Philosophical Counseling

“You must know that it is no easy thing for a principle to become a man’s own, unless each day he maintain it and hear it maintained, as well as work it out in life.” – Epictetus, The Golden Sayings

 

What is Philosophical Counseling?

The Shorthand Answer

It is a practice that helps individuals develop critical and conceptual skills within the philosophical tradition as a resource from which she may explore and creatively negotiate life issues in a meaningful and fruitful manner. 

The Longhand Answer

It is a practice where philosophical (e.g. conceptual analysis, deconstruction) and evaluative tools (e.g. logic; truth claims theory; practical reasoning, fallacies) of discourse are used to negotiate a wide spectrum of human life issues (e.g. anxiety issues, relationship issues/marriage/divorce, ethical issues, professional issues and so on). To this end an extensive – judged on the basis of relevance – range of philosophical schools (e.g. existentialism, phenomenology), arguments (classic arguments in philosophy literature may sometimes be apropos, like Ockham’s Razor, Aristotle on incontinence, Popper’s Falsifiability argument, and so on), and philosophers (Aristotle mostly for ethics; Lonergan for insight evolution; Habermas for conflict theory and dialogue; Irigaray on feminist issues, etc.) may be integrated into discussion to assist a client to negotiate her issue.

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