The most philosophical state in the union


It is the “Show Me” State. Legend has it that the “show-me” is captures Missourians’ no-nonsense, matter-of-fact attitude. Don’t ask me to take your word for it, stranger. Give me something real to go on.

As far as I know, Missouri’s is the only epistemological slogan in the country. Maybe even in the world. (And would I ever like to own that car.)

new-hampshire-license-plate-197x100Other states have principled slogans. I love New Hampshire’s Live Free or Die.

Yet I give the nod for most philosophical to Missouri’s, and here I rely on the principle of the hierarchy of knowledge: Epistemology is more fundamental than politics. Thus Missouri’s epistemological slogan trumps New Hampshire’s political slogan.

On the other hand, politicians could censor Missouri’s slogan, so perhaps the political slogan trumps the epistemological? Let the ferocious debates begin.


Arkansas’s slogan is The Natural State, but I suspect they’re not making a metaphysical assertion.

Kentucky’s is Unbridled Spirit. Taking a stance on the mind-body problem?

Massachusetts’s slogan says Make It Yours. I did not know they were so strong on property rights.

Nebraska’s is Possibilities … Endless. They’ve been reading too much David Lewis?

New Jersey for years insisted it was The Garden State and, apparently given widespread disbelief, now invites you to Come See For Yourself. No take-it-on-faith folks, those New Jerseyans.

Oregon says Things Look Different Here, raising that whole relativity-of-the-senses issue again.

And Wisconsin is really into the meaning of life: Live like you mean it and Life’s so good (especially with a side of cheese.)

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