Philosophy is more than just an academic subject; it is useful and enriching in everyday life as well. This is the main conviction of philosophical practitioners. Philosophical practice has been developing as a new movement within philosophy for several decades now, although it has ancient roots. Today, there are philosophical practitioners throughout the world who exchange ideas and experience in journals and during regular international conferences, such as the 14th International Conference on Philosophical Practice, which took place in Bern, Switzerland, in 2016 under the main topic “Understanding the Other and Oneself.” A selection of thirteen papers from this conference, as well as five panel contributions on various subjects regarding its main topic, are gathered in this book. These contributions to the conference will be of significance and interest not only for philosophers and philosophical practitioners, but also for psychotherapists, counsellors, pedagogues and other professionals.
This collection of essays deals with some pressing social, cultural and moral concerns. It addresses problems of trans-cultural and intro-cultural understanding due to diverse perceptions of various themes. Moving beyond "Cultural Otherness" its aim is to evolve linkages between alternative visions of convergent character avoiding the extremes of hegemonic globalization and radical relativism. Themes included are: alternative perceptions of 1. history and historiography; 2. flux; 3. satisfactions, and obstacles in cross-cultural understanding; 4. A-self and other; 5. cultural objects; 6. world crisis; 7. democracy and development; 8. bias against women in India; 9. gender justice; 10. women's freedom; 11. culture, theory and practice. Each subject in its specific area signals the turn towards shared visions of the human condition. The book has relevance for an interdisciplinary audience interested in cross-cultural dialogue that signals the turn from divergences to convergence, fragmentation to non-hegemonic globalization
How can symbols have meaning for a subject? Foundations of Understanding argues that this is the key question to ask about intentionality, or meaningful thought. It thus offers an alternative to currently popular linguistic models of intentionality, whose inadequacies are examined: the goal should be to explain, not how symbols, mental or otherwise, can refer to or ‘mean’ states of affairs in the external world, but how they can mean something to us, the users. The essence of intentionality is shown to be conscious understanding, the roots of which lie in experiences of embodiment and goal-directed action. A developmental path is traced from a foundation of conscious understanding in the ability to perform basic actions, through the understanding of the concept of an objective, external world, to the understanding of language and abstract symbols. The work is interdisciplinary: data from the neurosciences and cognitive psychology, and the perspectives of phenomenologists such as Merleau-Ponty, are combined with traditional philosophical analysis. The book includes a chapter on the nature of conscious qualitative experience and its neural correlates. (Series A)
Recent research has challenged our view of the Abrahamic religious traditions as unilaterally intolerant and incapable of recognizing otherness in all its diversity and richness; but a diachronic and comparative study of how these traditions deal with otherness is yet to appear. This volume aims to contribute to such a study by presenting different treatments of otherness in medieval and early modern thought. Part I: Altruism deals with attitudes and behaviors that benefit others, regardless of its motives. We deal with the social rights and emotions as well as the moral obligations that the very existence of other human beings, whatever their characteristics, creates for a community. Part II: Religious recognition and toleration considers identity, toleration and mutual recognition created by the existence of religious or ethnic otherness in a given social, religious or political community. Part III: Evil deals with religious otherness that is considered evil and rejected such as heretics and malevolent, demonic entities. The volume will ultimately inform the reader on the nature of religious toleration (including beliefs and doctrines, even emotions) as well as of the self-definition of religious communities when encountering and defining otherness in different ways.
Self-consciousness is a topic of considerable importance to a variety of empirical and theoretical disciplines such as developmental and social psychology, cognitive neuroscience, psychiatry, and philosophy. This volume presents essays on self-consciousness by prominent psychologists, cognitive neurologists, and philosophers. Some of the topics included are the infants’ sense of self and others, theory of mind, phenomenology of embodiment, neural mechanisms of action attribution, and hermeneutics of the self. A number of these essays argue in turn that empirical findings in developmental psychology, phenomenological analyses of embodiment, or studies of pathological self-experiences point to the existence of a type of self-consciousness that does not require any explicit I —thought or self-observation, but is more adequately described as a pre-reflective, embodied form of self-familiarity. The different contributions in the volume amply demonstrate that self-consciousness is a complex multifaceted phenomenon that calls for an integration of different complementary interdisciplinary perspectives. (Series B)
How are Chinese philosophy and analytic philosophy-two very distinct traditions-alike? In this volume, fifteen distinguished scholars compare and contrast the methodologies, finding areas in which each tradition can learn from, contribute to, and complement the other.
Pasgaard-Westerman rethinks the ontological and epistemological understanding of world, other and self by opposing the general anthropological paradigm within contemporary philosophy. Signs and interpretations are not functions of Man; instead Man is conceived as certain "signo-interpretational" relations to world, other and self. Opposing more traditional hermeneutical approaches the signo-interpretational relations towards world, other and self are understood as a "skeptical disposition". This skeptical disposition undercuts usual epistemological problems of skepticism and instead designates the permanent incompleteness of the process of interpretation and formulates an ethical imperative. This ethical imperative aims at an active dissolution of fixed signs; an openness towards other signs; and the holding back of definite interpretations. The book discusses how world appear as a sign-world, how the other appear within interpretational patterns, and how our signs of self are experienced. Discussing a wide range of epistemological and ontological questions and taking into account the perspectives of a broad range of philosophical traditions, a signo-interpretational account of reality, world-versions, other persons and self is presented.
Understanding Self and Others in the Postmodern World is unlike most books directed at giving people insight into themselves in that it is addressed to those who want to think about their lives, relationships with others, and how Western culture has arrived at the Postmodern World. This book examines seven different worldviews that have become dominant for periods of time in the history of Western culture. The author explains that, although all worldviews share the same structure and characteristics, they vary markedly in their contents. Further, a worldview molds those entering it after its own image. Those readers: (1) who identify their own assumptions about the nature of reality, what it means to be a human being, and the truth, will gain insight into themselves. And, identifying the assumptions held by others on these matters will give the reader insight into them. The problem in the Postmodern World is that we live and work with people who live in these different worlds. That situation has invited disagreement and conflict which, unresolved, has led to the chaos that is characteristic of our time. The solution before the nations of the West is that each citizen must grant to all others the same rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness he or she claims for him or herself.
“Self- Help: The Understanding of Life” is another insightful reading from Vladimir Zivkovic, the author of books “Modern Relationships” and “The Book about Divine-Self”. How to improve your low self-esteem? Where all these modern life problems stem from? How to overcome them and stay on the right path in this crazy world? Further on, it reflects on the issues of the modern man with Self, God, morality, and authorities. The author offers real-life examples to help readers answer these currently burning questions and regain their lost spirituality and confidence. The author mainly talks about our attitude to everyday life and shortcomings of the modern life philosophies which have separated man from its true nature and purpose. The main goal of being happy has turned into great confusion of various teachings and into pure hedonism and an egotistic striving for some kind of success and fame or just to simply pleasure and indulge oneself and one's appetites for worldly pleasures. In this book, is presented a positive spiritual discipline that is free from ego and that will aid a reader to keep one's mind open for the important questions in life. Eventually, it turns out that we look for happiness in the wrong places all the time - the main goal of being happy is not focused on ego, but on making others happy most of the times. Our transient time and memory are another reason to make us question our ways in the world and what we really want to focus on in our lives. Keep in mind that everything that is worthy will not come easily. The change starts with you and it takes lots of work. We should just stop rushing towards materialism and continue moving on at a steady pace towards our true nature and purpose.
Arne Grøn’s reading of Søren Kierkegaard’s authorship revolves around existential challenges of human identity. The 35 essays that constitute this book are written over three decades and are characterized by combining careful attention to the augmentative detail of Kierkegaard’s text with a constant focus on issues in contemporary philosophy. Contrary to many approaches to Kierkegaard’s authorship, Grøn does not read Kierkegaard in opposition to Hegel. The work of the Danish thinker is read as a critical development of Hegelian phenomenology with particular attention to existential aspects of human experience. Anxiety and despair are the primary existential phenomena that Kierkegaard examines throughout his authorship, and Grøn uses these negative phenomena to argue for the basically ethical aim of Kierkegaard’s work. In Grøn’s reading, Kierkegaard conceives human selfhood not merely as relational, but also a process of becoming the self that one is through the otherness of self-experience, that is, the body, the world, other people, and God. This book should be of interest to philosophers, theologians, literary studies scholars, and anyone with an interest not only in Kierkegaard, but also in human identity.
This book tackles the problem of how we can understand our human world embedded in the physical universe in such a way that justice is done both to the richness, meaning and value of human life on the one hand, and what modern science tells us about the physical universe on the other hand. It includes discussion of consciousness, free will and evolution.
This book examines the theoretical, methodological and practical dimensions of Qualitative Research in the study of illness, wellbeing and self-growth in the Indian context. Using wide-ranging narratives, interviews, group discussions, and cultural analyses, it offers a social and psychological understanding of health and therapy.