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Human Affairs

Postdisciplinary Humanities & Social Sciences Quarterly

Editor-in-Chief: Višnovský, Emil

Ed. by Bianchi, Gabriel / Hrubec, Marek / Tartaglia, James

CiteScore 2016: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.172
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.415

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Volume 23, Issue 4


Philosophical counselling based on dialogical critical thinking

Blanka Šulavíková
  • Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Dubravska cesta 9, 841 04, Bratislava 4, Slovakia
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Published Online: 2013-09-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13374-013-0157-x


Various approaches and methods are used in philosophical counselling. Two main trends can be observed: the first is the use of contemplative methods and the second constitutes approaches based on dialogical critical thinking. The author defends the idea that developing philosophical counselling on the basis of critical thinking presupposes that it is possible for counsellor and client to hold a philosophical dialogue where the relationship is one of expert/lay person. J. Šulavík has described this relationship in greater detail. In the Socratic model, the philosopher and the lay person hold a dialogue whereby they ascertain opinions via inductive comparison and by defining things, creating a shared concept. While the Platonic and Enlightenment models were grounded in the authority of the expert philosopher, in the Socratic and postmodern models, the expert philosopher loses the power to manipulate those who know “less”. Lay people are not passive consumers of a particular “optimal” philosophy but through their own “philosophising” create philosophy and tailor it for themselves. While philosophising, therefore, the philosopher does not take on the role of “producer” of philosophy but of “adviser” (consultant). It is therefore supposed that people have a general need for philosophy and that ultimately they should create and reflect upon their own philosophy.

Keywords: philosophical counselling; critical thinking; Socratic dialogue

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About the article

Published Online: 2013-09-28

Published in Print: 2013-10-01

Citation Information: Human Affairs, Volume 23, Issue 4, Pages 680–688, ISSN (Online) 1337-401X, ISSN (Print) 1210-3055, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s13374-013-0157-x.

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© 2013 Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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