Do not trust the words of philosophers

Really, don’t. They are a tricky bunch, and take offense at being taken at face value. Just nodding and saying “aight, you seem to know what you’re on about, I trust you” is the exact opposite of the response they want and respect. They don’t want that. They want you to be critical, look deep into what they say (and don’t say), and in general engage with their words on a deep level. They want you to think “hmm, this could be wrong, but – oh, right, how good of you to point that out, yes, nice”. And not just once, but throughout their wordings and wheelings and dealings. From the introduction to the conclusion. All the way.

You know those elaborate tea ceremonies, which take hours to go through and where every stage is defined precisely in every minute detail by convention, tradition and politeness? It’s the same principle. You’ve not done it right if you just done the first five minutes. Gotta go through all the motions.

It is the polite thing to do.

So be very careful around philosophers. They are a tricky bunch, and they will not take your routine attempts at appeasing them lightly. Do not agree with them, but also do not disagree with them outright. Hem and haw and postpone any particular judgment for as long as possible, and you will be fine – for as much as they like to think they can discourse forever, the constraints of the world will eventually pry them away from you, and then you are free.

Just take a deep breath, and be ready to untrust any philosophers you happen to come across in the future.

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