Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Why Does Being A Philosopher Help In Philosophical Practice? :: Philosophers Philosophy Philosophical Papers
Why Does Being A Philosopher Help In Philosophical Practice? I think of personal consulting and much of what others call therapy as like dancing with another person. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow and sometimes the hardest part to learn is how to stay out of your partners way. You must understand your partners way of moving very well indeed if you are to follow it, move with it and know what will embellish and accentuate and what will interrupt. The 'dance' of personal consulting requires the kind of intellectual ability we should expect a well trained philosopher to have even if it also calls for traits and skills philosophers are not likely to have. Philosophers are specialists in understanding people who are notoriously hard to understand. What philosophers do is listen to and think about other philosophers and their job is to pit their minds against the minds of some of the greatest intellects our civilisation has known, 'understand which is not the same as memorising', what those thinkers did say, would say, avoided saying, assumed or presupposed; who influenced them and how; which ideas connect with which; and how it all fits together. They must be able to do this so well that they can take the part of any major philosopher, know that philosopher so well that they can become him or her 'from the inside'. All academic disciplines breed a degree of self criticism that goes with a sense of never knowing as much as one ought to know, but this is especially true of philosophy which has historically been one of the most self critical and introspective of disciplines. Indeed the popular image of not being good for much owes a great deal to philosophers criticisms of themselves from Socrates on, and perhaps the world at large would not have had enough imagination to change the discipline with being useless if the philosophers had not themselves intimated as much. It is no wonder that philosophers are insecure given the stature of the minds against which they must match wits and given the complexity of the problems with which they deal. Granted philosophers tend to be 'out of touch' with their feelings Ã¢â¬â a drawback in a consultantÃ¢â¬â which would be shared by representatives of other disciplines such as psychiatry, psychology or medicine, but they are well used to keeping themselves in focus, to bringing a question back to 'what do 1 make out of all this?