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12th International Conference on Philosophical Practice
Athens, 4-12 August 2013
(with Round Tables in the framework of the activities of the 23rd World Congress of Philosophy in Athens, and in co-operation with other international associations and societies for Philosophical Practice and the Municipality of Papagou-Cholargou) Programme of 12 ICPP Activities
4 of August: Start of WCP in Athens 4-10 of August: 8 WCP Round Tables for 12 ICPP in the School of Philosophy, Zografos Campus as fol ows (each Round Table is for a maximum of 2 hours) 11-12 of August: 6 ICPP Independent Sessions (with Workshops, Philosophy Walks and a Plenary Session) at the Municipality Main Buildings of Cholargos- Papagou as follows ROUND TABLES AT THE ATHENS WCP (4-10 August 2013) School of Philosophy, Zografos Campus, 157 84 Zografos [Please note that the times and dates of the 12 ICPP Round Tables will be determined by the Congress Corgansing Committee; the tentative programme of the Congress can be found here:] Round Table 1: Philosophy as Remedy
Chair: Dr. C.Athanasopoulos (President, Hel enic Society for Philosophical Practice)
Speaker 1: Professor Lou Marinof (President, American Philosophical Practitioners
Association; Department of Philosophy, The City Col ege of New York, USA):
"Philosophy as Remedy: Practical Alternatives to the DSM."
Abstract: Modern medical sciences and associated technologies have contributed
directly to the lengthening of human life expectancies, which have nearly doubled in the
developed world during the past century. Recent decades, however, have witnessed the
emergence of epidemic proportions of il nesses in affluent societies, malaises whose
root causes appear to repose on cultural rather than biological factors. Examples of
such epidemics include depressions, eating disorders, ADHDs, social anxiety disorders,
sexual dysfunctions, chronic fatigue syndromes, autisms, and a general absence of
meaning and purpose in life. These malaises are concomitant with the demise of the
extended family, with the disintegration of the nuclear family, and with technologies that
exacerbate confusions between virtuality and reality. In the developed world, the human
condition has been hyper-psychologized and over-medicalized, such that discontents of any and every kind are routinely diagnosed, and prescription drugs reflexively prescribed, in many cases for problems stemming not from medical maladies, but from cultural y-induced il nesses. The colonization of medicine by the pharmaceutical industry, and (in the US) by the insurance industry, has further exploited and indeed exacerbated these cultural epidemics, for pure profit motive. Instead of addressing the core issues that engender these myriad "depressions," "disorders," and "syndromes," the evolving technocracy that governs the operations of its colonies of captive consumers increasingly treats il nesses -- whether real or reified -- and not human beings. People are dehumanized by the very system and process that purports to heal them. We inhabit a Brave New World of ubiquitous diagnosis and gratuitous drugging. But consumers, including children, are getting worse, not better. Increasing life expectancies are offset by decreasing happiness indices. Why? Because lasting happiness, synonymous with felicity and fulfil ment (cal ed "eudaimonia" by Aristotle and "serernity" by Asian and Stoic philosophical traditions) is neither a service that governments can provide, nor a commodity that industries can produce. Lasting happiness arises chiefly from cultivating humanistic sensibilities and inculcating virtues, including Socratic and artistic practices, which modern technocracies have marginalized. Throughout Western civilization, and in Westernized nations globally, these pervasive epidemics are being noted, and named. In Germany they are cal ed zivilisationskrankheit, or "civilization diseases," in Sweden, välfärdssjukdomar, or "affluence diseases"; in the US, "cultural y-induced il nesses;" in Japan, "lifestyle maladies." According to Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda, "about two-thirds of Japanese deaths are caused by . lifestyle maladies. As the name indicates, these are diseases caused by daily habits of diet, exercise, work, and rest." While medical sciences excel at healing and preventing diseases that have primary biological causes (i.e. viruses and bacteria), and likewise excel at replacing worn-out joints and diseased organs, they do not and cannot heal or prevent maladies that have primary cultural causes. Cultural y-induced il nesses are best addressed through healing practices in the Humanities, including a range of philosophical remedies. Speaker 2: Dr Peter Harteloh (Erasmus Institute for Philosophical Practice, Rotterdam,
The Netherlands): The diagnosis in Philosophical Counseling: A Workshop.
Abstract: Philosophical counseling originated in the late 1970s from a critique on
academic philosophy and/or psychotherapy. With a social utility in mind philosophers
started counseling aimed at individuals, groups and organizations. In the course of time,
the sociological characteristics of a paradigm emerged, such as a theory (Hadot),
recognized examples of counseling (Achenbach, Marinoff, Lahav, Raabe or Brenifier),
professional organizations, journals, meetings and trainings. As being a new paradigm,
an ongoing fundamental discussion on the nature, matter or method of philosophical
counseling is also encountered. In this discussion the difference between
psychotherapy and philosophical counseling is an important issue. In this workshop we
will study some examples (instruction videos) of philosophical counseling. Participants
are asked to come up with a philosophical diagnosis, i.e. a description of the case in a
philosophical sense. As each video also contains a psychological diagnosis (put in on
purpose by the instructor) according to criteria of the DSM IV, the international standard
for making a diagnosis in psychotherapy, the workshop enables us to study similarities
and differences between a philosophical and a psychological diagnosis. After studying
several videos, we wil generalize our findings by trying to define a philosophical
diagnosis and the concept of a philosophical disease.
Round Table 2: The Roots of Philosophical Practice
Chair: Dr Sam Brown (President, Society for Philosophy in Practice, UK)
Speaker 1: Detlef Staude (Philosophical Practicioner in Berne and President of the
Network for Practical Philosophizing, Switzerland): Protagoras. A Wel -travel ed
Philosophical Practitioner as Orator, Constitutional Scientist, Political Advisor, Teacher
and Anthropologist? – Reflections on the Diversity and Internationality of Philosophical
Abstract: Philosophical Practice in its present form developed in the 20th century in the
Western world. It was proclaimed as such by Gerhard Achenbach and it had similarly
inspired precursors in Germany, England and the USA. But it also had its predecessors
in antiquity, as Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot have shown. The earliest such thinkers
were Sophists, who initiated intense philosophical reflection on the themes of humanity
and human existence. The philosophical approaches of the Sophists were varied, and
the ideas broadened by their travels overwhelmed the limited imagination of many other
Greeks. They can be a paradigm for Philosophical Practice as it is international y known
today, if we look at their accomplishments instead of demonizing their anthropocentrism
and pragmatism.
Speaker 2: Dr Dimitrios Dentsoras (Department of Philosophy, U. of Manitoba,
Winnipeg, Canada): Ask the Philosopher: Practical Advice and Counseling in Antiquity
and Today
Abstract: Advocates and practitioners of philosophical practice often present it as a
relatively new, yet much-needed and fast-growing, philosophical discipline.
Philosophical practical advice, however has a long history, extending back to antiquity's
treatises on practical ethics and the popular consolationes of the Roman period. These
were works of practical advice and counsel ing penned by people who proclaimed to be
philosophers. The essay examines the genre of practical philosophical treatises in
antiquity, contrasting it with contemporary literature in philosophical practice. It focuses
on the role of the philosopher as a guide to practical everyday concerns and on the
relationship between theoretical and practical ethics. Special attention is given on the
importance of the intended reader in determining the tone, argument, and often content
of the advice offered. An important question for ancient works on practical philosophy
(and to a lesser extent their contemporary equivalents) has to do with whether, and to
what extent, adopting the philosopher's advice also requires an adoption of their broader
philosophical framework (Stoicism, Neoplatonism, Skepticism, etc.). Philosophers tend
to put heavy emphasis on the existence of a broader philosophical theory that coheres
logical y with the practical advice a philosopher may offer. This emphasis is clearly
reduced in contemporary works on practical philosophy. I discuss some evident
advantages of the ancient philosophical approach in connecting theoretical principles
with practical advice, and conclude with some thoughts on why not many philosophers
write popular works on practical philosophy nowadays, and how they might do so.
Round Table 3: The Good Life and Dialectics
Chair: Despoina Tzounou (Philosophical Practitioner, APPA Certified Counselor; Vice-
President, Hel enic Society for Philosophical Practice)
Speaker 1: Professor Aleksandar Fatić (Research Professor of Institute for Philosophy
and Social Theory, University of Belgrade; Fel ow and Certified Counselor of the
American Association of Philosopical Practitioners (APPA)): Philosophical Counseling
and the Good Life.
Abstract: Most clients in philosophical counseling seek guidance on both cognitive and
emotional or dynamic fronts. While cognitive guidance takes the shape of philosophical
discussion that is aimed at elucidating the client's guiding values and general worldview,
and assisting her to find the best solutions to her problems in the context of that
worldview, emotional assistance rests heavily on empathy. The main difference between
empathy that is required in philosophical counseling and that typical of psychological
counseling is that the former type of empathy relates primarily to the client's
conceptualisation of and desire for a "good life' , while the latter focuses on the client's
emotional distress and ways to al eviate the suffering. Philosophical counseling
approaches the client's suffering from the point of view of blocked avenues to the
achievement of 'the good life', and not primarily from the point of view of anxiety itself.
Thus philosophical counseling, when successful, tends to remove the distress in a more
sustained way than most types of psychological counseling. The paper argues that this
key methodological difference is grounded in philosophy's powerful array of theoretical
approaches to the possible projections of "the good life' , and in its actual ability to assist
clients to achieve a good life; psychotherapy does not usual y even attempt to achιeve
such a life change for the client, as it is focused on the client's perceptions of, an
reactions to the life the client already lives. The paper explores the typical presentation
of 'good life' issues in philosophical counseling, elaborates on some of the dominant
forms the clients' problems may take, including issues of 'closure' after a loss, and the
issue of 'completion'. The author argues that the conceptualisation of philosophical
counseling as centred on the achievement of a "good life" not only tends to be practical y
effective, but it is also unites the concepts of 'counseling' and 'coaching' in a single,
intel ectually productive form of philosophical practice.
Speaker 2: Dr. Ora Gruengard, (Philosophical Practitioner, Israel): Dialectical Ways of
Coping with Dilemmas
Abstract: Despite gaps between general and abstract academic philosophy and
particular and concrete life experiences lessons learned from the history of debates in
the former may be relevant to coping with problems in the latter. From the present
perspective philosophical debate cannot lead to valid, universal y accepted and ultimate
solutions (and therefore suggestions to deal with problems of life by the adoption of "the
right" philosophy" or the fol owing of "the correct" method or rule is as dogmatic and
parochial as religious preaching). However, as philosophers from Plato via Hegel to
Kuhn have demonstrated, dialectical processes may lead to the overcoming of seeming
irresolvable dilemmas in a ways that despite their possibility to raise new oppositions,
are satisfactory for the relevant persons in their actual problem situation. Difficulties of
coping with the problems of life are often involved with (tacit) unresolved philosophical
dilemmas. Philosophers can help others as well as themselves by bringing the relevant
opposing poles into awareness in a dialectical process that facilitates the discovery and
examination of overcoming options. Several philosophical possibilities of dialectical
overcoming demonstrated and discussed.
Round Table 4: Spirituality, Dependency and Autonomy
Chair: Dr Antonio Sandu (University of Iasi, Romania)
Speaker 1: Dr Vaughana Feary (APPA Vice- President; Program Director of Excalibur:
A Center for Applied Ethics, USA): Spirituality and Philosophical Practice: Group
Counseling with Clients in Crisis [Cancel ed]
Abstract: Al too often the concept of "spirituality" has been trivialized by being
appropriated by shal ow New Age movements. However, as Pierre Hadot and Robert
Solomon have already shown, "spirituality" is a philosophical concept with a long history.
I wil argue that "spirituality" is a way of being in the world which involves a
predisposition to relate to the world in terms of particular transcendent ideas, values
and practices. It is connected to specific themes in various philosophical and wisdom
traditions which include: Platonic and Neoplatonic stages of enriched understanding;
Stoic views of serenity; Hindu conceptions of "darsan" and life's stages; Christian
concerns with faith, hope and forgiveness; Buddhist approaches to compassion,
together with the Tantric emphasis on eroticism and laughter; Kant's notion of the
sublime; Kiekegaard ‘s leap of faith: Nietzsche's self over-coming; and Native American,
Taoist, and Transcendentalist conceptions of nature. Philosophical explorations of
"spirituality" and its related themes can be therapeutical y valuable in working with
groups in crisis. The crisis can be: economic job loss, corporate downsizing, the suicide
of a family member, aging, bereavement, addiction, major medical problems, becoming
disabled or a victim of violent crime etc. Aside from being intrinsical y valuable,
philosophical explorations of spiritual dimensions of living can reduce stress, provide
coping strategies at times of tragedy, and improve quality of life for those in crisis. The
workshop accompanying this paper will show how to stimulate dialogue about spirituality
and conduct group exercises designed for corporations, hospitals, rehabilitation centers,
substance abuse clinics, senior centers etc.
Speaker 2: Audrey Gers, (Institute of Philosophical Practice, France): Dependency and
Background: In the relationship between parents and children, it is interesting to see how
far children feel dependent on their parents, other adults or in certain activities. Indeed it
happens frequently as a symptom of the relationship between parents and children, or
youth and society, etc. How often do people – youngsters or grown-ups - have to deal
with delicate situations where they have to explain or to impose their authority, whatever
its nature. In fact, basical y, adults think that children are dependent on themselves. That
is right that adults are legal y responsible for their children until these last come of age.
In another way adults consider education as a structure for a future life, so they "have" to
achieve this mission. Is the freedom an exercise of our conscience? But we forget an
aspect of the problem of dependency : sometimes one is autonomous. Either it is a
choice, or it is a necessity. Working with contraries like this pair of concepts
dependent/autonomous puts it in relief because sometimes we think that we have no
choice, but after having considered the question under the light of freedom, we may
admit that we made a volunteer decision. In a different view, we may realize that if we
want to get a certain result we must pass by some obligations or duties. Or even, to live
with others offers us a certain freedom, or makes us reconsider our freedom, meaning that it happens that we are not that free. Key points of the exercise: The principle of the fol owing exercise is to discover the multiple facets of this, and to analyze what are the conditions of them. Though some activities, presented below, concern children, even adults can deal with them, first because it makes them think and second because it is a good opportunity to understand children's functioning and to experiment otherness. This exercise works on the basis of the practice proposed by the Institute of Philosophical Practice, led by Oscar Brenifier and Isabel e Mil on. The main principle is to ask questions, to find answers and to look at the coherence of al of it. In order to do that we can refer for example to Socrates : how to lead a dialogue, to focus on a point, and observe it, to check the validity of an hypothesis. During this work we can develop different competences like deepening an idea, giving arguments, asking questions, conceptualizing, explaining or interpreting, etc. Besides, when it is necessary, the moderator might invite participants to open their mind to others' ideas, by listening, reformulating. Final y, the attitude of astonishment must be considered, and given some room because thinking begins at that moment.
Exercise: Are you free or dependent in the fol owing activities? Think about these activities: Going to school. To play. To do what you want. To obey your parents. To read a book. To obey the master. To eat. To have fun. To work. To practice a sport. To think. To go for a walk. To travel. To watch television. To do your homework. To help your family.
Conclusion: As a conclusion, the better is to keep some time (15 minutes around) from what is al owed to do the workshop, so as to let participants and observers speak about either certain points of the workshop or the philosophical, practical problems it raises. This is a major part of the work, as much as working within the workshop, because it helps in developing critical thinking and accepting the engagement of one's speech. Round Table 5: Logic and Practical Problem Solving Techniques
Chair: Dr Vaughana Feary (USA) [a different person will provide Chair facilitation]
Speaker 1: Dr Christian T. Lystbæk, (Aarhus University, Denmark): Philosophical
practice as situating activity: What are the principles and aims of philosophical practice?
Abstract: This paper will argue that the aim of philosophical practice is simply this; to
practice philosophy, that is, to philosophize together with people (who are typically not
philosophers) about their practical concerns. Thus, I will argue, the aim of Philosophical
Practice is not counsel ing, nor Bildung or Lebenskönnerschaft, but philosophizing, that
is, striving for wisdom, sophia. Today, fol owing Michel Foucault, philosophical activity
does not amount to legitimating general truths ("what one already knows"), but rather to
the critical work of thought on itself, that is, to think about to what extent it would be
possible to think differently. The paper identifies takes up what John McCumber has
cal ed "temporal reason" in a sense of a comprehensive view of reasoning or thinking
which sees it as ful y temporal, that is, as relating equal y to past, present and future.
The crux of the argument is that traditional philosophical thinking, that is, the use of
various forms of inference, is conducted in the "present tense". Its goal is true
assertions. True assertions, however, require the simultaneous availability evidence, that
is, whatever it is that makes them true. Otherwise they cannot be evaluated as true,
however true they are. This account of temporal reason enriches common
understandings of "reasoning" or "thinking" by relating philosophical thinking to past and
present in ways which do not reduce it to stating truths about them, but have definable goals and principles of its own. Fol owing McCumber, I wil cal these ways of relating philosophical y to past and future "narrative" and "demarcation" respectively. Narrative and demarcation correspond loosely to put ordinary activities of tel ing stories and asking questions, but when undertaken philosophical y they have special constraints on them. When these are added to traditional patterns of inference, this amounts to a temporal view of reason, that is, a comprehensive view of reason which relates it to present, past and future.
Speaker 2: Guido Giacomo Gattai (IPP - University of Florence, Italy): Enterprise
Abstract: A brief example of a typical problem solving enterprise atelier. We can start a
discussion departing from little things like choosing between a stone, a piece of paper
and a fork and go on justifying our choices and confronting them one with each other not
to reach a point but just to show how enterprise group consulting works: the
methodology, the structure, the possible developments and how to manage the little
tension between the members of the group that always pops up. After that little exercise
we wil have a little time to discuss what happened, why it happened and if there are
perhaps better ways to do the same thing in very fruitful confrontation between
col eagues.
Round Table 6: Imagery, Play and Philosophy for Children tools
Speaker 1 and Chair: Dr. Michael Noah Weiss (Norwegian Society for Philosophical
Practice; Global Ethic Initiative Austria; Academy of Education of Lower Austria): Guided
imagery as a tool for philosophical practice?
Abstract: Normal y known from psychotherapy and mental training, this workshop
intends to investigate whether the technique of guided imagery might be of use in the
field of philosophical practice too. For this purpose different approaches of guided
imagery are presented, applied with the workshop participants and discussed. Focal
points of discussion are the role of intuition and conscience (referring to Socrates'
daimonion) as wel as the role of dream interpretation in settings of philosophical
Speaker 2: Dr. Jörn Kroll (USA): Philosophy Dancing: Nietzsche's Philosophical
Practice as Playful Experimentation
Abstract: Nietzsche's main writings are general y considered bulwarks of atheism,
amorality, wil to power, and nihilism. The correctness of such characterization aside,
Nietzsche's diverse works contain a host of original insights and sage, advice―often
contradictory, yet always worth considering. Furthermore, the value of Nietzsche's
philosophy, for me, is not based on its doctrines but on its openness, fluidity, and its
experimental and explorative character. My presentation is guided by the fol owing
questions: 1. What can we learn from Nietzsche's writings for philosophical practice? 2.
What are Nietzsche's philosophical and extra-philosophical goals? 3. What are his
recommended means to achieve these goals? 4. What are we to make of Nietzsche's
radical medicine in view of contemporary care of the self and philosophical counseling?
In proposing some answers to these questions, I am not engaging in any academic
debate about Nietzsche's work. Instead, I discuss Nietzsche's goals and ways to realize them in order to construct a loose framework for a (future) art and science of living wel on earth. To identify main features of such an art and science, I dialogue with Nietzsche on: a) What is the role of the body and health? b) What constitutes the self, if anything? How can experimentation be a cumulative process in the face of an open, fluid, or even tenuous self? c) What are the advantages and disadvantages of rationality and thinking for living well? d) How to reconcile the drives for individuation and for experiencing any transpersonal identity, if only fleetingly? For Nietzsche, the style of thinking and writing is as least as important as the issues examined. In order for philosophy to enhance the lives of humans, Nietzsche demands, it must be conducted in a joyful and playful manner―philosophy must be "dancing." How, and why, should we do self-inquiry and self-experimentation as a "dance?" My presentation, augmented by lively contributions and discussions, is intended to be a joyous group "dance," which is also able to counteract any spirit of heaviness (Geist der Schwere) that may descent on the ICPP or the World Congress.
Speaker 3: Dominique Hertzer (East and West Institute of
Philosophy and Medicine, Germany): Do Daoists have an Individual Mind? The Daoist
Concept of the Individual and its Relevance for Philosophical Practice
Abstract: The dichotomy of mind and body and how they relate to each other is a central
subject in western philosophy and is discussed there in great detail. One significant
aspect in this discourse is the assertion that the mind constitutes an individual's
individuality. In Chinese philosophy in general and in Daoism in particular, questions
about substance, function and relation of mind and body are not as important as in the
West. Usual y the mind-body problem is not even a distinct subject. Therefore the
philosophical definition of "mind" in Chinese is not as decisive as in the west: There are
several Chinese terms which can be referred to as "mind", such as xin (心), shen (神), or
even hun ( 魂) and po ( 魄). So how do Daoists define the individual and what is their
concept of an individual mind? And furthermore: Which new opportunities may this add
to our Philosophical Practice? If we consider the term shen (spirit) in the Classical Daoist
texts Zhuangzi and Daode jing, we can see, that the spirit (shen) acts on the individual
and, at the same time, has always reached beyond the individual. Its close association
to concepts like emptiness (xu), the undifferentiated (wu), the practice of wuwei and
final y to the dao itself reveals it as a cosmic power that not only provides a connecting
link between man and the cosmos, but also endows every human being with cosmic
potential. The smooth and gradual transition from an individual spirit to the general spirit
of the dao, as it is described in the Zhuangzi, conceives the spirit as a continuously
flowing process rather than a manifest state. We wil see how the Daoist conception of
the mind can both chal enge and enrich our own idea of the individual and how it is
connected to its greater context.
Round Table 7: Projection, Dialogue and Philosophy for Children tools
Chair and Speaker 1: Dr. Lucie Antoniol (University of Liège, Belgium): Socratic
col ective thinking on the theme of improvisation in practical philosophizing.
Goal and Objectives: The goal of a Socratic Dialogue workshop is to achieve consensus
or near consensus on the understanding of a moral, ethical or social issue. Participants
increase their critical and ethical thinking abilities and come to a deeper understanding of a given issue. They learn in the process of a dialogue to critical y question a given concept and further develop listening and question and answer abilities. Material and Resources: The animator of the workshop prepares leading questions on the theme of the workshop to help advance the discussion in case this is needed. Six to twelve participants is the optimal size of the group. Flip-chart with blank paper or white/blackboards are needed. Post-its or papers and adhesive. Pens, chalk, markers.
Time line: No less than a two hours session would be adequate. Procedure Outline: Exemplification. A Socratic dialogue always begins with a concrete question and concrete examples that participants can relate to. Participants provide their examples of the concepts to be discussed. Clarification. Through questions and responses participants verify their common understanding of the theme of the dialogue. Problematisation. every participant formulates on paper what is according to them essential y at stake in the examples. The questions (which are maximum seven words long) are inventorised and evaluated in common. Consensus seeking. One question is chosen for further investigation. Discussion. Exchange of opinions on the issue at stake. Evaluation. What did we learn? What was the value of this exercise?Theme: "Improvising is hopping on a network of opportunities." I shal provide the fol owing list of seeming oppositions, through pairs of contrasting concepts, and ask the participants to find examples of real life situations where they were leading workshops or philosophy cafés or seminars. The examples given are il ustrating one of these pairs of concepts, providing advantages and disadvantages: Possibilities vs. Opportunities; Preparation vs. Improvisation; Neurotic vs. Chaotic; Order vs. Energy; Pyramidal structure vs. Organic network; Control vs. Support; Authority vs. Power; Focus vs. Mindfullness (wakefulness, alertness); Concentration vs. De-centration; Distraction vs. Obsession. We shal attempt together to override these oppositions, finding third linking concepts, or finding a third path into the reality of leading a workshop or a class, or facilitating a dialogue or a café. Speaker 2: Dr. Barbara U. Jones (USA): "You've Gotta Have Heart". A one woman
cabaret show on the virtue of Humanity. [Please note that this is just a philosophical
discussion of the performance and workshop that Barbara wil provide in an Independent
Abstract: Cabaret is an intimate, smal scale, yet ambitious revue utilizing songs as the
medium of communication. It is intel ectual and self-reflective and has often been used
as a mirror of topical events including philosophy. There is value to articulating
philosophy using songs and patter. Philosophy is not solely academic, but also evokes
meaning. The vital expression of living a virtuous life is equal y suited to the venue of
cabaret as to a lectern or journal. Songs and patter are used to educate while
entertaining. The patter includes information taken from philosophy and psychology, as
well as humor, in the service of making a point. The inventive freedom of the form
liberates the audience from its conventions, established truths, and humdrum lives, while
at the same time offering it a new, more humanistic outlook on reality."You've Got to
Have Heart," is part of a series of one-woman cabaret performances on the virtues
needed for enjoying authentic happiness and a life well-lived. Each show utilizes wel -
known and wel -loved songs from the American Popular Songbook with the intention of
encouraging the audience to think about and practice a particular virtue – in this case,
the virtue of humanity. Strengths of humanity include positive traits manifested in caring
relationships with others. They are our dispositions to tend and befriend. I use the word "heart" to indicate this interpersonal strength. Though the way of the heart is not easy, this show offers healthy heart support for it, and encourages the audience to listen to, and to put, their heart in the right place. Speaker 3 : Peter Worley (BA, MA, FRSA, Philosophy Foundation, United Kingdom):
What can philosophical practice learn from primary school philosophy?
Abstract: Peter Worley wil clarify some key differences between approaches to doing
philosophy with children and briefly introduce his own method of Philosophical Enquiry
(PhiE). He will then turn to the question of whether philosophy as used by Philosophical
Practitioners can be benefited by tools and methods developed in doing Philosophical
Enquiry in the classroom (further opportunity to try out the tools will be provided at later
12 ICPP sessions).
Round Table 8: Aesthetics and Singing and Dancing
Chair: Despoina Tzounou (Vice-President, Hel enic Society for Philosophical Practice)
Speaker 1: Dr Gabrielle Aruta (USA) and Morten Fastvold (Norway): Aesthetics as
the gateway to a spiritual life
Abstract: Even if many modern, Western people would like to have a spiritual dimension
in their life, spirituality at large is associated with religiosity, either of a Christian or a New
Age kind. This apparently inhibits non-believers
- agnostics and atheists any significant spiritual life. But is a fulfil ing spiritual life out of reach for secularly oriented people? We tend to think no, despite the widespread assumption that spirituality is inseparable from religiosity. Our ambitious goal is to prove this assumption wrong, and to contend that philosophical counselors are well-suited to be spiritual advisers of a secular kind. We take the exploration of the aesthetic dimension in human experience, outlined by John Dewey, as our starting point. Here we notice that the features within what Dewey cal s "an aesthetic experience" seem to converge with instances which in Christian spirituality would be interpreted as "moments where God speaks to you". While this may make sense for people who believe in God, non-believers wil not ascribe sudden moments of felt harmony, or awe, or al -embracing love, or gratitude, or fulfil ment, or wholeness, or clarity, or connectedness with the world at large, to the working of some god or transcendent spiritual force. Nor would they be inclined to "receive" a god, or to communicate with a god they do not believe in. The goal of their spirituality must be different, and not directed at some deity, or some spiritual force of the universe, as a variety of New Age religiosity proclaims. Philosophical counselors regularly touch upon spiritual matters in terms of ethical and existential topics, and the question of human judgment and the process of personal maturing. In addition to this, an enhanced awareness of peak moments of the kind mentioned above might even include our dealing with experiences of a mystical kind. This requires a secular brand of spirituality which is yet uncharted land. We should nevertheless try to explore such a territory, however big and difficult such a task might be. While the topic of human suffering and loss is a well-known entrance to a more spiritual life, the converging of "an aesthetic experience" in the Deweyan sense with instances of bliss described in Christian spirituality is less appreciated in this respect. It nevertheless reveals that the aesthetic dimension plays a significant role in a spiritual life, and may even, along with suffering and loss, prove to be a gateway to spirituality, both religious and secular. We find this possibility intriguing, as philosophers are wel -suited to deal with aesthetics as well as with the mysteries of life and the world at large.
Speaker 2: Dr Jose L. Romero (Alter Consulta, Madrid, Spain): Workshop on the
Circles Test
Abstract: The "circles test" is a quick and easy drawing test developed by the Spanish
Gregorio Gascón and useful for both psychology and philosophy consultancies.
Depending on consultant's knowledge, and depending on what is present or absent in
the drawing, the circles test can provide an initial map of the external client relations or
deeper clues about his/her inner world-view and the issue raised in the consultation. In
this workshop we wil discuss a practical demonstration and real cases. The
understanding of the circles test wil take place primarily from practical exhibitions. The
workshop wil begin with a practical demonstration with the public. After giving
instructions, they will draw themselves and those considered significant in their life with
circles on a sheet of paper. Then we will compare the drawings, paying attention to the
significant differences between them. We will continue analysing drawings made in other
similar workshops. Final y, we wil discuss some drawings in real cases of philosophical
counsel ing, showing how the circles pointed out some significant issues that were
helpful for the initial orientation of these cases. During the workshop al kind of questions
may be addressed.

12 ICPP INDEPENDENT SESSIONS AT THE END OF WCP (11-12 OF AUGUST) (All Independent Sessions will take place in the Mikis Theodorakis Amphitheatre, Municipality of Papagou-Cholargou Main Building, 55 Perikleous Street, 15561 Cholargos) Session 1 (Sunday 11 of August) (we start at 11am)
Welcome from the Mayor – Mr Vasileios Xydis.
"President of the Hel enic Society for Philosophical Practice and our Honoured Guests and participants at the 12 ICPP I would like to welcome you to the city that bears the name of the protagonist of Athenian Democracy Pericles and the name of the great General of Modern Greece Alexandros Papagos. It is a great honour to our city that distinguished philosophers visit us and decide to use our facilities for their Conference. As a municipality we responded positively to the request we received from Dr Athanasopoulos, the President of the Hel enic Society of Philosophical Practice and organiser of the 12 ICPP to host the Independent Sessions of the 12 ICPP here. It is indeed important that philosophers from al over the world meet at the birthplace of philosophy. You have a unique opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and al the great giants of philosophy. For our city this marks a special occasion, since we are talking about philosophy which was supported and encouraged by Pericles in ancient Athens. The significant work of Pericles formed the social, financial and cultural context within Socrates, Plato and Aristotle created their unique philosophical theories and methods: Socratic dialectics, Platonic ideas and Aristotelian mesotes. Hel as gave a lot to our Civilisation. Primarily it offered to al people a unique way to think, doubt, research and be led to logical conclusions. From the Presocratics to Socrates, to Plato and then to Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Epicureans, there is a continuity, a way to achieve true knowledge. This way is not interrupted by the Roman occupation and in the continuity of the Byzantine now Civilisation, in which we have remarkable philosophers such as Justin the Philosopher, Pantainos, Origen, Leo the Mathematician. Al these philosophers put down the issues and showed the way. Al of you who have studied these theories can show also the way on how to apply these theories to achieve solutions to our everyday problems. In closing, I would like to thank Dr Athanasopoulos and Hel enic Society of Philosophical Practice for organising the 12 ICPP and the al of the participants to the 12th International Conference of Philosophical Practice for taking part in our city and we are waiting for the useful conclusions of your Conference. Thankful y The Mayor of Papagos-CholargosVasileios XydisRetired Rear Admiral of the Greek Navy." Salutation from the Deputy Mayor Ms Vana Retsinia-Giannakopoulou (in charge of
Culture, Education and Sport)

"Dear Dr Athanasopoulos and honoured guests It is our pleasure to welcome distinguished philosophers and philosophical practitioners in our city. When Dr Athanasopoulos approached us to discuss the possibility of hosting the Independent Sessions we wholeheartedly embraced the idea, because for our city this has a special importance: we live and work in the birthplace of Pericles. When someone mentions philosophical practice there is an obvious question about its true significance, but I believe that it is a way to solve our financial and social problems on both a local and a global level. With these thoughts passages from Plato come to my mind about the Philosopher Kings who are the only ones who truly know how to deal with political and social problems. I hope that al those with political power see truth in Plato's words and redirect our attention to the true beings of things and the value on what is truly human. Human values at the centre of al political work. I would like to congratulate Dr Athanasopoulos for the organisation of the 12 International Conference of Philosophical Practice and I wish you creative discussion and useful conclusions. The Deputy Mayor of Culture, Education and Sport Speaker 1: Professor Lou Marinoff (USA): What is Philosophical Practice and Why
Plato not Prozac is important.
Speaker 2: Dr Constantinos Athanasopoulos (Greece and UK): The Shield of Achil es
and its significance for Philosophical Practice.
Abstract: A pictorial narrative with the help of imagery to control the strong passions
during war so that the protagonists can be helped to focus the mind in the broader
context of human existence and thus gain a deeper understanding of what is to be
Speaker 3: Dr. Ora Gruengard (Israel): How to become a critical philosophical
counselor? Abstract: Being a critical philosopher does not mean being intolerant to apparent flaws in the thought and behavior of others. Critical philosophers, aware of their own fal ibility and of the possibility that what seems wrong within their actual frame of reference might make sense in another, try to avoid fal ing again into the "dogmatic sleep" of their pre-critical stage. The critical philosophical counselor tries to "wake up" the "counselees". He invites them to reassess "stubborn beliefs" that were probably adopted unknowingly and uncritical y, and are held on despite their being obstructive in present problem situations. A critical philosophical counselor is therefore not a teacher whose mission is to correct logical failures of counselees, and he does not take for granted the adequacy for practical purposes of existing models of logic. Moreover, he has not become a critical philosopher by "walking asleep" in the traces of others. He dares to be a counselor because he has experienced how philosophical reassessment matter. Philosophers who want to do counseling and do not know how are invited to explore their own experience.
Lunch Break: 13.00-13.45
Speaker 4: Tulsa Jansson (Sweden and USA): Workshop Identity
Time: about 1,5 – 2 hours
Content: In this workshop we will explore what creates our identity. In western societies
individualism is thought to be very valuable. Each individual is thought to be unique and
each individual is encouraged to be unique, at least in norms that are outspoken. This
workshop aims at chal enging the idea of us being as individualistic as our western
culture seems to make out. It questions the fact that our identity is indeed shaped by
many factors beyond our control, so in what sense are we free to shape ourselves?
What other components shape us and how? The workshop is quite dynamic and al
participants are expected to contribute with their own thoughts. References to other
philosophers theories are not what is important here. It is the participants who are the
philosophers, and we use our own experiences and reasoning to develop a community
of inquiry. My hope is also to make the workshop not only interesting but also fun. My
experience with this sort of inquiry is that it does bring out amusement and that this is
something that contributes to the investigation of concepts, such as "Identity". I think this
workshop wil chal enge the view of individualism and broaden our perception of what
shapes our identity. It wil chal enge the view that we are al unique with our own private
set of attitudes that has been constituted by ourselves alone. The workshop is examining
in a hands-on session in what way we can be said to exercise our free will in the shaping
of ourselves.
Coffee Break: 30 min.
Session 2: Regional Developments (Sunday 11 of August)
Speaker 1: Prof. Dr. José Barrientos Rastrojo (University of Sevil e, Spain): PRT
(Practicing-Researching-Teaching): A standard to be performed from Spain to
Abstract: This paper aims to report on PP-activities performed, basical y, in Spain. We
will focus on work developed at the University of Sevil e. There, we have designed a
model based on three pil ars: practice, research and teaching. Three of them col aborate
to a unique target: to raise rigorous Philosophical Practice. At the University of Seville, we created an official research group in 2006. We have been studying different aspect of Philosophical Counseling and Practice in it by means of action-research projects. So that, we reflect (research) on real practices that we set up in various contexts (prisons, health care, business, teaching and consultations). "Filosofía Aplicada" research group has published more than 25 books in last six years, it has edited peer-reviewed HASER journal (International Journal on Philosophical Practice)1, indexed at The Philosophers Index, DIALNET, EBSCO, Proquest,…. In addition, it has celebrated more than 5 research international seminaries on PP. Its members have directed 3 Ph.D. on PP, they (we) have directing 3 more and they (we) have been awarded by a business based on PP. Al this activities are the starting point to a serious university teaching (a Master in 2006-2008, sections or themes in compulsory subjects at our university and optional university courses). PRT standard is the ground of newborn Iberoamerican Research Network on Philosophical Practice. This institution is supported by an International Institution (AUIP) and it is working on his first research international projects and training ones. It consists of more than fifty academic and practical members of almost al countries in Iberoamerica. Therefore, it is an ‘umbrel a' for Practicing, Researching and Teaching in a rigorous way. Furthermore, it want to be an answer to people who say that Philosophical Practice is not Philosophy or the one who defend that it is not a serious way to practice it. Speaker 2: Guido Giacomo Gattai (Italy): Philosophical Practice and Marketing.
Abstract: How to introduce to people our work: do we have to market ourselves? If yes,
what are the methods al owed? What are the most useful? In many countries, Italy for
example, the idea that a man can be payed to be a philosopher is stil roughly rejected.
As philosophers, for most of the people, first of al we are useless people just trying to
avoid getting any serious work. So the idea to be also payed to do a useless thing al the
day long is quite provocative. For people who accept the idea that philosophy is an
unavoidable part of life, it seems the best way to look at it is that it must be a non-payed
job. But they accept without any problems that a university professor or a psychologist
are payed for their job. So we are clearly in need to show the reasons why our job is
useful, constructive and positive. In my opinion what we have to do is to face a
marketing problem of how best to promote our work as philosophical practitioners.
Speaker 3: Dr. Barbara U. Jones (USA): "You've Gotta Have Heart". A one woman
cabaret show on the virtue of Humanity. [Please note that this is the performance and
workshop that Barbara talked about in the above described Round Table].
Abstract: Cabaret is an intimate, smal scale, yet ambitious revue utilizing songs as the
medium of communication. It is intel ectual and self-reflective and has often been used
as a mirror of topical events including philosophy. There is value to articulating
philosophy using songs and patter. Philosophy is not solely academic, but also evokes
meaning. The vital expression of living a virtuous life is equal y suited to the venue of
cabaret as to a lectern or journal. Songs and patter are used to educate while
entertaining. The patter includes information taken from philosophy and psychology, as
well as humor, in the service of making a point. The inventive freedom of the form
liberates the audience from its conventions, established truths, and humdrum lives, while
at the same time offering it a new, more humanistic outlook on reality."You've Got to
Have Heart," is part of a series of one-woman cabaret performances on the virtues
needed for enjoying authentic happiness and a life well-lived. Each show utilizes well-
known and wel -loved songs from the American Popular Songbook with the intention of encouraging the audience to think about and practice a particular virtue – in this case, the virtue of humanity. Strengths of humanity include positive traits manifested in caring relationships with others. They are our dispositions to tend and befriend. I use the word "heart" to indicate this interpersonal strength. Though the way of the heart is not easy, this show offers healthy heart support for it, and encourages the audience to listen to, and to put, their heart in the right place. 12 ICPP Optional Event at 7pm: Guided tour at the site of the Source of Ilissos from
the Municipality Fire Protection Volunteer Service and Mrs Voula Christodoulopoulou
(representing the Municipality).
Session 3 (Monday 12 of August- Morning- we start at 10am)
Speaker 1 (Masterclass): Dr Peter Harteloh (The Netherlands): Philosophy Walk in
Alsos Cholargou, (Park of Cholargos) (Perikleous Street, opposite the Municipality of
Cholargos-Papagou Main Building). A Masterclass Session where Peter will show how
to do Philosophy Walks.
Speaker 2: Dr Sam Brown ((President of British Society for Philosophy in Practice;
Lecturer at the New School of Psychotherapy & Counselling; Research Associate at the
Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford): Philosophical Chaplaincy in
the Hospital Ward.
Abstract: Many patients with serious il nesses or injuries find the experience of hospital
treatment bewildering and disorienting. Perhaps for the first time in their lives, they
contemplate profound existential and spiritual questions of life-purpose, the significance
of relationships and the prospect of an end to their existence. In an increasingly
educated and secular world, religious chaplaincy services which address these
questions from the perspective of doctrine and scripture can be perceived as irrelevant
or patronising. Philosophers can help ordained hospital chaplains to appreciate the rich
palette of philosophical responses to existential issues. There may be an opportunity for
philosophical practitioners with adequate training to counsel hospital patients directly, as
an adjunct to established chaplaincy services.
Speaker 3: Dr Martha Beck (Professor of Philosophy, Lyon Col ege, USA): "Socrates
as Doctor of the Soul: A Model of the Philosophical Therapist for Our Time"
Abstract: Throughout Plato's dialogues, Socrates is always using the image of a doctor
bringing patients from sickness to health. In each dialogue, Socrates is acting as the
"doctor of the soul," trying to cure his interlocutors of their false opinions. In the Sophist,
Socrates defines the art of the noble sophist as one who "removes the opinions that
interfere with learning, and exhibits [the soul] cleansed, believing that it knows only those
things that it does know, and nothing more" (230d). To anyone familiar with Ancient
Greek culture, defining sophistry as a kind of "cleansing," or "purgation" of the soul cal s
to mind the tradition of tragedy and its goal of purging the soul of pity and fear, as Aristotle defines tragedy in the Poetics (1449b28). This paper describes Plato's dialogues as a unique kind of literature that incorporates some aspects of tragedy but also goes beyond tragedy to Plato's own understanding of philosophy. It is possible to climb out of the "cave," a world fil ed with tragedy, into the world of the light of the mind. More importantly, the kinds of diseases of soul that exist in Plato's characters and the Socratic model of the philosophical life stil exist today. Throughout the world, people need to purge themselves of the same obstacles and become wise, a wisdom that involves most of al humility about what they real y know. Socrates is an excel ent archetype of how a philosophical therapist ought to live and inspire others to "know themselves" and heal their souls.
Speaker 4: Professor Richard Stalley (University of Glasgow, UK): "Is Socrates a
therapist? Some difficulties in this interpretation based on the Platonic dialogues".
12 ICPP Conference Major Book Event
Meet the Authors: questions from the audience and answers from the authors
(if you are interested to participate, please bring at least two copies of each of your books and order forms, preferably in English or Greek, to be exhibited at the Independent Sessions of the Conference).
Coffee Break: 30 min
Session 4 (Monday 12 of August- Afternoon)
Speaker 1: Antonio Sandu (Research Assistant at Lumen Research Center in Social
and Humanistic Sciences Iasi, Romania) and Anna Caras (Research assistant at
Lumen Research Center in Social and Humanistic Sciences, Iasi, Romania): Counseling
in clinical ethics. A methodological model.
Context: Ethical counseling is a process which facilitates the identification of ethical
dilemmas that individuals or organizations are facing and ways out of these dilemmas
that are most congruent with the vision shared by the individual or organization, context
in which supervision of individuals intervenes as a support process. The central ethical
issue: We wil present a practice model of ethical counseling derived from the client-
centered and problem solving paradigm. We mention that philosophical ethical
counseling model that focuses on solving ethical dilemmas represents a transposition of
social practice at the level of ethical counseling. Discussion: Ethical counseling in the
version proposed by us has the advantage of a phased strategy to solve the ethical
dilemma that can be applied by an ethics counselor after a proper training. In the
construction of this theoretical and applied model we started from the works of Charles
Zastrow (1987) regarding social counseling. Ethical counseling is done as a gradual
process of covering a series of steps to enhance the self potential of the client, a
process developed in complementarity with ethical supervision. Ethical supervision
concerns the most effective way of supervising professional practice, thus within the
counseling process, the supervisor can perform the role of gatekeeper of these
practices, such as ethical counseling. Clinical ethical counseling similar to counseling in social practice, is addressing vulnerabilities, in particular of cognitive nature, both trying by reconstructing the vision of the problem/ ethical dilemma to obtain the effective output. The proposed stages for ethical counseling: Establishing the relationship. Unlike social counseling, where the customer has a problem that often limits the exercise of his autonomy, in counseling of ethics, the client has a dilemma regarding the moral character of a decision, the ethical status of an activity, or simply the ethical consequences of his actions. The client's autonomy is limited by his vulnerability and therefore the purpose of the counselor's practice is to help the client to exercise his autonomy as own choices based on informed decision. Exploring ethical dilemmas. Ethical dilemma is explored in depth in order to understand the meanings that the client attributes to these ethical dilemmas. Ethical dilemma should not be understood only in terms of cognitive, as a problem-situation that requires only a rational choice, based on a set of principles taken from a particular philosophical vision or from a self-constructed moral imperative. The presence of an ethical dilemma can put the client in a position of vulnerability or emotional stress that would affect his ability to make informed decisions and implicitly to express his autonomy. Exploring the ethical dilemma aims at the different viewpoints from which the dilemma can be viewed and solutions that may come from different philosophical models. Exploring ethical solutions from various models of ethical practice. The counselor of ethics together with the client evaluates possible solutions of the dilemma, their consequences and their acceptability. Often ethical dilemmas require the customer to choose between two different values of apparently equal importance, but in this situation are mutual y exclusive. The results of choices can be weighed in terms of utilitarian approach of maximum good for more people, versus maximum good for a close relative, or a choice between right to confidentiality of the client and the need to protect his life in cases of self-lithic trends, etc.
Speaker 2: Despoina Tzounou (Vice-President, Hel enic Society for Philosophical
Practice): Workshop with Group Discussion on Difficulties in applying philosophical
counseling in clients coming from Islamic Minorities in Greece.
Abstract: The proposal is to examine a) the nature of difficulties and chal enges that
emerge in philosophical counseling with persons stemming from different ethnic and
religious background and specifically with Arab Muslim immigrants. b) to investigate
whether the difficulties may have a positive/negative influential power in the process.
The aim of such a proposal is to bring forward a fruitful discussion and a deeper insight
based on the own experiences other philosophical practioners have. Additionally, is
competency in Islamic Philosophy a necessary guiding tool for such cases or is there
another approach efficient in the space of Phil. Counseling? What gave rise to the
formulation of the above mentioned proposal is the difficulty I encountered when two
Arab Muslim immigrant clients approached me seeking philosophical guidance in
resolving their internal conflicts. (first case: an Egyptian lady of 23 years old brought in
Athens at the age of three. The problem she was facing was that once her secretly
dating a man was discovered by her parents, the dating had to lead in marriage. The
lady didn't want to get married, what was the right thing to do? Second case: an 18
years old Arab Muslim man. He wanted to convert to Christianity. Acknowledging that
such a conversion would shaken tremendously – even to the point of destroying- his
relationship with family, community, culture, what was the right thing to do?).
Remarks: 1st) For the most part, during the philosophical guidance, a certain
presupposition is granted, that is, the philosophical counselor and the client live in the
same "world" or better in the same life world .That is, both of them live in the same social and cultural environment, are familiar with same tradition, customs, history, and exposed to the same external stimuli (independently of how each one interprets them). In other words, this common life world, remaining implicit, is the ground from which a philosophical journey into the problems departs. Furthermore, this home life world becomes explicit, in peculiar situations , for example in contrast to an other life world, about which one may have some familiarity yet it remains total y other . Given the fact that philosophical guidance or counseling is not a merely theoretical process, can this qualitative difference (a client is a member of another world which is unexploited or unfamiliar by the Phil. counselor) affect the philosophical counseling process? 2nd) The Muslim immigrant Arab client is not only aware of another unfamiliar world (in the above mentioned sense), to which he is not integrated but also has to deal with a hostile world. It is of outmost importance not to ignore or treat lightly that "Islamophobia" was immanent in the western societies. This phobia is being reinforced by various reasons. Unfortunately, its reinforcement finds expression in diverse forms as for instance the blooming and increase of extreme right wing parties with an alarming speed. Consequently the problematic integration furthers more and more in such an inhospitable world. Keeping in mind remarks 1and 2 , what must be the traits or qualities of a philosophical counselor as to provide a safe and an inviting context for the client in order to examine his life? 3rd) In our western world, there is a clear distinction between religious,moral and social values (even though one can influence the other). This is not the case with the clients I encountered and I suppose (although I may now fal in a logical fal acy) for the majority of Arabic Muslim world. The religious, moral and social values are so intermingled which are hard for the clients to distinguish them; Islam overpowers the daily life and social , moral values adhere to Quran. What I deciphered as the hardcore issue that underlined both cases, was that the pathologos (as L.Marinoff would say) is exactly the difficulty to differentiate these kind of values and the difficulty the persons encountered in finding room to express themselves in action as free individual agents. Speaker 3: Dr Hugo Pereyra (Mexico) and Prof. David Sumiacher D'Angelo (National
University of Mexico, CECAPFIN, Mexico): Philosophy, a way of action
Abstract: Philosophy as such is a knowledge that covers many different aspects of
person's life, but in itself and beyond that is a knowledge that has to consider the depth
of man as a whole. We consider a real shame that this knowledge so important and
present in the lives of al citizens stay away from them, both for being subsumed in
unnecessary complexity, as well by meaningless professional sectarianism. The
proposal presented here is related to some innovative ways of philosophical practice, but
now through action: Using ontological coaching strategies, elements of applied Gestalt,
ludic education, putting into action, representation and role play among others. Basically
the invitation is to show the performance of some of these tools to work in philosophical
structures of functioning of people. These strategies can be applied in both group
workshops (for children, youth or adults) and even in individual sessions. If time permits,
as part of the presentation, there wil be some simple experiential exercises which wil
show this important philosophical dimension of action both in its active (incisor over
reality) or passive way (observer of reality) and its many benefits for our discipline. Some
tools we'll use: Individual Coaching & passive action (observation): We believe that
coaching has very interesting and productive elements for philosophical practice. In this
first space we'l work a- A one person coaching or philosophical consulting with a
questioning mode emphasizing on certain specific aspects of the person, while b-The session will be observed by the other participants who continue to discharge on a log their views of the same subject. The theme wil be actively addressed through dialogue (in the individual session) and passively through observation. Construction of ideas with the whole group: In this part, we wil discuss jointly the findings from our observations regarding the topic. From our conceptions we'l work with an intervention degree of the coordinator of 50%. Active Action: To complete the practice part of the workshop we'll practice some form of what we cal active action. The active action seeks to stake another aspect of philosophical practice that if you use only dialogue it is not enough. It is possible to develop at least two types of active action: the real and the ludic-simulated. For the time possibilities in this part, we'l make a ludic-simulated active action, and in the fol owing section we'll show different possibilities for the real one. Theoretical feedback: Some theoretical elements wil be reviewed and the possibilities they hold for PP.
Speaker 4: Dr. Constantinos Athanasopoulos, FHEA: Basic principles of Orthodox
Psychotherapy and their application to Philosophical Practice
Abstract: It has pointed out that the Orthodox Philosophy and Orthodox Theology found
in the writings of the Desert Fathers, the Orthodox Mystical Theologians and Hesychast
Fathers can provide the basic principles of a form of therapy cal ed "Orthodox
Psychotherapy" (cf. Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos). The presentation wil outline
these and will provide practical examples of how they can be applied in contemporary
forms of Philosophical Practice.
Coffee Break: 30 min.
Session 5: Applications of PP- Workshops
Speaker 1: Dr Miriam van Reijen (Netherlands): How to apply Spinoza to Philosophical
Practice: A Workshop.
Abstract: Spinoza is more in accordance with cognitive therapy and even more with
modern neurosciences that chal enge the power of reasoning against emotions, a and
cal the autonomous subject and the free will traces belief of mythical ‘folk-psychology'.
Spinoza is already past the folk-psychology, a post-modern philosopher. I wil provide
two examples of ‘popular psychological' formulations, rephrased in accordance with
Spinoza's philosophy. The notion of the ‘weakness' of the wil is caused by observing the
norms instead of the facts, because on a factual level, the strongest wil always win. The
idea of failure is caused by thinking in terms of what ‘should be' (what is proper) instead
of thinking in terms of need be (be caused to) or of urge, craving and desire. Guilt,
remorse, moral responsibility are expressions of pride and arrogance. The belief in a
free wil is the source of this pride. Pride denotes a great lack of self-knowledge. It is
caused by not viewing oneself in the here and now, but having in mind different people
or oneself in different circumstances. Those other people or I in a different position
would have acted differently. But, upon close inspection, in this exact situation I could
only act in this manner. Knowing oneself to make natural, necessary choices in the
current circumstances negates the notion of failure. Knowing others to be the same
prevents irritation, anger and hate, as others are now also viewed as not free. Thinking
in terms of ‘I would' and not acting on this causes frustration and envy. ‘Would' is a
conditional kind of wil ; a certain thing is only desired if something or other changes first, or if something or other were not the case right now. Not the concrete ‘I want this in this situation', but the ‘I would … if … if … if … if I were another person'. Knowing why one does not act on something, knowing the cause of it, prevents this frustrating style of thought. Anyone who thinks they ever act differently from what they would prefer can rest at ease: this is impossible. This notion shows a lack of self-knowledge, knowledge of true motives and working causes. Does anyone ever think they are hurting someone? That means they unjustly view themselves as the cause of something that is not in their control. Pride again. Nobody has the ability to control people and their emotions like that. There has to be to some kind of interaction, some interplay of forces. Who does not acknowledge this misunderstands one's own part, that of others and that of the circumstances. Moreover, someone who also feels guilty about this does not see the motives or causes that necessitated the action. The imaginative choice between ‘either doing something for oneself or for somebody else' serves to provide a dilemma of ‘failing one's duty or failing oneself'. Thankful y, al this is only an apparent contradistinction, assuming an inexistent, isolated, abstract individual. Humans are so fundamental y social that the motive of aiding others is always applied to the self. It is possible to concretely do something for someone else, such as picking up their groceries, but the underlying motive is always self-interest. To summarise: for al these notions on acting in concrete circumstances, what people think appears to be ‘imaginative' on a double level. These notions do not correctly display reality. People do not understand the constitution of and within their bodies, which controls their necessary actions. I will discuss that Spinoza seems to be in accordance with the stoic philosophy of the passions. However, Spinoza disagrees with the stoic notion that determining one's own thoughts depends on one's own choices, as he argues: the mind is wil ing, but the flesh is strong. Unlike the stoic philosophers, Spinoza does not believe that the passions can be avoided entirely. But stil there is a fundamental distinction to be made between philosophical y regulating emotions on the one hand and, on the other, psychotherapies such as the Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), which claims to be based upon the philosophy of, among others, stoicism and Spinoza. The philosophical cognitive therapy does not aim to fight emotions. That would only be a treatment of the symptoms. The practical philosophy is about radical y eliminating the cause, the source. The purpose is not to ‘(learn to) deal with emotions'. That's why this method, real y based on Spinoza's philosophy, is more radical, not just on an elemental level, but also because negative emotions do not only lose their edge, but are removed, or better yet, transformed into stable joy. Spinoza focuses less on the function and the practical effect of a thought or feeling. He does however acknowledge the functional use of negative emotions such as fear, guilt and compassion. ‘Any deed we can be driven to commit because of a sensation that is a suffering, we can also be driven to commit by another cause.' Seneca, a stoic philosopher who wrote much about anger, and Spinoza both consider it possible for the emotions to be functional. But only certain people need emotions for this. Comparing emotions to ‘drinking for taking in courage', just to dare to say something shows that the emotions are only of use to those who lack courage and insight. Others do not need them, as they act upon insight (understanding) what they do or do not want or what would be better to say or to do. Philosophy can also contribute to solving those real problems by the clarification of ideas and the introduction of distinctions. Because it at least helps in putting the problem in a proper way, which is a necessary condition for solving whatever problem. Practical philosophy can be used to trace and expose disguises of these real problems, disguises that originate in thought. The distinction between real and seeming problems is partly based on the assumption of the distinction between is and ought. Hume postulated: from being (nature) can't be derived any 'being obliged to' (in social action): norms therefore can't be founded by facts. Machiavelli writes that he wants to 'start from the actual reality of things and not from the fictitious idea of it; from the way people live, and not from the way they should live'. And Spinoza's philosophy is to summarise as: the mind is ready, but the flesh is strong. The reduction of seeming problems to real problems also takes place in for example psycho-analysis, in rational-emotive therapy and in neuro-linguistic programming. Three kinds of psychotherapy - 'talking cures' - in which manifestations of language are examined critical y. Practical philosophy is more radical than psychotherapy, as I have shown, for instance than the RET, whereby four criteria for rationality are used, but only one of them is a philosophical one, truth, and that is exactly the only one I'm working with. The other three are practical, pragmatical or functional ones. Never the less, a highly metaphysical system as Spinoza's radical philosophy proves to have more consequences in practice than whatever other theory or therapy. Workshop: The workshop consists of a live session, because we will investigate one's beliefs in a real experienced situation. It wil be a demonstration with some participants (one by one) within a little group. The role of the other participants is to observe and sometimes to participate with their comments, questions or advise. The starting point is a real life situation with involves undesirable emotional consequences. The aim of the session is: the person becomes aware of the fact that underlying (unconscious) convictions, especial y moral and social beliefs, explain the troublesome emotion, which is an obstacle to tranquil ity and also to effective personal and professional activity. I presuppose that one can become a leader in stead of a victim by the way of rational reasoning, insight, awareness. It is a philosophical way to change undesirable, ineffective and obstructive emotional reactions. One can become more effective in personal life, in relations, in professional life. The aim is also: action (to be active) in stead of passion (to be passive), effective in stead of affective. In Dutch you can say – the pronunciation is the same! - : leiden (to lead) in stead of lijden (to suffer). I will show the practice of asking questions, making aware of underlying irrational beliefs and chal enging them, and help to find the proper alternative more rational ideas. The old (from Socrates on) philosophical instruments and aims are asking questions, chal enge the truth, dialogue, reflection (a mirror), to be aware, know yourself. The emotions are helpful as an instrument to become aware of unconscious, common-sense, generalized and self-evident beliefs. The justification of this practice is first of al that I only work with volunteers. Another justification is: This is philosophy! It is a job. It is stil like the ancient public and their philosophers said: if you are il , see a doctor, if you are unhappy (mental y il ), see a philosopher. Philosophy is criticising ideology and false consciousness on behalf of reality and factual truth. It has nothing to do with political, religious or esthetical or ethical opinions. It has to do with what is and who you are and not with how it should be, or what you ought to do. Is has to do with reality. Like Freud said: to give up the neurotic or emotional problem, to face the real problem. And like Byron Katie wrote: If you argue with reality, you lose, but….only always! The concrete method (making use of different coloured plastic cards with the words: situation- opinion- emotion and discussion on the floor) I will use I borrowed from Albert El is' Rational-emotive therapy (RET), who wrote that he borrowed his theory from philosophy: especially from Socrates, the Stoics and Spinoza. So, my claim is that I restore the philosophy in this method (A-B-C-D-E). The A(ctivating situation) – B(elief) – C(onsequences) refer to the sentence of the stoic Epictetus: Things themselves or other people (A) don't hurt (C) us; it is how we view (B) these things. The D (dialogue, dispute) comes in from Socrates, and the E (effect) fol ows necessarily from the insight that D gives you. A peaceful mind, combined with effective action, ful of energy now nothing is lost of it in irrational repeatedly thinking and sad passions. The insight D fol ows always another sentence of Epictetus: Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. Keep your attention focused entirely (100 %) on what you can do, and accept the other things. To distinguish between the one and the other philosophy can help you, and practicing this is the true art of living. So, it is a big misunderstanding that stoic philosophy makes passive, because it concerns only the acceptance of what you cannot change. To the contrary, it makes you active and effective concerning the things that are under your control. Speaker 2: Keith Hammond (Philosophy and Education, University of Glasgow, UK):
Aristotle's approach to the financial crisis and what we can learn as philosophical
practitioners from it.
Abstract: "Every art and every enquiry, and similarly every action as wel as choice, is
held to aim at some good. Hence people have nobly declared that the good is that at
which al things aim. But there appears to be a certain difference among the ends: some
ends are activities, others are certain works apart from activities themselves, and in
those cases in which there are certain ends apart from the actions, the works are
natural y better than the activities." Nicomachean Ethics Book I 1094a …
The opening of Aristotle's Ethics are not about discourse relating to the financial crisis,
which is discussed with one purpose in Greece and another in Europe. The ends of
Europe are supposed to be the same as those of member states like Portugal, Ireland
and Greece. But is that so? Has the crisis of the European system not been dropped
on Greece and far more importantly, have the processes of on the ground discourse in
cities like Athens not been marginalized in what fol owed?
At no point in the crisis have the complex views of the Greek people been considered.
Aristotle advises discussions of the many and the wise but so far we have just heard
from the European ‘wise' in the form of Christine Legard who did not have anything
constructive to say about the Greek ‘many' … Accusations have been made of ‘rampant
tax dodgers' of course. But so far the discourse has been one way.
A special working group was set up in Germany, and endless demands have to and froe
between the Greek government and Merkel's Finance Ministers. But where have the
Greek people figured in deliberations? Where are the ordinary views of Greek citizens?
Greek civil society has been completely marginalized. There has been no consultation
of the public sphere. The discourse has been total y dominated by bankers and Heads
of State. Should philosophy in the form of ordinary doxa not now be appearing in some
consultative form. Should politics not now be taking a discursive turn? It is after al the
Greek people who wil have to shape their lives around austerity measures.
In this contribution I wil argue that Aristotle has more to say on the current crisis than
the like of Legard. I will argue that practice on the ground has more of a role to play than
budgetary restraint coming from Brussels. The assumption that mass demonstrations
are not rational will be tackled. Whatever emerges in the coming period, the opinions of
ordinary citizens running the schools, clinics and public services wil have to be brought
in … and this requires local forums of philosophical enquiry that take on the same
question as Aristotle, in what kind of measure can be taken that do not burden the life
that is real y worth living. In this sort of move Greece will be drawing on resources that
are much more secure than IMF and Bundesbank agreements. In this contribution I will use examples from discursive practices in Palestine what has been termed the ‘Arab Spring' … Speaker 3: Ayesha Ahmad (UK): A Narrative Response to Trauma: ‘Trauma
Territory: Can we change the landscape'?
Abstract: David Morris, in his paper, 'Narrative, Ethics, and Pain: Thinking With Stories',
inquired about responding to dilemmas as 'we might respond to a story'. In trauma, the
greatest tales are told; they are the greatest because of their chal enges for our human
condition, and more so, our ability to live wel and flourish upon our suffering. The advent
of trauma, then, is a quest for our narratives; for the re-finding of who we are in the world
we are in. Consequently, contemporary trauma therapeutic models have been heavily
focused on the role of narrative - embodying the premise of psychologist, Pierre Janet,
who put forward the claim that an individual emerges in a traumatized state from failing
to translate a certain event/s into a 'narrative memory'. Implicit in our fundamental
conceptualization of what is a trauma is that trauma cannot simply remain un-felt; there
is a task required by the individual to bring something into existence. In other words,
trauma is not dormant after the time of the trauma is dead. Rather, trauma is personified
as a wound; a psychic wound as derived from the Greek etymology of the term ‘trauma'.
In this paper, I explore fundamental narrations of conceptualizing trauma. My starting
point is that a predominant idea in the field of trauma studies is that narrative expression
can incur change; a change that is anticipated to bring a greater quality of (mental) life to
the traumatized individual. To this end, analyses of narratives have focused on aspects
such as coherency, truth, (re)construction, which suffice to address the ontological
structure for the way that we understand (our) stories. Trauma, though, performs through
rupture, paradox, semantic reduction, and the deconstruction of identity. Thus, trauma
conflicts with our ability to narrate. I will argue that a therapeutic narrative model needs
to be (re)conceptualized as a ‘trauma territory' because an individual cannot re-cover
their pre-ruptured narrative. Typical y, the power of narrative is drawn from the self-
knowledge that ensues during recovery of an individual and coherent story. I suggest
this view can be supplemented by exploring the individual's experience post-rupture,
which, in turn, will accommodate an ownership of their being-in-the-world (their territory)
and an understanding of their altered narrative (their landscape). Only from an
exploration of our embodied narratives may we learn what is lost – or altered – via
Speaker 4: Viktoria Chernenko (Philosophical Practitioner, Russia): "Argumentation as
an important tool for evaluation and thinking development"
One of the main differences between practical philosophy and "theoretical" is that
philosophy as a practice tries to study more the "how" and not the "what": meaning that
the content in this case interests us much less than the process of thinking. We want to
study and improve the way people think in order to bring in consciousness and therefore
autonomy in their life which results in the capacity to deal with different issues, knowing
what you do. Form in this case is more important than the content, structure is more
important than what it is fil ed with. Why would "how" interest us more than "what"? While
the content can present interesting cases for discussion, the form al ows us to study the
structure, the skeleton of thinking, which means that a person will do certain mental
gestures in different situations and studying these mental gestures can help us to
forecast obstacles and difficulties in thinking. We have done a research showing that independently of the difficulty of the question given, a person has a problem with one thinking competency. For example if one has a hard time with problematizing, it will show in different answers, be the content easy or hard. The tool that we have taken for evaluation of the difficulties and studying the possible ways to develop one's thinking is argumentation. Argumentation al ows us to see the process of one's thinking and by studying the types of committed argumentation mistakes it is possible to construct a mental profile of a person who is answering the questions. During one year such a system was applied at a big Russian nuclear company where it was proven that such a work can show us problems with thinking. The tool is a questionnaire that consists of 20 questions that one has to answer giving an argument. Then the arguments are studied according to the gradation of argumentation mistakes that was developed for this occasion. As a result we can spot certain difficulties that al ow us to say whether a person will have problems with the position he is occupying or whether he can apply for a certain position. This is only one of the possible applications of the work on argumentation. We have done interesting researches that showed us the absence of correlation between intel ect and the capacity to give arguments, which leads us to the conclusion that arguments rather show the process of thinking and help us to track down interesting movements that happen in this process. We can use this work as well with children – teaching them to evaluate arguments, teaching them the capacity to distinguish weak arguments from strong ones. The studies we did, showed that the children who have been taught to quickly spot argumentation mistakes can better cope with texts and work better with concepts. Session 6 (Monday 12 of August- Plenary Session- to last up to 1 hour
Planning for the Future Meeting(s) of ICPP- Organisational Issues.
Other Important Information (please read carefully):
1. Al Philosophical Practitioners wishing to take part in the 12 ICPP in Athens have to register They should then send their Participation Forms to Costas , who wil forward them to the WCP Secretariat so that al registered participants can receive an Acceptance letter (to obtain visas etc.).
2. No other expenses are necessary for their participation to al our discussions. But if Philosophical Practitioners are not speakers in one of the Round Tables and the Independent Sessions, they need to let Costas know about their participation in our scheduled events so that they are included in al the email notifications for the 12 ICPP and Costas knows numbers of people participating in events.
3. Participants to the 12 ICPP are advised to book their flights so as to include the days: Sunday 4rth of August and Monday 12th of August (we plan to finish with a dinner on the Monday 12th of August, after the Plenary Session).
4. You can find more information about the venues of our Round Tables and the Independent Sessions (al at the University of Athens Zografos Campus) here: *Please note that the Organiser names in this webpage are not the same as the Chairperson names in the 12 ICPP programme. Organisers are proposing the Round Table, but they usual y do not Chair the Round Table. The Chairpersons appear as participants in the Congress Round Tables webpage. We wil try to fol ow our 12 ICPP programme as much as possible.
*Please also note that the Tentative Programme of the WCP (with tentative dates for the Round Tables) can be found here: 5. The Independent Sessions wil take place at the Mikis Theodorakis Amphitheatre-
Municipality of Cholargos-Papagou Main Building, 55 Perikleous Street, 15561
Cholargos. Closest Metro Station is Cholargos Station. Take the Perikleous Street after
you exit the station and the venue is about 15 min walk from the Station. Unfortunately
we are not going (as 12 ICPP) to use the Archaeological sites (they asked for high ticket
prices and we do not have the means to cover them). If people are interested to visit
them in the context of the Congress activities for free they need to send to the Congress
Secretariat separate participation forms, as soon as possible, which can be found here:
From what we have been informed participation in these events at the archaeological
sites is for free for al registered participants at the Congress.
6. Accommodation and Transportation: There is a list of venues recommended by
WCP that al participants to the 12 ICPP should consider (with special discounted prices)
here:. Book early since
in August there is a high demand for rooms. You may find cheaper rates for rooms from
other websites. Please choose what is best for you and your financial means. Costas
may be able to advise you further for cheaper options (but not near the Campus site).
Camping sites that are close to Athens (also make sure you book early and note that it
may take you 2 hours via public transport to reach the ICPP venues from the Camping
Transportation for the Round Tables at the Congress (School of Philosophy,
Zografos Campus):
The fol owing buses get you from the Athens city centre to near the School of Philosophy
at the University of Athens Campus (note that the closest entrance is through the Campus entrance next to the Cemetery of Zografos and the area cal ed Ano Ilisia).
Route 235 ZOGRAFOY - AKADIMIA Route 220 ANO ILISIA - AKADIMIA Route 221 PANEPISTIMIOYPOLI - AKADIMIA The Athens Metro also can get you to the City Centre and close to the above bus terminals in Akadimia Street (and also it is a major city attraction with the exhibitions it hosts). More info you can find via the Athens Transportation Portal (with info about al transportation means in and around Athens): Advice about Taxi fares: Please make sure you discuss about the trip fare before you start your trip with a taxi. There are plenty taxi companies that operate with a phone cal booking (they are preferrable- but even there please make sure you discuss about the fare before you book the taxi).
Transportation to the 12 ICPP Independent Sessions (Mikis Theodorakis
Amphitheatre, Municipality of Papagou-Cholargos, Main Building)
: take the Metro
from anywhere in Athens to the Cholargos Station (line from Syntagma to Airport or
Doukissis Plakentias). Upon exit from the Cholargos Station, take the Perikleous Street
and walk away from the Station towards the Dimarcheio (Municipality Building) of
Papagou-Cholargou. The venue is on 55 Perikleous Street, 15561 Cholargos (about 15
min walk from the Metro Station).
7. After the end of the 12 ICPP papers and presentations that will be read at the 12 ICPP can be submitted in their final form for publication (deadline for this is 30 September 2013; submitted papers should be saved as .doc (for Microsoft Word version 97/2000/XP), written in English and with Arial font 12, using the Chicago Style for references, using Author-Date system for in text citations; see ).
8. We thank Guido Giacomo Gattai and Jon Clyat Graziano for the logos, the adverts and the video promotion of our Conference. We also thank Sam Brown for the main website of the 12 ICPP. We also thank the Mayor of Papagou-Cholargou Mr Xydis, the Deputy Mayors Ms Vana Retsinia-Giannakopoulou, and Ms Boufounou, Mr Charalambos Tobrides and our on site volunteers.
*For al communication and further information regarding the 12 ICPP please contact Costas (Dr. Constantinos Athanasopoulos): The main Conference website: The Hel enic Society for Philosophical Practice Blog:


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