Friday, 24 April 2015 20:00

16. Is philosophical practice philosophy or something else?

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Let us take a step further starting from what has been said previously and trying to define the core of the issue. When a person decides to consult a philosophical counsellor rather than a psychologist or psychotherapist, this probably originates from the need to deal with something deeper than the problem of "why I feel this and not something else". Maybe the need is to understand not only why I think according to a particular pattern, but also how I think. It means to investigate the ideas and the beliefs which guide the counselee's life, who most of time is not aware of them.

Nevertheless, in this sense, it is very important to look at the dialogue with the philosophers of the past and the present, and I think this happens in two ways: the first one is of course when the practitioner is interacting with the counselee, using different philosophical theories and approaches which could be helpful to let emerge the worldviews and ideas, as well as when he is questioning his own truths; the second way is also very important and happens when the practitioner "keeps in touch" with thoughts of philosophers of the past in a continuous dialogue which can let him/her grow in his/her own experiences and knowledge.

To express it in another way: if our purpose is to help others gaining self awareness and knowledge, we need in the first instance to continue enriching our research for truths and investigate new paths of knowledge. If we see philosophy as the search for truth and research on the human condition, and if our work is to promote this research in everyday life, stimulating a deep thought which can bring a little change in the counselee's worldview, then I think we are on the good way not only to make he or she aware of his/her life's guidelines but also give him/her tools and maybe insights to transform and create new

meanings and most of all responsibility of what he/she says and do in everyday life. In this sense I think that philosophical practice could considered to be be fully philosophy.




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Federica Beneventi

I am an Italian philosophical practitioner based in Modena. I graduated in Philosophy at the Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, with a thesis on the connection between the concept of free will and new discoveries in neuroscience. After completing my degree, I started a Master's degree in Philosophical Counselling at Ca' Foscari – University of Venice, which I am presently concluding.

As a philosophical practitioner, I organize philosophical cafés in my hometown, and philosophical workshops in schools, as well as with volunteers of the hospital organization "Librarsi" in Sassuolo.