Wednesday, 04 March 2015 19:00

6. Philosophy as attitude and content

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In my opinion, to answer the question “what’s philosophical in philosophical counselling?” we first need to explain what is it, which we call philosophy. The answer has to be a double one: philosophy is both an attitude and a content.

From the attitude point of view, philosophy is a kind of speech:

- requiring a rational mode (instead of an emotional or suggestive mode);

- supposing a detachment, a stepping back from the object of the enquiry, a suspension of any involvement;

- “truth oriented”: meaning that truth is one of its issues, with regard to the ethic dimension of sincerity, as well as the logic dimension of validity;

- it always has a panoramic perspective; which means it concerns us even when it says I. The single problem is always part of a shared speech;

- it always comes out as a questioning about facts, relationships, choices, etc.

From the content point of view, philosophy is a whole tradition, which is to say, a fully accessible archive of figures, reflections, hypothesis, experiences, all shaping an endless parallel with human existence.

And, while detecting these elements in a session of philosophical counselling is not always easy, verifying their absence is not difficult.

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Stefano Zampieri

I am a philosophical practitioner and counselor with a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Venice. I was president of Phronesis – Italian Association for philosophical counseling, and I am now a trainer at the training school for philosophical counselors of Phronesis. As a researcher I studied at length issues related to the philosophy of the Holocaust, and I have published several papers about philosophical counseling, particularly the first Italian handbook of philosophical counseling, Manuale della consulenza filosofica (2013). I founded “Zona Filosofica” in Venice, an original space for sharing philosophical reflection on the themes of existence.