Your interpretation of Nassim Nicholas Taleb is wrong: but it’s wrong in an interesting way because it makes manifest a fundamental misunderstanding about the life of a philosopher. The mind of a philosopher responds to many different sources of stimulation (some of them external, but many of them internal). Taleb may have come to this insight because of a recent personal conflict. That’s possible. But it’s just as possible that the insight came to him via a conversation with a friend about someone else’s life; it could have occurred to him whilst he was reading a Russian novel; it could have come to him via a bit of gossip overheard at a French restaurant; it could have come to him via reflection upon something that happened to his brother’s best friend twenty years ago; or he could have come to this conclusion off the top of his head.
The whole point of being a philosopher is that you don’t need to rely solely upon your own petty day-to-day experiences to learn things about the world. That’s (part of) the meaning of this aphorism from The Bed of Procrustes (2010): “To be a philosopher is to know through long walks, by reasoning, and reasoning only, a priori, what others can only potentially learn from their mistakes, crises, accidents, and bankruptcies—that is, a posteriori.” In sum, the fact that you immediately assume that the reason for Taleb’s day-to-day thinking can be found in the petty details of his day-to-day life makes clear that you do not understand how philosophers think. This is, incidentally, a misunderstanding shared these days by most intellectual historians and all biographers. At bottom, it’s a failure of the imagination, as well as a rejection of its power.
—John Faithful Hamer, The Myth of the Fuckbuddy (2016)