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Philosophy on Tap: Pint-Sized Puzzles for the Pub Philosopher

Philosophy on Tap: Pint-Sized Puzzles for the Pub Philosopher

Matt Lawrence

ISBN: 978-1-444-39701-7 March 2011 Wiley-Blackwell 264 Pages




When beer starts to flow, philosophical discussions naturally follow. Philosophy on Tap takes pub philosophy to the next level, pairing 48 of life's greatest philosophical questions with 48 of the world's best beers.
  • Features a unique presentation of philosophical puzzles, paradoxes, and debates by considering 48 of life's biggest questions in the context of 48 distinctive beers from around the world
  • Provides a highly engaging and sociable approach to the classic philosophical problems as well as a unique look at the conundrums that directly affect the beer drinker
  • Combines a philosopher's insights with thematic humor and trivia to explore issues such as free will, God's existence, the nature of the soul, time travel, the aesthetics of taste, the role of beer in the good life, and the infamous "beer goggles" paradox
  • For beer drinkers who enjoy philosophy, philosophers who enjoy beer, and anyone who has ever pondered the meaning of life over a pint of ale

A funny thing happened on the way to the monastery Personal Acknowledgments.


1. Transporter Troubles.

2. Zeno’s Hand to Mouth Paradox.

3. If a Pint Spills in the Forest.

4. The Beer Goggles Paradox.

5. Pascal’s Wager.

6. The Experience Machine.

7. Lucretius’ Spear.

8. The Omnipotence Dilemma.

9. What Mary Didn’t Know About Lager.

10. Malcolm X and the Whites Only Bar.

11. Untangling Taste.

12. The Foreknowledge Paradox.

13. The Buddha’s Missing Self.

14. The Blind Men and the Black and Tan.

15. Liar’s Paradox.

16. Paley’s Cask.

17. Chuang Tzu’s Butterfly.

18. Descartes’ Doubt.

19. God’s Command.

20. Mill’s Drunkard.

21. The Myth of Gyges.

22. Laplace’s Superscientist.

23. Gaunilo’s Perfect Ale.

24. The Problem of Moral Truth.

25. How to Sew on a Soul.

26. Plato’s Forms.

27. Realizing Nirvana.

28. The Problem of Evil.

29. Time’s Conundrum.

30. Time Travel Paradoxes.

31. Hitler’s Lager.

32. The Zen Koan.

33. Sex and Sensibility.

34. Socrates’ Virtue.

35. Nature Calls.

36. Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence.

37. The Most Interesting Man and the Firing Line.

38. Turing’s Tasting Machine.

39. Singer’s Pond.

40. The Wisest One of All.

41. Enter the Matrix.

42. A Case of Bad Faith.

43. Cask and Cleaver.

44. Flirting with Disaster.

45. Fear of Zombies.

46. Lao Tzu’s Empty Mug.

47. Beer and the Meaning of Life.

48. The Case for Temperance.


Glossary of Beer and Philosophical Terms.

"The book is certainly a remarkable tour de force, combining amusement and instruction. It can be read from cover to cover, or can dip into it when a beery occasion arises. However, even teetotalers can peruse it with pleasure and profit." (Metapsychology, 15 November 2011)

"Recommended for fraternity brothers who missed Philosophy 101 or nonteetotaling philosophy majors seeking to broaden their beer horizons. For a more serious yet similarly accessible intro to philosophy, readers will want to consider the excellent (and free) courses on iTunes U from Oxford, Yale, and Berkeley"". (, 15 May 2011)

"But, if you're already open minded you should have just as much fun without the beer! But if you enjoy both prepare for an exploration of life's toughest questions and some of its tastiest brews. If anything, it's wonderful to know that with barely any effort you can have a real (read: non-superficial) conversation with almost anyone by reading one of these puzzles aloud." (The Beer Connoisseur, 2011)

"This fun paperback considers the Big Questions that have troubled college sophomores since Aristotle had his tenure." (, 15 April 2011)