Famous Philosophers’ Side Hustles – The New Yorker

Descartes working as a magician at a child's birthday party.

Descartes

Moonlights as a magician for children’s birthday parties. Main act is summoning metaphysical illusions, which parents have called “underwhelming” and “inappropriate for my five-year-old.”


Kant's Etsy shop for decanters.

Kant

Sells custom wine flasks through his online Etsy shop, DeKanters. Items are priced at “pay what you think is fair.” It’s been very unprofitable.


Nietzsche working as a personalfitness trainer.

Nietzsche

Not-certified personal-fitness trainer for people who want to get a bod that’s strong enough to bench-press civilization’s restrictive norms. Hourly rate is discounted for angsty male teens “going through a phase.”


Thoreau standing in front of his airstream AirBnb.

Thoreau

Airbnbs his “off-grid” Airstream in Joshua Tree. Amenities include Wi-Fi, heated floors, a Nespresso machine, a Nintendo Switch, and a wooden Amazon Alexa that doesn’t work. Five minutes from downtown. Laundry service offered off-site by one Cynthia Dunbar Thoreau.


Marx recording his trueeconomiccrime podcast.

Marx

Unites the working class by asking his artist friends to donate to his Patreon for his true-economic-crime podcast. His friends borrow the money from their parents.


Heidegger

Has many side hustles but nobody understands them.


Socrates

Runs a small tutoring operation. Likes to think that his students are the ones teaching him. His bevy of negative Yelp reviews would agree.


Machiavelli conducting a lifecoach seminar.

Machiavelli

Heads a boutique life-coaching agency that instructs C-suite executives in the arts of manipulation, corporate backstabbing, and correctly pronouncing “Machiavelli.” Top-paying clients include the Medici family and Harvard M.B.A.s.


Camus

A highly rated Tasker on TaskRabbit, he waits in lines for hours only to reach the front, be relieved of his post, and get sent to the back of a new line to wait all over again. Grins like a madman as he surpasses TaskRabbit’s former No. 1 TaskRabbiter, Cynthia Dunbar Thoreau.


Plato doing a livestream of him reading The Republic.

Plato

Live-streams himself reading excerpts from “The Republic” on Twitch. Nobody tunes in except for his pupil Aristotle and an unpaid intern named Stavros, who’s only watching in order to earn freshman-seminar credits at Wesleyan.


Confucius

Has a popular Instagram account with more than seven hundred thousand followers which is targeted to people who are into soul-filling motivational maxims. Frequently reposted by Rachael Ray. Started a Twitter feud with Nietzsche for attention and the coveted blue check mark.


Sartre

No side hustle needed. Happy with just simply existing.

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