The Witty Professor: Sidney Morgenbesser

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

Columbia philosophy professor Sidney Morgenbesser died Sunday morning. Born in 1921, Morganbesser was famous for his wit. One well-remembered story about him regards an Oxford philosopher giving a speech at Columbia University 20 years ago. When the don said that in most languages two negatives make a positive, but in no language do two positives make a negative, Morganbesser refuted the point by waving his hand dismissively and saying, "Yeah, Yeah." NPR's Melissa Block talks to Bard College President Leon Botstein.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.