Silvia Schwarz

Silvia Schwarz

I am a scholar in Indology. My main interests lie in the Tantric religious traditions of medieval India. In addition to publishing a book and articles on these topics, I have also produced translations for the general reader of texts from the Sanskrit narrative and devotional literature. I obtained a PhD in South Asian Studies from the University of Vienna.

I am interested in philosophical practice and I am presently concluding a Masters degree in Philosophical Counselling at Ca' Foscari, the University of Venice."

I would like to add some reflections to the string Philosophical Practice and Canonical Texts initiated by Manos Perrakis. Perrakis maintains that literature may be a source of inspiration for the philosophical practice. In fact, there are novels which present characters who provide, either explicitly or implicitly, philosophical teachings, and poems which express through images and metaphors philosophical thoughts or truths.

I would like to add some reflections concerning the issue of the non social facet of philosophy, raised by Arto Tukiainen. As a matter of fact, many contemporary philosophical practitioners have developed various approaches, methods and techniques, in dealing with their counselees, so that either in individual counselling, or in working with groups, or in working within organizations, philosophical practice comes to be chiefly regarded as a relational, social activity, where the dialogue plays a central role.

I think that for the still young philosophical counselling it is important not only to define its nature and bring into focus its purposes, but also to clarify its methods and sharpen its tools. Considering some past traditions which have inspired and may inspire the modern philosophical practitioners, one can see how crucial was the discourse on and the praxis of a suitable method.

The problem of the "methods in philosophical practice", raised by Leon De Haas is certainly a crucial issue. De Haas, in agreement with Achenbach, states that philosophical practice should not have a method, by which he understands a way to reach a pre-conceived goal; conversely, in the guest's quest of sense in her/his life, the method should be invented while making one's way.

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