Release the doggerels

Over at Crooked Timber, Harry Brighouse exhorts readers to write philosophical clerihews.

I was unfamiliar with the form, but it’s not complicated. A clerihew is a four-line poem about some person or other with an AABB rhyming pattern. The sort of thing Ogden Nash would have written if he’d been less pithy.1

I contributed a couple, and I shamelessly cut and paste them here.

The Scotsman Thomas Reid
had a commonsensical creed,
a fondness for calico cats,
and questionable taste in hats.

The mustachioed John Dewey
might have gone all kablam and kablooey
if he had not understood inquiry
in a way that avoided such injury.

Update, with this later addition:

GE Moore, if I understand,
made much of the fact that he had two hands.
Also two-handed: Russell and Chisholm.
Is this epistemology or ableism?

  1. Dean Zimmerman calls it “the lowest verse form in existence”, but I’m dubious of the ordering that makes it the zero element. For more on clarihews generally, the Wikipedia article seems good at the moment.

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