Cafe Philosophy

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While at a cafe with a friend recently, he stated that he had little intereste in the ancient phiosopheres. I believe his reason (could be wrong on this bit) was a combination of disslike for the formal academic process, and a desire to be able to come to his own conclusions about the world and stuff.
I asked him why not use the previously thought thoughts as leapfrog and skip ahead to the next lesson. (Do frogs go to lessons?)
And we left it there.
In a display of circular discussion, I found an interesting quote by a funny fellow called Rene Descartes (known to some as Ducky). This chap is highly regarded in philosophy circles by people who are better read than I. His most famous tag line is "Cogito ergo sum." (Latin for: "I think; therefore I am.") Anyway, he also once said: "One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another."
I've the strangest feeling he was right... or maybe it's just a belief, who can tell?