09 Mar 2015

8. A shared search for the meaning of life

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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?

First, a PhD in philosophy. Subsequently? "Just" this: once gone through the University studies, somebody wishing to call himself (herself) a philosopher, must live his/her life philosophically (or, at least, try to). Which, for me, means: never stop searching for the meaning of life, never stop doubting and never refuse to put at stake his/her findings (meaning: let them undergo the test of facts and or the check of logic), never be scared either of changing them or change his/her behaviours and life style, as a consequence.

This search involves and concerns "small" things of everyday life as well as big questions, and it makes no big difference if it goes from the first to the second or vice-versa: small things and big questions always go together for a philosopher, as the two faces of a same coin.

So, in my opinion, this search is Philosophical Practice. A search for the meaning of life where

1. a philosopher uses different tools: critical thinking and sharp logic, but also meditation and contemplation.

2. a philosopher normally refers - besides other philosophers (western and eastern) - to as many traditional, academic, accredited authors as he/she is attuned with: scientists, historians, artists, even theologians.

3. a philosopher is willing to establish and renew human relationships and refuses isolation.

 

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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.