Unemployed Philosophers Guild

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Stephan and David Shaw holding pairs of Freudian slippers; feet, coming out the front, resemble a tongue
Stephan Shaw and a client, Prof. Tim Madigan
Stephan, an unemployed philosopher but a philosophic entrepreneur

The Unemployed Philosophers Guild


Many philosophers are unemployed.

Two who have been are in DUMBO.

Two unemployed philosophers are two brothers, David and Stephan Shaw, and they work out of DUMBO. David is a history major student. Stephan received his B.A. from CUNY, Purchase and his M.A. from New School.

DUMBO, as once described by Jerry Seinfeld on one of his television shows, is the area that is "Down Under Manhattan Bridge," a place between the the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges where their main office is at 68 Jay Street.

Despite a lack of business experience, the unemployed two in 1989 arranged for the manufacture of a humorous product such as a set of baked clay earrings, one with an East and the other with a West Germany ear. This has led to an entire catalog with clever and imaginative products with a connection to philosophy.

A disappearing Descartes mug with a picture of the philosopher and "I think therefore I am," when filled with a hot coffee or tea, becomes "I think not" by disappearing.
There are Wittgenstein sticky notes and stationery.
A Finger Puppet set includes small puppets dressed as Nietzsche, Plato, Hegel, and Kant. A ventriloquist, placing them on different fingers, presumably could arrange a panel discussion in which they express their varying outlooks. Individual puppets are available of Foucault, Schopenhauer, Spinoza, Jung, Arendt, Kant, Lao-Tzu, Walter Benjamin, Kierkegaard, Machiavelli, Freud, and others.
WWFD F-shirts (in S, M, L. XL, and XXL) have Freud's likeness on the front and WWFD? on the back. Also available Nietzsche T-shirts with an N.
Socrates beanie dolls (brains not included) are available, as are Nietzsche beanie dolls.

The guild (the name of their business) sells other articles related to art (a giggling Mona Lisa pillow and Warhol, Da Vinci, and Picasso dolls); politics (Sarah's Embarrassmints, edible peppermints to get the awful Palin taste out of your mouth); Judaica (Aleichem, Einstein, Marx finger puppets); science (Galileo, Darwin, Leonardo finger puppets); performing arts (Shakespeare, Chekov, Puccini finger puppets); history (Queen Elizabeth I, Lincoln, Guevara, Gandhi little thinker figures); literature (Clemens, Hemingway, Sappho finger puppets); and many kinds of sticky notes. See online catalog.

Contact for wholesale orders from museums, bookstores, gift shops, and resellers of all stripes.

Click to see Adam and Eve.