|Abstract||In opposition to the common belief that philosophy is a discipline belonging solely in the university, where it can be safely insulated from influencing or being influenced by the way ordinary people live their lives, a movement has arisen over the past decade or so, commonly known as “Philosophical Practice.” Some trace its early organization back to 1992, when several French philosophers and friends casually met one Sunday morning in a Paris café to discuss an issue of mutual concern. A journalist, overhearing them planning a follow-up meeting and mistakenly thinking it would be open to the general public, announced it in the local press, and the first “Café Philo” was born. Soon the popularity of the weekly gatherings that began cropping up in cafés all over Paris and throughout France came to the attention of philosophers elsewhere, who had already been interested in practical ways of luring philosophy out of the Academy and back into the public square (where it began, in pre-Platonic Athens). Contacts were made between counselors who were already using philosophical ideas and methods to assist clients in overcoming personal problems, consultants who had already been hired by big businesses to assist them in thinking philosophically about various corporate problems, and teachers who were already interested in minimizing current social problems by introducing “philosophy for children” into primary and secondary school curricula. Starting in 1995, annual conferences began to be held, where philosophers engaged in these and other non-academic activities could share their ideas and encourage others to regard philosophy as more than just an academic discipline. Soon after attending the Third International Conference on Philosophical Practice, in July of 1997, I began exploring various ways of involving myself in philosophical activities outside the university. At that..|
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