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August 17th, 2005

Sims and Philosophy

To my knowledge, my paper Are You a Sim was the first paper in an academic philosophy journal to cite a computer game. So you’d think that game would develop a healthy respect for philosophy. Sadly, no, though they seem to have a well developed disrespect.

Via David Chess, here are the list of courses in the philosophy major for the Sims 2: University expansion.

What is the Meaning of This?!
The Refrigerator Light: Proof vs. Faith
Old Dead Guys who Thought Stuff
Optimists and Other Idiots
Philosophy’s Place in the Neighborhood: Anywhere?
Existentialism: Depressing Yourself on Purpose
Who Controls the Pie Menu and Why?
Senior Project: Preparing For The Food Industry

And the preferred career paths for philosophy majors

  1. Slacker
  2. Culinary
  1. Paranormal

Those with better knowledge of my work habits, cooking skills and connection to entities without good scientific explanation (Red Sox, Aust cricket team etc) can say which I’ve ended up in.

Posted by Brian Weatherson in Uncategorized


This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2005 at 11:33 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

13 Responses to “Sims and Philosophy”

  1. charles says:

    I think the ‘preferred career paths’ is really the ‘available career paths’ for people with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. You can work retail or a boring office job (which might be slacking in the sense of “functionally abandoning one’s intellectual skills”), work in a restaurant, or by some luck or event bordering on the supernatural, find a well-paying, meaningful job ;)

    That, or go to graduate school.

  2. Clayton says:


    I believe that there was a paper by Hugh Chandler ‘The Sources of Essence’ in which he makes reference to asteroids (I can’t recall whether he cited it by name or whether he just described it).

  3. Brian Weatherson says:

    Could be wrong then…

  4. Clayton says:

    You probably still get the prize for first reference to a video game it takes more than one button to play.

    I poked around a bit and the history department offers “Memorizing Names and Dates: An Alternative to Learning”. Now that is funny.

  5. Shieva says:


  6. Allan says:

    I have a paper coming out that makes reference to Grand Theft Auto (“Possible Evils,” in Ratio), and I’d imagine that my Philosophy and Film course this fall will be the first philosophy course to devote serious time to playing and talking about said game …

    Speaking of philosophy and pop culture, has anyone else seen those ESPN ads where there’s four women who exist only in “some guy’s fantasy,” and in which one of them (often pictured reading McKeon’s complete works of Plato) discovers that fact (viz. the unreality of the world they inhabit)?

  7. Paul Gowder says:

    Surely SOME philosopher has written on the epistemology of the refrigator light!

  8. Matt Weiner says:

    Allan, if that’s the Allan I think it is—should we be using that in the publicity for the course?

  9. Sarah says:

    I can’t get worked up about that, because I know they’re equally offensive about every other career path.

    Also, I wouldn’t knock the philosophy/slacking/cooking/paranormal connection. After all, here I am, an unemployed philosophy student with a culinary arts degree and friends who read tarot professionally and are convinced that they can become invisible at will.

  10. Mike says:

    I guess that they can’t will at will. No, Sarah? Otherwise, looks like a simple test might settle things.

  11. Martin says:

    Is the hostility toward philosophy expressed by the Sims really just misplaced aggression toward Peter Ludlow?

  12. Martin says:

    Is it possible that the hostility toward philosophy expressed by the Sims is just misplaced anger at Peter Ludlow?

  13. wannabephd says:

    First Person is a book on video game theory that has several chapters on The Sims. Published by MIT Press.