How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? The argument could be made that woodchucks are perfectly capable of, yet averse to, chucking wood. In the event of a woodchuck’s woodchucking, the wood would be chucked by the woodchuck in moderation, since woodchucks undoubtedly adhere to the guidelines in Plato’s The Republic. The wood chucked by the woodchuck would not exceed the amount of wood that would be chucked by any creature commonly known for its slight adeptness at chucking wood. If a woodchuck would chuck wood, would the woodchuck chuck enough wood to equal the amount of wood chucked by a small woodchucking device? The answer, of course, is no.
Woodchucks choose not to chuck wood, not merely because of their lack of opposable thumbs and overall bulk, but also because of their design, suggesting that, even if a woodchuck could chuck wood, it would not. Woodchucks would much rather wander aimlessly through the woods, watching other creatures that are designed to chuck wood chuck wood. Just because woodchucks do not choose to chuck wood does not mean that the woodchucks’ wood chucking would not be a large amount of wood chucked by woodchucks. A woodchuck chucking wood is similar to an outstretched hand revealing many fingers; the woodchuck has chosen one finger (or path, if you will) that runs parallel to many other paths. Though the woodchucking woodchuck is confused, he can always stop chucking wood to achieve his true purpose.
modified from a philosophy class journal entry, 9-18-03