What is a Philosophical Practioner?
A professional trained to facilitate the thinking of individuals and groups focusing on significant, but problematic, concepts: the kind of concepts used not only for everyday thinking and communication, but also as a basis for actions. Philosophical practitioners often pose questions designed to identify hidden assumptions, theoretical frameworks, and world views, and use their training and experience to encourage others to discover their own philosophical insights.
- A philosophical practioner IS NOT a “type of [therapist], and DOES NOT deal with human mental health pathologies—unlike much of psychology and the entirety of psychiatry . IT IS, instead, more akin to life coaching or pastoral or rabbinical counseling, though even those are of course imperfect analogies.
- A philosophical practioner IS NOT engaged in medical practice. A defining characteristic of what they do [is] not to cure anything, but rather to offer a variety of potentially useful perspectives on existential problems …”
What is Somaesthetics?
“Somaesthetics is an interdisciplinary research product devoted to the critical study and meliorative cultivation of the experience and use of the living body (or soma) as a site of sensory appreciation (aesthesis) and creative self-stylization. An ameliorative discipline of both theory and practice, somaesthetics seeks to enrich not only our discursive knowledge of the body but also our lived somatic experience and performance; it aims to improve the meaning, understanding, efficacy, and beauty of our movements and of the environments to which our actions contribute and from which they also derive their energies and significance. To pursue these aims, somaesthetics is concerned with a wide diversity of knowledge forms, discourses, social practices and institutions, cultural traditions and values, and bodily disciplines that structure (or could improve) such somatic understanding and cultivation, and it is therefore an interdisciplinary project, in which theory and practice are closely connected and reciprocally nourish each other. It is not limited to one theoretical field, academic or professional vocabulary, cultural ideology, or particular set of bodily disciplines. Rather it aims to provide an overarching theoretical structure and a set of basic and versatile conceptual tools to enable a more fruitful interaction and integration of the very diverse forms of somatic knowledge currently being practiced and pursued.” (Shusterman 3)
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(c) Lawrence D. Benson 2018. All rights reserved.