“Dan, reading your post above is interesting. Do you think this way of thinking/processing is part of what drew you to philosophy?”
Yes, I think it’s precisely why I wound up a philosopher. It was the subject which permitted no assumptions and it was the subject where right from the start we were deriving the ideas logically and allowed to critically challenge the professors and the texts in an open ended way. All the other disciplines (except literature) start out as dogmatisms and only later are you taught how to think like scientists or social scientists or historians and given the ability to derive things for yourself and discover them for yourself. In philosophy, that’s the exercise even for novices and so that’s where I understood things and was motivated to learn and had the intoxicating experience of genuinely THINKING, rather than merely memorizing.
Sometimes, a person manages to perfectly encapsulate something that you have been trying to put into words for ages. In a comment thread on Facebook yesterday, Dan Fincke did that wonderfully. Philosophy, at its best, should always be about investigative, rational thought.