The play is an allegorical farce, in which Lady Philosophy is on trial for corrupting the minds of young people and wasting their time. The entire play, in two acts, takes place in the “Court of Public Opinion” and just outside. A series of witnesses (Descartes, Shakespeare, Nietzsche, Jefferson, Einstein, and Socrates) provide a variety of perspectives on philosophy and the history of ideas. Much of the testimony provided by the witnesses is based on historical fact, including direct quotes from some of their writings. In this sense, the concept is patterned somewhat after Steve Allen's "Meeting of Minds".
Philosophy on Trial guide sections