Most of my real-world experience with philosophers occurred during a short childhood camping trip my mother arranged; She had noticed that I was interested in philosophy, and offered to meet one of America's famous philosophers to see what he had to say (at the time, I had assumed that most philosophers were European); The name I chose off a list was Colin McGinn;
I said 'What my mother told me to say was that I'm interested in philosophy and I like to think'
He asked me 'What is your favorite problem?'
I replied 'I don't know, I guess I'm confused'
He replied, 'I like paradoxes, the more you use them, the more you think you can think; As it turns out, thinking that you think is very important in philosophy'
'What else is important?'
'You know what else is important? Abstract answers; Most philosophers think abstract answers are the key secret; I think it's less important, but that is just me; Every philosopher has her or his own preferences; It might turn out that you are an abstract kind of philosopher; It's up to you'
At that point my mother peeked in, and he said, 'I advocate what I call equal identical properties of matter; Everyone has a home, and everyone goes home; So no one's left alone; Know what I mean?'
'I don't know what you mean' I said; 'I was talking to your mother' he said;
'I don't know, do you want to continue?' She said; 'I'm sure he's interested';
He asked me 'What's your choice of religion?'
I replied, 'I'm Unitarian Universalist';
'Well, that gives you a head start' he said
He asked me, 'Who is your favorite philosopher?'
I replied 'I guess Plato'
He replied 'The thing you should know about Plato, is it's always about something else'
I replied 'I'm not sure what you mean'
He said 'I mean, with Plato, like Socrates before him, it's always about some new category, like Ethics or even philosophy itself; You might not know this, but Plato invented ethics; At least as we know it today; There's a good case that he invented religion, at least as we know it today; He invented God'
'I guess that's all I need to know, thank you'
'Wait, there's one another thing you should know' he said; 'I'm a millionaire'
'You mean spiritually?'
'No, I really am one'
'So can I have some?' 'Get lost, kid'
Later I had a voice in my head; It was my mother's voice; It said: You know, that really wasn't Colin McGinn, it was somebody else; I thought you would know; That's what philosophy is all about;
I thought, I guess having this thought is what philosophy's all about;
I felt connected to women, nature, and the universe at the same time;
Later my mother told him 'You seemed to influence him a lot; I can see him thinking'
I asked my mother: 'Was that really Colin McGinn?'
She replied, 'Yes, it was'
---Nathan Larkin Coppedge