Wittgenstein and philosophical counseling

Philosophical Practice: Journal of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association 2 (2):79-85 (2006)
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Wittgenstein conceived of philosophy as an activity rather than a subject. Thus, his work is highly relevant to the contemporary philosophical counseling movement. This paper explores the ways in which his views on how to do philosophy shed light on how we can approach philosophical counseling. First, Witgenstein's anti-theoretical approach to conceptual analysis highlights the dangers of interpreting clients? symptoms in light of theory. Second, his notion that "pictures hold us captive" underscores the need to help clients recognize unfounded assumptions underlying their apparent dilemmas. Finally, Wittgenstein's Socratic conception of philosophy as a means to lead an authentic life shows the value of philosophizing beyond the confines of the academy



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