cluttered the universe is, the more stable it becomes. Does this mean that clutter is good? Brian Luff sets out to prove that it does.
Along the way he walks us through a card-carrying Philistine's view of Western philosophy. There'll also be football, Internet dating, yoghurt-making, and hundreds of bags of low fat cheese puffs. Plus, how do you play the game of Pogs, and what constitutes the perfect piece of toast? If all this sounds a bit complicated, don’t worry, he dumbs it down quite a lot.
Cheesy Wotsits and the History of Western Philosophy will change your life for at least 10 minutes.
What members say
- Amazon Customer
More substantial than Cheesy Whatsits
Two of us have listened - thoroughly intrigued and entertained. What a great, painless and amusing dumbed-down introduction to philosophy for both of us novices.
Clutter and meaninglessness
With a title like "Cheesy Wotsits and the History of Western Philosophy" you'd expect a little interesting history from the field of Philosophy ... or at the very least some comedy. Unfortunately this audiobook fails on both counts.
Luff takes a philosophical position, that "nothingness" is inherently unstable and "something/anything" is stable, and quickly assumes this means that MORE something is MORE stable. It's a meaningless and baseless assertion which does not follow from the earlier position, but it's his own philosophy on which he builds his shrine to clutter. I have no idea how many times he used the word "clutter" but it came to a point where I waited for the next occurrence of the word to fall, like the condemned waiting for the firing squad to do their duty.
So the Philosophy is uninteresting, and maybe this would all be forgiven if the comedy was good. I love a good laugh. So, is the comedy any better than the Philosophy? No. The only joke at which I had a brief chuckle was one delivered dryly by the author reliving the derision from the tale's antagonist (his ex-girlfriend) who sounds like someone who could have written a better History of Western Philosophy ... or at least one that had some comedy in it.
The only reason I didn't rate this title with one star is one section found in the last 15 or 20 minutes. Here Luff tells us about his wonderful Post-modern art project which was an excellent and very creative idea. It's a delight to hear that the project led to a lot of fascinating feedback from the art community and the public in general. If this section was all that was in the audiobook, even if this meant that the book would only be 10 minutes long, I'd rate it more highly. But in its current form, there's just too much ... clutter.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful