Laura Capogna

Laura Capogna

I am a philosophical practitioner living and working in Rome. I am a member of Phronesis, the Italian Association for philosophical counselling (www.phronesis-cf.com).

I entered Phronesis (in 2011) for two reasons: to learn if and how it was possible to put philosophy into practice again, at the service of common people in everyday life, like Socrates and the ancient Greeks did; and to meet, and become part of a community of modern, living philosophers, with whom I could share, compare, and “put on trial” my vision of the world. I accepted Ran Lahav’s proposal to work on the Agora project for these same reasons.

What is a philosophical companionship?

For now, it is a small group of philosophical practitioners meeting on a regular basis, with a common goal: to create a new format of philosophical practice. A format that allows the participants to experience "a free and open exploration in order to cultivate new depths of understanding and enrich our attitude to life".

What is philosophical in Philosophical Practice? My answer is: the philosopher. The way I understand it, more than to philosophical ideas, the adjective "philosophical" is related to the individual who builds and structures such ideas in a consistent system. So, for me, the question turns into: what makes someone a philosopher and what must this someone achieve, in order to give a philosophical meaning, weight, dimension to a practice he (or she) performs?

Before trying to suggest an answer, let us reflect on this: the word "love" indicates no specific object (as a noun), no specific action (as a verb), not even a specific state of mind, nor a simple mood or emotion. And yet it is a meaningful word. Or we wouldn't have it.

Finally, let me state this: for me, all human emotions/attitudes are “just human”. I mean: no divine or demonic intervention is needed to explain them.

Saying yes to life”, then, is not just an attitude. It's an experience, an intimate experience, which involves feelings, sensations, state of mind, mood; it's a way of perceiving and looking at things and people; it's a "mode of life generated by life".

Of course, many philosophers talk about love and say many things about it: what distinguishes love from other emotions (but, is love just an emotion?), what are the main characteristics of love (but, can we grasp a whole from its parts?), what is the difference between true love and false love (but, can love be false?), which different kinds of love exist (but, can we distinguish kinds, in a thing we do not distinguish first?), the value of love (but fixing a value to something gives for granted, rather than explaining, defining this something) and so on.

To me, this is a fundamental question, as a human being and as a philosopher. So, this string of reflections is an invitation to give your own answer.


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