Philosophy Bros: A Taxonomy

As “America’s first university,” the University of Pennsylvania has a 282-year history of educating some of the most intellectual men in this fine nation. Naturally, many of these men are drawn to philosophy, due to the great love of wisdom that Penn nurtures. Here at Punch Bowl, we also have a long tradition of intellectualism, stretching back to our founding in 1899— our first editors were members of Penn’s anti Co-Ed club. Hence, we’ve put together a guide for you, dear reader, to differentiate between the learned men of philosophy that you may encounter in this Ivy League institution.

Category: Political nut / Self-proclaimed “Devil’s Advocate”

Possible Majors: PPE, Political Science, Economics, History, Philosophy (Political concentration), Wharton with a BEPP concentration

Special characteristics: Jerks off with the invisible hand but doesn’t believe in handouts, blames cancel culture for nobody laughing at his jokes, thinks people are obsessed with being “woke” while he falls asleep during ethics classes

Favorite dead white men: Hobbes, Machiavelli, Bismarck, Friedman, Reagan, Ayn Rand (a woman, but one of the few rational ones)

Future career: Lawyer, consultant, politician, banker, traveling to college campuses and DESTROYING liberals/leftists (same thing) with FACTS and LOGIC

Fun thing to say to him: Ask why he gets so emotional over the idea of rich people being taxed more to pay for social services

Category: literary softboi / Gutenberg Pressed

Possible Majors: English, Linguistics, Comparative Lit., History, PPE, “I don’t know”

Special characteristics: Thinks he is deeper than everyone else because he read The Stranger / Moby Dick / Infinite Jest that one time, has never read a book by a female author, constantly high, “do you listen to The Smiths”

Favorite dead white men: Beckett, Camus, Sartre, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Brecht, Foucault, Deleuze, Proust, David Foster Wallace

Future career: Academia, starving poet or musician (but gets his rent paid by his parents)

Fun thing to say to him: Ask if his superior emotional intelligence stems from reading at college level as a child or from his traumatic childhood in general

Category: Cartesian Corporate / STEMcel

Possible Majors: Cognitive Science, Physics, Computer Science, Neuroscience, Engineering, Wharton with a Finance or Statistics concentration

Special characteristics: Either only reads philosophy as a hobby or has a superiority complex about double majoring in philosophy with a STEM subject, is only double majoring to stick out to Med Schools and FinTech start-ups, ardent defender of values from the Enlightenment (the good old days, when being objective meant viewing women as objects)

Favorite dead white men: Descartes, Voltaire, Hume, Gödel, Euclid, Bertrand Russell

Future career: Tech bro, consulting, wannabe Elon Musk, podcast host, Reddit forum moderator, Jordan Peterson disciple

Fun thing to say to him: Ask him why he didn’t have the confidence to tell his parents that he actually wanted to pursue the humanities

Category: Little Caesar / Roman Empire State of Mind

Possible Majors: Classics. Or any other major, but they’re still obsessed with Ancient Rome (and maybe Ancient Greece, but only as a precursor to Ancient Rome).

Special characteristics: Compares any minor inconvenience to Roman warfare, will ask you who your favorite Roman emperor is (and can list them all in order), non-Western history is all Greek to him, thinks he could last more than 20 seconds… as a gladiator (either way he is wrong)

Favorite dead white men: Aurelius, Socrates, Epicurus, Aristotle, Thuycidides, literally any Roman emperor

Future career: Lecturer, start-up bro, self-help book author, tank figurine collector (he’s also obsessed with World War II), armchair military historian, 4Chan/Reddit crusader, Comma Police for comments containing one typo

Fun thing to say to him: Tell him that his “javelin” would be the ideal size in Ancient Greece

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