Sidney Morgenbesser

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Sidney Morgenbesser (September 22, 1921August 1, 2004) was an American philosopher, noted for his wit.


  • On the independence of irrelevant alternatives: Morgenbesser, ordering dessert, is told by the waitress that he can choose between apple pie and blueberry pie. He orders the apple pie. Shortly thereafter, the waitress comes back and says that cherry pie is also an option; Morgenbesser says "In that case I'll have the blueberry pie."
    • Gaming the vote: why elections aren't fair (and what we can do about it), William Poundstone, p. 50, ISBN 0-8090-4893-0.
  • Asked to prove a questioner's existence, Morgenbesser shot back, "Who's asking?"
  • A student once interrupted him and said, "I just don't understand." He responded, "Why should you have the advantage over me?"

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