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In which John discuses the role that Rene DesCartes' fetish for cross-eyed women played in his philosophy regarding free will and the relationship between mind and body. (Really. Turns out philosophers are totally kinky!)


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A Bunny
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Good morning Hank, it's Sunday, it's news day, and today we're going to learn how an anonymous French girl in the 17th century helped create modern philosophy - with her crossed eyes.

[Showing Willy wearing a bow tie] Willy's so excited he got dressed up!

Hank, first I'd like to introduce you to Rene Descartes, or as we know him today, Inigo Montoya. Often called the father of modern philosophy, Descartes famously wrote, "I think, therefore I am." He was also a big believer in free will and argued that the mind could control the desires of the body. A couple other things about Descartes, first of, slackers take note, he believed in never getting up before noon.

And... he also had a fetish for cross-eyed women. Which isn't that much of a surprise, really, Hank, you know the famous axiom: gentlemen prefer blonds; philosophers prefer cross-eyed women. Now Hank, today Descartes would be totally out of luck, because 99% of the cases of strabismus, which is the technical term for cross-eyedness, are totally fixable. But back in the 17th century, there were cross-eyed women walking up and down the street everywhere, and Descartes could barely contain himself. So eventually Rene Descartes realizes that the reason he's hot for cross-eyed girls is because when he was a kid, there was this super-cute made-of-awesome cross-eyed girl he used to play with. Which strikes me as a little bit odd, Hank, because when I was a little kid I played with a lot of Star Wars figurines, and it's not like I grew up to be an adult with a Star Wars figurine fetish... That would be crazy. You know, if like, when Princess Leia and Han Solo... I mean that'd be, huh... that'd be nuts... I-I'm not, no, no way, that's weird. Let's talk about something else.

So when Descartes remembered this girl, he was able to connect the memory of his childhood with his current adult desires, all of a sudden his current adult desires went away, showing that the mind can control the body. So this single insight becomes one of the key linchpins that Descartes uses in his defense of free will in the Principles of Philosophy. How great is that, Hank? I mean, for philosophy. Obviously for the cross-eyed women of the 17th century, it was a freakin' disaster. Because here you've got this smart and reasonably successful albeit hideously unattractive dude, and he's totally into you, when, to be frank, a lot of other people aren't because they think that you're marked by the devil, but then bam! he remembers this girl from childhood and now you've got to write Rene Descartes off your list of potential suitors. So Hank, that's how a fetish for cross-eyed women can change the history of modern philosophy.

Oh! I have something important to tell you that I forgot about. You know Google, the Internet company? The company that owns the website that hosts our videos? (We currently have more subscribers than Google.) I had to whisper it because if our corporate overlords hear me say it, they might kill me. Hank, I don't know how to thank the Nerdfighters for this amazing and ridiculous turn of events. But the way that we generally thank them is by letting them challenge us. Nerdfighters, this means that Hank and I will do pretty much whatever you tell us to do. Leave your challenge ideas in comments.