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61. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
James Stacey Taylor The Future of Practical Philosophy
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Over the last two decades the practice of applied philosophy has undergone re­surgence. It is now common for philosophers to sit on ethics committees in hospitals, or to provide ethical advice to businesses, and many universities and colleges now offer courses in practical philosophy. Despite this, practical philosophy is subject to increasing criticism, with persons charging that (1) it is philosophically shallow, and (2) it has little to offer persons grappling with concrete ethical problems, either because (a) its techniques or too removed from such problems, or (b) because ethical theory is too abstract. In this paper I develop responses to these criticisms, and offer suggestions as to how practical philosophy should be developed.
62. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Bruce W. Fraser What’s Love Got to do With It?: The Epistemic Marriage of Philosophical Counseling and Psychology
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This paper argues for an intrinsic connection between Logic-Based Therapy (LBT) and empirical psychology, a connection that suggests the need to employ both philo­sophical and psychological theories in the clinical setting. This link is established by arguing that LBT is conceptually grounded in naturalized epistemology, the view introduced and defended by W. V. O. Quine in the aftermath of his attack on the Analytic-Synthetic dis­tinction. Naturalized epistemology places empirical psychology and logic on the same epis­temic foundation, and, it is argued, it is this foundation that both supports the application of logic in the clinical setting and connects logic to empirical psychology. One consequence of this view is that LBT should be understood as providing a theoretical framework for other forms of philosophical counseling, an idea that establishes the logic-based approach to therapy as the sine qua non of the counseling enterprise.
63. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Samuel Zinaich, Jr. The Future of Practical Philosophy: a Reply to Taylor
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This response to Taylor’s paper, “The Future of Applied Philosophy” (also includ­ed in this issue) describes Taylor’s understanding of the problems that practical philosophy faces; describes Taylor’s responses to these problems, and offers criticisms of his arguments.
64. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Samuel Zinaich, Jr. Gerd B. Achenbach’s ‘Beyond-Method’ Method
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In this essay, I take up the question of whether Gerd B. Achenbach’s ‘beyond-method’ method provides a suitable approach to counseling for the philosophical counselor. Achenbach maintains that the best method to counseling is one that is beyond any one single system. Many scholars have expressed an increasing dissatisfaction with such a methodology. Although these critiques of Achenbach are helpful, I argue that they do not capture the real problem with his counseling method. After I discuss this additional difficulty, I conclude that it is beyond all dispute that the methods of philosophical counseling should be advanced along different lines.
65. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Hakam Al-Shawi The Role of Philosophical Courage in Philosophical Counseling
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Traditionally we are familiar with at least two forms of courage: physical and moral. But the virtue has other forms which have not been widely recognized. One such form is “psychological courage” required to overcome psychological problems. Another form is “philosophical courage” required for philosophical counseling. In this paper, I argue that whether implicitly or explicitly, both counselor and client need courage, in its form as “philosophical courage,” for successful counseling. Moreover, the degree of such courage in both client and counselor will determine the extent to which issues are brought into question.
66. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Kate Mehuron The Depathologization of Everyday Life: Implications for Philosophical Counseling
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Philosophical counseling offers a depathologizing practice that can benefit both the practitioner and the client. Philosopher Michel Foucault’s account of biopower is a useful analytic of the psychopathologization of everyday life, and can show the social signif­icance of philosophical practice. This essay critiques the conflation, by some philosophical practitioners, of the medical disease model and all psychotherapeutic methods. Foucault’s conflation of human normativity and normalization is also critiqued. Historian of science Georges Canguilhem’s alternative account of human normativity within the medical disease model is offered as an antidote to the conflations by these philosophical practitioners and Foucault. Philosophical practitioners ought to give up objectivist claims to value neutrality and acknowledge that the interventions of philosophical counseling in clinical diagnostic discourses are normative, theory-laden, and politically significant.
67. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
William H. J. Marten A Theoretical Model of Fragile Authenticity Structure
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An increasingly number of patients in Western civilizations suffer from weak authenticity structure which is characterized by a lack of self-realization, autonomy, character strength, stereotype behavior, inability to use (internal) dialogue in order to learn about oneself and defining oneself as a individual, and so on. In this paper a theoretical model of fragile authenticity structure and some suggestions to regain a more authentic attitude are presented.
68. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Carol Miller For What are We Born to Become?: The Logotherapy of Dr. Victor Frankl
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For what are we born to become as Homo Sapiens? This question is answered in this article on the logotherapy of Dr. Viktor Frankl. This article commences with an exploration of human ontology guided by the philosophy of existentialism. This exploration leads to a continuation of this article by an explanation of logotherapy in theoretical principles and therapeutic processes. This explanation leads to the conclusion of this article by an application of logotherapy in three cases. This article is written with a creative synthesis that engages philosophical thoughts and psychological practices for logotherapists in the 21st Century.
69. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Rajshri Jobanputra The Theory of ‘Selfism’—Man as a Hero
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Based on my experience as a philosophical counselor for the last two years, in this paper I attempt to describe the perception of life a young mind carries with him when faced with the challenges of life and the typical approaches adopted by him in order to endure them. Subsequent to this I attempt to build the theory of ‘selfism’ explicating the humanistic essence that each individual is not just responsible for the realization of his aspiration but also possesses the power within him to achieve it. This power within an individual is identi­fied by the survival kit he owns consisting of a rational approach to crisis situation, a central purpose vis-à-vis which all daily actions are aligned to and a strong sense of self-worth.
70. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 4
Maria daVenza Tillmanns Philosophical Counseling: Understanding the Unique Self and Other through Dialogue
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Many philosophical counselors seem to be counselors who use or point to phil­osophical texts or use abstract indeed logical or rational methods when working with a client. I want to introduce the idea of a counseling philosopher, who uses the client’s own concrete experiences as the basis for philosophizing with the client about the nature of the client’s dilemma - using ‘the between’ (Buber) as that special creative space where one em­ploys the art of philosophizing to the unique situation. Otherwise, the particularity of that client gets subsumed under theory or methods, much like what has happened in psychology and which gave rise to Achenbach’s criticisms of psychology/psychiatry. The dialogical of which Buber and Friedman speak is the give and take between client and counseling philosopher of understanding and expanding perceptions confirmed through the actual relationship. Philosophy as an art (and not a method) helps us restore the trust Buber talks about which allows us to engage the world directly and not through categories of thought grounded in psychological or philosophical texts and theories.
71. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 4
Samuel Zinaich, Jr. Janet Staab on Philosophical Coaching as Engaged Pedagogy
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In this essay, I critically analyze Janet Staab’s view of engaged pedagogy, as a basis for philosophical coaching. I argue that Staab’s approach fails to address two major issues faced by counselors within a counseling context. First, Staab’s position does not appreciate the need for an appropriate psychical distance between coach and client, one needed to understand the client’s problems. Second, although Staab addresses the need to handle conflicts that may arise between coach and client, her viewpoint does not recognize the value of how it is possible to empower the client even if the choices and outlooks of the client clash with the coach’s own values.
72. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 4
Bruce W. Fraser Comments on Elliot Cohen’s “Absolute Nonsense: The Irrationality of Perfectionist Thinking”
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These comments on Cohen’s paper (IJPP, this issue) focus on the question of whether Cohen’s attempt to derive antidotes from incompatible or contradictory philosophical camps— such as Hume’s subjective theory of beauty, on the one hand, and Augustine’s objectivist account—present a fatal problem for Cohen’s LBT. The paper concludes with suggesting a constructive way around the problem.
73. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 2 > Issue: 4
Elliot D. Cohen Absolute Nonsense: The Irrationality of Perfectionistic Thinking
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This paper shows how Logic-Based Therapy can constructively employ philosophical theories (such as those of Augustine, Aquinas, Spinoza, Hume, and Epictetus) as potent antidotes to the fallacy of Demanding Perfection.
74. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Jon Mills Philosophical Counseling as Psychotherapy: An Eclectic Approach
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Contrary to current belief among many philosophers, I attempt to show that philosophical counseling is a form of psychotherapy that is in need of structure and guidance in order for it to prosper as a viable approach to mental health treatment. Methodological approaches are examined including dialectical, solution-oriented, and long-term considerations that comprise the nature of meaning analysis and procedural inquiry. If philosophical counseling is to gain recognition among the helping professions, it will need to embrace a philo-psychological paradigm of theory and practice that emphasizes philosophical eclecicism.
75. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Mike W. Martin Ethics as Therapy: Philosophical Counseling and Psychological Health
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From the inception of philosophical counseling an attempt was made to distinguish it from (psychological) therapy by insisting that therapy could not be more misleading. It is true that philosophical counselors should not pretend to be able to heal major mental illness; nevertheless they do contribute to positive health—health understood as something more than the absence of mental disease. This thesis is developed by critiquing Lou Marinoff’s book, Plato not Prozac!, but also by ranging more widely in the literature on philosophical counseling. I also interpret philosophical counseling as a form of philosophical ethics.
76. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Fiona Jenkins Care of the Self or Cult of the Self?: How Philosophical Counseling Gets Political
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How might philosophically based counseling avoid becoming just one more form of private therapy, to be set alongside all the others now sold to individual consumers? Although several practitioners of philosophical counseling have sought to distinguish their approach from psychotherapeutic models, Foucault’s critique of the dominant modern model of ethical reflection might be used to argue for their essential continuity with one another, based on their common acceptance of the primacy of the imperatives of knowledge. Foucault turned in his late writings to ancient Greek models of ethics as ‘care of the self ’, delineating a self-relation prior to knowledge. This paper argues for the interest and importance for philosophical counseling of the idea of ethics as ‘care of the self ’ in articulating a model of ethical reflection distinct from both rationalist and irrationalist tendencies in modern thought and focussed on self-mastery conceived as addressing our relation to otherness rather than as authenticity or autonomy. Moreover, the ‘aesthetics of existence’ that Foucault prescribes to the present has a significant and affirmative relationship to po­litical life; this distinguishes it from the private and individualistic project, dismissed by Foucault as ‘the Californian cult of the self ’, for which philosophical counseling can all too readily be mistaken.
77. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Elliot D. Cohen Permitting Suicide in Philosophical Counseling
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This paper introduces and examines the concept of permitted suicide in the context of philosophical counseling. It argues that clients suffering from serious, irremediable physical illnesses, such as Lou Gehrigs, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and HIV, should be free to philosophically explore the option of suicide with their philosophical counselors without undue fear of paternalistic intervention to thwart a rational suicide decision. Legal liability, professional duties, and qualifications of philosophical counselors who counsel such clients are explored. It is argued that, within certain professional and legal limits, philosophical counselors are uniquely qualified to take on this professional challenge.
78. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
J. Michael Russell Philosophical Counseling is not a Distinct Field: Reflections of a Philosophical Practitioner
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There is currently a movement advocating “philosophical counseling.” My own development as a philosopher, then a human services professional, then a psychoanalyst, charts how I came to believe that philosophical training was underrated, and training in psychology was overrated, as an appropriate intellectual foundation for psychotherapy. However, these fields are not distinct. Laws governing the practice of psychology are arrogant in their scope, and make virtually everything out to be the practice of psychology. The scope and nature of philosophy isn’t any clearer. The kind of thinking encouraged in psychology is liable to be exactly the wrong sort of thing for training therapists. Unfortunately, philosophers are liable to not be good therapists either. The lack of neat distinctions between philosophical counseling and psychotherapy provides an argument against a monopoly on therapy-like activities by psychologists. On the liberal side this is an argument in favor of freedom of speech, of belief, and trade, for the applied philosopher. On the conservative side, it may also be an argument for certification (as opposed to licensure) for both psychologists and philosophers, in the interest of protecting the vulnerable by promoting truthful self-representation.
79. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
James Stacey Taylor The Central Value of Philosophical Counseling
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The title of this paper is deliberately ambiguous. It could refer either to the central val­ue that philosophical counseling has for philosophy in general, or else it could refer to something (such as personal autonomy, or personal well-being) that philosophical counselors believe to be of value, and that they are able to help their clients pursue. In fact, this paper will be addressing both of these topics in order to demonstrate the links that hold between them, and, in so doing, will attempt to further elucidate the nature of philosophical counseling itself.
80. International Journal of Philosophical Practice: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Mason Marshall, D. Kevin Sargent A Rhetorical Turn in Philosophical Counseling?: An Invitation
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Far more than the dialectic philosophy of Socrates, the rhetorical humanist tradition avoids objectivist epistemology, charts a traversable path to practical wisdom, and aptly highlights the importance of aesthetic style. In those and other ways, we argue, it offers a preferable historical basis for today’s philosophical counseling. Advocates of that contemporary practice tend to cite Socrates as its historical progenitor and favor the narrow propositional logic that is ascribed to him. Some practitioners, though, have also grown more attuned to metaphorical and narrative elements in a client’s worldview. We aim to supplement their claims by drawing from principles of classical rhetorical theory, showing a way to rethink the practice of philosophical counseling today.