Friday, September 11, 2009

Fake Entry for the On-line Encyclopedia of Philosophy

I've discovered the top 100 submission requests for the On-Line Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and this has made me realize how little I really know. In particular, I have never heard of one of these top 100 suggestions: "Le Doeuff". If you are Le Doeuff, a friend or follower of Le Doeuff, please do not take offense, but I could not resist writing a sample entry for "Le Doeuff" as follows:

Buford Le Doeuff, literally, "The Doof", was the preeminent philosopher of stupidity. Few philosophers have studied this centrally important concept. Le Doeuff did not set out to study stupidity but stumbled into it when his dissertation advisor rejected his prospectus saying, "This is the finest example of stupidity in the history of philosophy." Le Doeuff, apparently misunderstanding his advisor, embarked on his life-long quest to understand the nature of stupidity.

Le Doeuff is credited with discovering the seven laws of stupidity:
1. Stupid is as stupid does.
This is the behaviorist criterion of stupidity. One cannot be stupid without acting stupidly, and people who are stupid will act stupidly.

2. The stupidity of a group increases over time.
Over time people become stupider, and smarter people are not capable of making stupid people less stupid.

3. The stupidity of a group increases until it is equal to (or greater than--that is, is stupider than) the stupidity of the stupidest member of the group.
It is not possible for smarter people to influence the stupidity of the group. Stupid people do, however, drag the intelligence of the group down to their level.

5. Non-reflectivity of stupidity.
Stupid people are not capable of recognizing their stupidity. In fact, the stupider someone is the more likely that person is to think that he/she is not stupid.

6. The stupidity of a group increases over time.

7. Repetition of stupidity.
Stupid people do not learn from the past but are destined to repeat their stupid actions.

Having discovered these laws of stupidity, Le Doeuff worked on the Ontological Stupidity argument, claiming that there must be a stupidest possible being. He then dropped out of academia in order to search for this person never realizing that the stupidest possible person was himself.

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