Slideshow: Philosophy Students Tee Up Favorite Slogans

“We read Kant so you don’t have to.”

Leave it to philosophy students to come up with pithy yet cerebral slogans for T-shirts. For the third year in a row, the department has printed tees, holding a contest for the best slogan. This year’s winner, suggested by philosophy major John Clarke, is: “Philosophy is the cure for which there is no disease.”

“As this may suggest, one reason for the T-shirts is just to have fun,” says Assistant Professor of Philosophy Sarah Conly.


“Lots of student send in quotations, or variations on quotations. ‘I think therefore I am a philosophy major,’ which we used in a past year, is a variation on Descartes’ ‘I think therefore I am.’ So, hopefully, they enjoy looking up their favorite philosophical bon mots. Those who don’t use quotations often just think of what they may find amusing — a lot of the suggestions are self-deprecating humor. Philosophers, among their many virtues, are modest and unassuming. So, people enjoy that process.”

Conly says the shirts build solidarity among philosophy students and stimulate conversation with those curious about the major or eager to discuss the slogan.


  1. Kevin Johnson says:

    I would have voted for the penguin/logic t-shirt. That logic makes sense to me.

  2. Christopher Hanks '68 says:

    The philosophy students at Stanford did this T-shirt a few years back:

    “Sure it works in practice, but does it work in theory?”

    Also, this one might appeal to some philosophers:

    “I’m always right, I’m never wrong; I thought I was wrong once, but I was wrong.”

  3. How about this t-shirt slogan:

    “I’m studying philosophy so that I can rationalize not having a job when I graduate.

  4. Christopher Hanks '68 says:

    Correction: it was Harvard philosophy students, not Stanford students, were came up with the theory versus practice T-shirts.

    And another candidate, this one offered by Ludwig Wittgenstein:

    “A serious and good philosophical work could be written consisting entirely of jokes.”

  5. im join the PHI

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