South African Journal of Philosophy, 35 (2), 2016, pp 123–131.
You can find it here or there.
The self-confidence of the human being, freedom, has first of all to be aroused again in the hearts of these people. Karl Marx
ABSTRACT: If a time of crisis calls for a new mode of thinking, philosophical practice offers the means to answer that call. Contemporary philosophical practice revitalises the ancient Greek understanding of philosophy as a way of life that cultivates personal transformation and new ways of seeing the world. This article describes the development of the author’s philosophical counselling practice as a practice of emancipation, in concert with the writings of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Rancière. It considers the significance of personal engagement and companionship for the cultivation of practical wisdom, and suggests that the intransigence of our global social and economic crises ultimately indicates an incorrect view of human nature and an ossified or unbalanced relationship between practical and theoretical ways of knowing and wisdom.
Posted in philosophy as emancipation
Tagged confidence, crises, David Harvey, freedom, Levinas, love, philosophical practice, practical wisdom, Ranciere, scepticism, thinking, thinking differently, transformation
“We have a duty to change our mode of thinking,” said David Harvey in a 2010 talk on the crises of capitalism, and I’ve been chanting it ever since. Recently, someone took me to task. “Do you really believe thinking changes anything?” I was astonished. (In my experience, it’s the only thing that has.) “I don’t,” he continued. “People change what they think and carry on just the same.” That set me back on my haunches.
Why do I think that thinking can change the world?
Because it made it in the first place. Continue reading
If the old model is broken, what will work in its place? The answer is: Nothing will work, but everything might. Now is the time for experiments, lots and lots of experiments. Clay Shirky
We have a duty to change our mode of thinking. David Harvey
There appears to be magic simply in the willingness to tackle life’s hardest problems from the humble position of simply being one among many in a circle of individuals caring for the common lot. Alice Walker
The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them. Albert Einstein (attributed)
Having these words slung my way from many directions recently, I have decided to shift the focus of my philosophy café. To change our mode of thinking. Could there be a more philosophical challenge? But how is this even possible, if the mind we use to think with is the thing we have to change? I don’t know, but I have a few clues. Continue reading