Friday, 27 February 2015 19:00

3. Mythos and Logos

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Plato was the first to say that philosophy begins with wonder, and I can connect my own first personal experience with philosophy when I wondered about many things. But I can't describe the feeling when I first shared those thoughts with others, after I first uttered thoughts into words – it was mind-blowing, I felt free as never before.

In philosophical practice, our attention as philosophers is oriented to others, and philosophy becomes a relation between our own thinking and the thinking of others, expressed with words. If we let the other speak, for instance during philosophical counseling session, they engage in myth (story-telling), telling us their own stream of thoughts, selected, disguised, ordered as they wish, but just in the right amount for them to conceal any important or vulnerable points.

If we, during the session, start to question our clients by following their logic, we engage in a dialogue, which is a two-way relation. In a dialogue, when we use Logos, we get so much more from our clients, which only helps them clarify and solve the problem.

Plato used both in his works, myths and dialogues, and I believe we should use both methods in philosophical practice in order to help people express themselves better. Stories allow them to live in a world they are used to, which is the everyday surface they usually present to others, where they feel at home. If they are to express it, philosophers can pick bits and pieces from this world and question them later, in a dialogue, when the real philosophical search for wisdom happens. We can use clients’ story, their view of the world, to question their logic, and examine whether or not their decision-making would help them cope with a given situation.

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Zoran Kojcic

I am a philosophical practitioner and counsellor, founding president of Croatian Society for Philosophical Practice, where we organize philosophical cafes and workshops, Socratic walks, dialogues with individuals, and where we strive to develop many other methods in the future. I also teach ethics and literature in schools, write papers, and manage blogs on philosophical practice. I am now looking for PhD opportunities in the field.


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