Category Archives: Damn sophistry

Do not trust the words of philosophers

Really, do not trust them. 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 do not want that. They want you to be critical, look deep into what they say (and do not say), and in general engage with their words on a fundamental 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. Philosophy is an activity, and you are included.

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 is the same principle. You have not done it right if you just did 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.

The rhetorical disposition

Introductory words, making the reader feel both at home and interested.

Words words words.


Words that provide a strong mental image to focus the readers attentions and connotations.

Words words words words words words words.

Words words words words.

More words.

Words that convey a single, clear message. The punchline.

Words words words words words.



Words that root the above punchline even further in the aboveabove mental image, and provide additional arguments for the truthness of the read.

Words words words words words words words.

Birds and words.


Add words here.

Finishing words, providing textual closure and an imperative to act on the recently read words.

Be rhetorical in all things.