About

Elly Pirocacos
Montreal - Athens

Bio: Welcome! My name is Elly Pirocacos and this is a personal blog, home to philosophical reflections on life issues. These will vary from philosophically dense scholarly-type papers, to quibbles, annotations, critiques, self-help guides, and problematics. It was the university, first as a student and later as a Professor of Philosophy, that was once home to my philosophical engagement with life issues. Initially this was an ideal forum for an interactive, passionate exchange of commonly entrenched concerns but as education came to suffer the ills of institutionalisation more and more, and standardised policies replaced the creative, and biophilous dialectical flux that characterised the inter and intra-human exchange amongst practitioners of philosophy, this became an ever alienating experience. Yet the yearning for meaningful reflection has not waned and the practical application dating back to the Greeks has finally found new footing in Philosophical Counselling. Putting philosophy back on the streets and employing philosophical methods as a form of counselling constitute the two-tier structure of this blog. Negotiating the "truth" in all facets of life and living will be the driving force that both defines the parameters and implications of all philosophical reflections. Still a passionate educator committed to the ideals of college/university learning and philosophical counselling. In both venues, com-passionate, invested dialogue guides and helps content take form. Credentials: BA, MA, PhD in philosophy; APPA certified. Presently studying to acquire my BA in psychology. It's never too late to change your orientation in life! Membership/Secretary Treasurer Canadian Society for Philosophical Practice (CSPP)

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  1. I agree, but I believe that the classroom can be a forum for meaningful and authentic discussion with the right approach, one akin to Socratic dialogue amongs thinkers and developing thinkers.

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    1. Ed, thank you so much for your comment. It provides me with the opportunity to nuance my initial meaning. Formal accredited education has a role to play – an important one – however, when this environment becomes overrun by administrators and agendas mostly defined by economic and political principles, even the best efforts suffer the malaise of institutionalisation.

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        1. Thanks, Nick. I would agree that truth is always contextual and in flux. It’s no good superimposing a distinction between the outside world and the inner world of the subject as if to suggest that the best way to capture a proper understanding of how things are is to adopt a detached, objective (or objectified) stance towards so-called inanimate objects. Negotiating the truth is like dancing: it’s gait can be as elegant and dramatic as the tango.

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    1. Agreed: “stuff happens”. What’s interesting about this is not the sheer fact, namely that “stuff happens”, but how we perceive this stuff happening. You say, for instance, “nothing is mandatory, just consequential”, which speaks to your comportment to the world.

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  2. It’s a slow but growing field. It is my hope to make philosophical discourse a more integral part of everyday life in a way similar to Socrates. Alas this requires reaching out to great numbers of people and this is a surprisingly challenging feat! But an interactive blog and like-minded people spreading the word is at least start.

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      1. I know. I took the exit door. Merci, mais non merci. I am happy as a retired prof and full-time writer. The institution is now the corporation: not god for freedom of thought and very poor for objective analysis.

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  3. “Negotiating the “truth” in all facets of life and living will be the driving force that both defines the parameters and implications of all philosophical reflections.” Well said Elly, I am with you in spirit it seems.
    Love & light,
    JY

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  4. Yes to putting philosophy back on the streets! Institutional formations inside of academia have become as stifling to open philosophical discussion as the henchmen of the corporate state outside of academia. The hope is on the streets — in the hearts and imaginations outside of those formations. Timothy Leary was never so right: Drop out, turn on, tune in!

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    1. Unfortunately, as a generation we seem to be working in the inverse direction. The more we institutionalize education in the name of transparency, fairness, and with a dedication to learning, the more the standards plummet, and the more we cater to those counter-educational values that academics have been fighting against since time memorial – grades/degrees. By “inverse direction” I am referring to how we address the low standards of student performance as a symptom of poor teaching strategies, and impose further and further processes within teaching to SHOW students how to think and write, when what we should be doing is seeing that the problem is with the already existing stranglehold on initiative, reading, creativity, and more ad hoc methods of teaching; i.e we should be doing less!!! Our generation didn’t learn to write and think because we were shown. No! We were inspired by great teachers and lecturers by professors who taught what they knew, not what was in a curriculum as such.We learned from reading …a lot…some amazingly hard texts without PowerPoints to explain away their complexities, etc. I’ll stop here….I suppose you get my point! πŸ™‚

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      1. Yes to your pedagogical points. I was thinking more of political constraints coming from both sides and choking out the chaotic questioning atmosphere wherein philosophy flourishes. The 1960s adage, “question authority,” needs to be applied with full irreverence to the conservative formations outside of academia and to the liberal ones inside. I believe my political concern corresponds to your pedagogical one, although it is something more interesting than a simple one-on-one correspondence πŸ™‚

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  5. I think you will have much to offer your psych. profs! Myself, I liked history of psych, psych and lit., and, of course, depth psych. The clinical stuff was pretty easy (mostly multiple choice back then) but didn’t really interest me as much.

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