Famous philosophers send in their questions to Chad Spadders, a first-year undergraduate

Oh hey everyone. It’s me, Chad Spadders.

I’ll be answering some questions that have stumped philosophers for thousands of years. I’m qualified to do this because I’m almost done my Introduction to Western Philosophy 110B course and because I have access to Wikipedia (which they didn’t have).

So, onto the questions! Or should I say, “onto-logy the questions”? Haha, that’s just a little philosophy joke. I don’t actually know what ontology means.

Well, anyways! Let’s get going.

How can one ever know the thing-in-itself (Ding-an-sich)?

Read two Wikipedia articles on it instead of just one.

What is the good life?

The good life is (a) being rich and famous, (b) having the ability to buy fancy clothes or sweet new DVDs, and (c) having six-pack abs. The way I see it, if everyone was rich and famous, and they all had six-pack abs, then no one would ever hurt anybody. That’s why they called that gym “GoodLife.” I think when I finish university, I’m gonna be a personal trainer, but all my workout programs will have Zen Koans written all over them, like, “What is the sound of one hand bench-pressing?”

What is the beautiful?

This one time I saw an impressionist painting of a starry night and it made me cry. I swear, it really did. I just saw it, and instantly I just felt incredibly empty but also all filled up, right at the same time. It was so vast and profound, maybe even infinite, and yet later I realized that somehow it was all happening inside me. It gave me a sense of wonder and freedom. So maybe the “beautiful” is that. Well, that or Timothée Chalamet.

Who is this “I” who claims there is no “I”?

“Me.” Duh! Haha, no, but seriously, what a dumb question.

Is the subject I speak of when I speak the same as the subject who speaks?

Umm… yes. Yes, definitely. I don’t—I don’t see why not? Wait, is this just a trick question about pronoun use?

What is the essence of Justice?

Pirating movies should be legal, but to be truly virtuous one must always seed to a 1:1 ratio.

What is Enlightenment?

Oh, I know this one: Sapere Aude! See, ya gotta have the courage to assume you already have wisdom and all the answers to everything. This is a philosophy that hasn’t failed me yet, because I totally BS’d my final paper and got a C-. Immanuel “Kant” beat that! Haha, well, I guess he probably could, actually. Okay, the real important thing though is that if you truly believe in yourself, you don’t need to feel bad about not trying as hard as you could have, even if you know you were capable of much better work or you purposely didn’t try because putting your all into something means you’re putting yourself on the line, and that means being vulnerable, and—look, my point is I got a C- and it’s fine. It’s fine.