QA 60. None the wiser (On the obligation and cultivation of wisdom)

Last week, I had the pleasure of addressing a conference of family mediators in Cape Town on the topic of “Wisdom in mediation”. Two stories First story. An ethics professor once said to an undergraduate philosophy class, “If you believe that a professor of ethics is an ethical person, you are making a category mistake.”…

QA 58. “But it doesn’t work like that!”

Annals of philosophical counselling/practice with others “But it doesn’t work like that!” I say this in response to some proposed scheme or strategy of yours. I mean that, in terms of what you want to achieve, what you are doing seems either futile or malicious because you have a mistaken view about what’s going on….

The ethics and politics of life: An interview about philosophical counselling

“But if they’re interested in being able to work out their life, with someone who is going to keep them company, keep them safe, and not do anything to them while they’re doing that, then they stay. And then we work.” Ran Lahav interviewed me and several other participants at the recent 13th International Conference on Philosophical Practice in…

QA 48. Think, again (The end of philosophy)

In 2010, Stephen Hawking pronounced philosophy dead: “Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.” But he had not kept up with Martin Heidegger, who already said this in 1964, in “The end of philosophy and…

QA 38. January 2013. Rocking the foundations of thought

Education systems that render people stupid, mental health treatment that renders people mad, religions that render people wicked, economies that render people poor, political systems that render people powerless. How is it that our social systems break down (render) precisely what they are meant to serve (render to)?

QA 37. Dec 2012. Ten years down the road

2012 has been my tenth year as a “philosopher in private practice”. I’m a bit surprised to find that what began with a hunch and a leap of faith has developed in unanticipated directions, yet stayed true to its roots. The hunch concerned philosophy as a way of life.

QA 35. Aug 2012. Philosophy for emancipation

It starts off very personally, very intimately. You’re going about your business and then ­– for some unknown reason – you can’t carry on. Maybe there’s a choice you don’t know how to make. Maybe you’ve reached a dead end or the limit of some chain you didn’t even know you wore. You are thrown…