What should be most obvious is that one of the primary duties of any Nietzschean is to overcome Nietzsche. And even if a Nietzschean remains a fan of Nietzsche, they must dissemble.  They must not allow anyone to know that they are a fan of Nietzsche.  And if they say anything about Nietzsche at all, they must denounce Nietzsche.  They can do this in a variety of ways - morally, politically, or best yet aesthetically.  They can say that Nietzsche is imprecise, boring, out of date, old-fashioned, corny, infantile, unsophisticated, not a real philosopher, only for poseurs, or that he missed something fundamental and that we have far surpassed him. Above all, one should misinterpret Nietzsche.

Stoics = Epicureans

Epicureanism, taken far enough, becomes Stoicism.  Stoicism, taken far enough, becomes Epicureanism. People often use the term "epicurean" to refer to somebody who is only interested in short-term, material pleasures, like eating delicious food. But Epicurus was actually a brilliant philosopher - yes, he said that pleasure was the goal of human life, but he specified that there were higher and lower pleasures, and that the highest pleasure is the appreciation of wisdom. He also considered friendship to be a profound source of meaning. True happiness, he thought, could be attained if we learn not to desire transient things but instead focus on the deepest, highest, most meaningful joys. Once one understands epicureanism in its proper context, it's very similar to Stoicism.   On the other side of the coin, people often use "stoic" to mean some kind of macho, bad-ass, unfeeling, joyless, hard heart of stone. But if you take stoic philosophy serious
  I kind of think about Hegel the way you might think about astrology.  People have different reactions to astrology.  Most people are vaguely aware of it, but only vaguely.  Then there are a few people who become deeply, deeply fascinated with it, or immersed in it.  Some people declare themselves experts on the subject.  A lot of these people are hucksters.  They can say whatever they want, and then slap the label "astrology" on their own opinions, intuitions, proclamations, or vague utterances.  And it can be very difficult to distinguish hucksters who make it up as they're going along from people who have done any real research on the subject - and this can become more and more difficult, the vaguer and more confusing people's statements are.  So there is a perverse incentive to write the vaguest and most confusing, or simply the most beside-the-point stuff, because it makes it more difficult for someone else to prove that you don't know what you're talkin
Helene: Admit that you've been happy. Alphonse: Often there's no choice. -from "Muriel, or the Time of the Return," written by Jean Cayrol (directed by Alain Renais)

How to Do Philosophy

When I read Marx, or Hegel, or Nietzsche, or Plato, or Hobbes, or Confucius, or a hundred other writings, how do I read them?  Why do I read them? First, let me tell you how I'm not reading them.  I'm not reading them looking for The Answer.  I'm not looking for The Truth.  I'm not looking for something that is correct.  Any of the above may very well be correct, but that's not why I'm reading them.   Let me break this down.  Here are two options for how to read a text: Option 1) Be a Seeker.  Read a text seeking the truth, looking for something that will tell you the correct answer to all of your deepest questions.  A text that will tell you what your ultimate purpose is, and how to achieve it, and why you should achieve it.  Something that will give your life a goal, a meaning, perhaps even a sense of destiny.  A text that will tell you right from wrong, and give you a body of dogma - answers that you can carry around in your head that are as emotionally sati
  I love reading and watching and listening to people who disagree with me, especially if they disagree with me in interesting ways.  I love thinking about how I would argue against what they are saying, point by point.  It's not even necessary for me actually to do this, out loud - I get just as much enjoyment out of holding the argument inwardly, in my own mind, without saying it out loud.  It's excellent training, but more than that, it is an intrinsic pleasure, desirable for its own sake, not as preparation for any future debate.  This is one of the primary pleasures of life. On the other hand, there's nothing I hate more than hearing the opinions of people I agree with.  It's like hearing an echo of my own mind, out there in reality.  It's so boring.  If I wanted to listen to my own thoughts, I would just think to myself.  If I'm listening to someone else, I want to hear something different from me.  I just want people who agree with me to go a

The Myth of Belief

Here's an awkward way of putting it (we'll fix it later) - a kind of story, or folktale (folk-science): First, people ascribed beliefs to each other . At that time, if I ascribed a belief to you, that meant that I was modeling you as acting as if x is true.  That is to say, person A would act in a manner consistent with a model of [a world that includes] person B acting in a manner consistent with a model of [the world in which] x.  We can call this "The Golden Age."  [See also: my essay, " A Defense of the Ego ," in which I briefly discuss the problem of other minds and Frans de Waal and Josep Call's experiments involving chimps that seem to demonstrate an awareness of each others' perceptions and mental models of their environments.] Then people started to ascribe beliefs to themselves .  At that point, if I believed something, that meant I was modeling myself as acting the way I would act if x were true.  Just as you might notice someone else acti