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Some thoughts on being a contrarian

There's no way this post will be as short as it should be. But here's to hoping. Was it worth drinking hemlock? Philosophers--and perhaps intellectuals generally, but mostly philosophers, in my experience--tend to have a reputation for being contrarians. That is to say, they will nearly always try to show the opposite of what you say, or suggest some possible counterexample to your claim, regardless of the claim. "Contrarian" is usually reserved for the man who says something opposed to the common view, the guy who "goes against the grain." And in a way, this is not entirely different from the way philosophers are seen. The contrarian is different from the corrector, who  knows  you're wrong about something (and probably takes too much pleasure in telling you so). A contrarian, on the other hand, may not know whether or not you are actually wrong, but always suggests that you could be anyway. Even if your view is not the common view, he will treat  it as

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