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An exploration of philosophical and religious ideas about humor in modern philosophy and their secular implications. By exploring the works of both Anthony Ashley Cooper, Third Earl of Shaftesbury, and Søren Kierkegaard, Lydia B. Amir finds a rich tapestry of ideas about the comic, the tragic, humor, and related concepts such as irony, ridicule, and wit. Amir focuses chiefly on these two thinkers, but she also includes Johann Georg Hamann, an influence of Kierkegaard’s who was himself influenced by Shaftesbury. All three thinkers were devout Christians but were intensely critical of the organized Christianity of their milieux, and humor played an important role in their responses. The author examines the epistemological, ethical, and religious roles of humor in their philosophies and proposes a secular philosophy of humor in which humor helps attain the philosophic ideals of self-knowledge, truth, rationality, virtue, and wisdom, as well as the more ambitious goals of liberation, joy, and wisdom.
Taking Philosophy Seriously initiates a meta-philosophical dialogue that challenges the division between academic and practical philosophy. In contradistinction to the perfectionist tradition of philosophy, it offers a melioristic view of philosophy that rethinks the approach to philosophy, reinvigorates its academic teaching and secures the respectability of its practitioners outside the academe. It addresses the neglected topic of philosophers’ education through a subtle analysis of the mentor-apprentice relationship and the remedies philosophers have found to its tensions. It reveals the problems inherent in emulating past practical philosophies from Alexandrian times, the Enlightenment or the 19th century, and the necessity of reevaluating the tools, reconsidering the means, and rethinking the methods of the contemporary practice of philosophy. To that purpose, it problematizes the notions of dialogue, self-knowledge, and self-transformation, and questions the feasibility of autonomy and self-integration as well as the differentiation between philosophy and psychology. It offers original solutions to the problems it highlights and points to unique benefits in the practice of philosophy that contribute to resolving the contemporary crisis of philosophy. This book combines high academic standards and an accessible style, and will engage academic and practical philosophers alike, professionals in education and the helping professions, and the general public.
Calling on philosophers as the custodians of rationality to reconsider their responsibility toward their communities and the state of civilization at large, this book considers philosophy to be a practical discipline. Largely foreign to philosophers and non-philosophers alike, this conception of philosophy discloses the relevance of its unique contributions to contemporary society. The book offers a compelling and accessible analysis of philosophy also in relation to religion, psychology, the New Age Movement, and globalization, and exemplifies through a wide range of current problems how philosophers can fulfil their responsibility. Its argument that responsibility lies where one is capable of doing what is needed, and even more so, when no one else can do it, targets philosophers. However, its innovative study of contemporary philosophy coupled with its original contributions to the problems at hand will engage academics and students from other disciplines, as well as a general readership.
This multi-faceted collection of women's perspectives on the renaissance in philosophical practices provides an international overview on the professional practice of philosophical counseling as rooted in the ancient philosophical discipline of life and its essential difference from modern mainstream philosophy.
In this volume, an international group of prominent philosophical practitioners brings new methods, aims, problems and audiences to the practice of philosophy. The twelve chapters here exemplify how philosophers can fulfill their responsibility towards their communities, and, ultimately, towards civilization at large. This anthology will prove to be valuable not only to philosophers, both practical and theoretical, but also to professionals and students in education and the helping disciplines. Written in a clear and engaging style, it will be of interest to the general public as well.
This volume presents the state of the art of philosophical practice worldwide from the perspectives of leading philosophical practitioners, both counselors and institutional consultants. Philosophical practice has developed in different directions in different parts of the world, with the focus in Europe and North America being mostly on client counseling and corporate consultancy, while in Asia it is more community-based and more closely aligned with psychotherapy. In all cases, philosophical practitioners strive to transcend the boundaries of academic philosophy and reach out to the public, to corporations, to the policy makers, to the medical, legal and many other professions. The chapters of this book illustrate both the breadth of philosophical practice and its various methodological directions, while, at the same time, showing how philosophy can be relevant to everyday life, not just for individuals, but for the economy, the government, international organizations, the helping and therapeutic professions, and the educational system. The volume is primarily a companion for students of applied philosophy on all levels, as well as for modern psychotherapists, educational professionals and academics. It is designed to support a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in philosophy and applied psychology, ranging from ancient ethics to philosophical practice sui generis, or to the philosophy of psychology.

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