Sonntag, März 15, 2020

Samstag, März 14, 2020

Dienstag, März 10, 2020


READER FOR ICPP 2020 St. Petersburg


Getting Ready

Montag, März 09, 2020

D E N K R E I S E  2 0 2 0

Philosophische Woche ISTRIEN 7. - 11. September

DER PHILOSOPHIE (Habermas 2019)
 Christine Mok-Wendt, M.A.        &         Privatdozent V.M. Roth       

  Der Ort BRSEC hat einen tollen Strand und Busverbindung RIJEKA : 2020 EU  Kulturhauptstadt


An Invitation to Attend the INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE of PHILOSOPHICAL PRACTICE 2020 St. Petersburg

and looking back too

by Mike Roth /

At the 13th ICPP in August 2014 in Beograd  Detlef Staude was elected to organize the 2016 conference. In an early draft of the >call for papers<  14th ICPP in Bern he  had written:

Philosophical Practice is based on the conviction that philosophizing does not aim merely at attaining knowledge, but that it is an activity that allows for a deeper awareness of questions of human existence and of everyday life. Philosophical dialogue can thus support us in our search for orientation. The most important aim of Philosophical Practice is a better understanding of the other and of oneself.

But is there ‘theoretical knowledge’ in philosophy?

A skeptical position towards “philosophical knowledge” offering orientation in life was published 2014 as “Die Lehren der Philosophie. Eine Kritik” (The ‘teachings’ of philosophers. A critique) Understanding Socrates (in whom some of us see an early philosophical practitioner) plays a central role here. Michael Hampe, professor at the Technical University (ETH) of Zurich, was willing to address the audience in an opening speech (also open to the public):

  Die Praxis des Philosophierens (On Practicing Philosophy)

"Philosophy is connected with practice" (besides the academic practices of reading and writing).

This was commonplace and obvious in the Greek enlightenment in the time of Socrates and

has been reintroduced into present day philosophy in the philosophies of pragmatism.

We have to make clear to the general public and to ourselves that it will not work to stabilise an enlightened form of life merely by “philosophical teachings” put down in texts of philosophers. It is not enough to dismiss of superstition, dogmatism and fanatism in theory. The point is to change things to the better and to prevent roll back practically. We have to look at discursive disputes as something that is different from not-respecting or disregarding, disdaining. Being in a dispute must not end in violence. Such an attitude has to be learned in school and also outside educational institutions. It is only between autonomously thinking citizens that an enlightened democratic form of life can become real. We have to be capable of making our disagreement, our dissent public and at the same time accept the diversity of emotional patterns and diverse starting points of our thinking.

In the German Original: Dass Philosophie mit anderen Praktiken als denen des Lesens und Schreibens verbunden ist, war in der ersten antiken Aufklärung noch offensichtlich. In der Philosophie der Gegenwart ist diese Tatsache durch den Pragmatismus wieder ins Bewusstsein gebracht worden. Dass sich eine aufgeklärte Lebensform, die Aberglauben, Dogmatismus und Fanatismus nicht nur theoretisch ablehnt, sondern auch praktisch zu verhindern sucht, sich nicht allein durch Traktate fortsetzen und stabilisieren lässt, muss heute wieder mit Nachdruck öffentlich vertreten werden. Diskursive Dispute und Dissense sind als etwas zu betrachten, das nichts mit Respektlosigkeit und Nichtachtung zu tun hat und nicht in Gewalt münden muss. Eine entsprechende Haltung muss nicht allein in der Schule gelernt werden. Eine aufgeklärte demokratische Lebensform kann sich nur zwischen selbständig denkenden Menschen realisieren, die in der Lage sind, Dissense öffentlich zu machen und gleichzeitig die Verschiedenheit ihrer Denkvoraussetzungen und emotionalen Muster zu akzeptieren. 

Our meeting is mainly a conference by Philosophical Practitioners for Philosophical Practitioners. And we try to open up to “University Philosophy” as well as to the general public in a suitable way to enable dialogue. The formulation of the topic of the 2016 conference

UNDERSTANDING THE OTHER AND ONESELF is also an attempt of the organizing team to encourage contributors to focus hereon. Keep in mind that this is also the title of the conference publication.

One can argue that philosophical practice has existed since antiquity. Under this name, however, you can find such an activity only in the past 30 years. Gerd B. Achenbach and Ad Hoogendijk are two, German and Dutch philosophers who established themselves as consultant philosophers in the 1980s and led the way to a number of other developments all over the world. They proposed an alternative to psychotherapeutic culture by working exclusively within the field of existential investigation with clients or patients, whom they called 'visitors.' (Wikipedia, Philosophical Consultancy) In the meantime consultancy or counseling is just one item in a field of activities and for alternatives see Ran Lahav, Ouo Vadis? - on AGORA,

Philosophical practice has spread worldwide as a vivid international movement. ICPPs, introduced by Ran Lahav & Lou Marinoff have also played a role in this. With kind permission I quote from the new history of the movement page of AGORA, September 2015: “Articles on the history of the philosophical practice movement” … “about any aspect of the history of the philosophical practice movement: about its overall development, about specific stages in its history, about earlier historical precursors to the movement … “ and so on.

Ran Lahav gave a moving speech as I remember quite well at the 13th ICPP 2014 in Belgrade:

Philosophical Practice – Quo Vadis?

In an opening remark the author states: “To understand the situation of the field, as well as its future potentials, it is important to reflect on its history. I believe that the way we are doing philosophical practice now is largely a product of historical choices we made in the past, and that these were not necessarily the only or the best choices possible.” And he adds a historical overview of the modern philosophical practice movement beginning with the German philosophical practitioner Gerd Achenbach. Ran Lahav suggests that we regard 1982 as the birth-date of the philosophical practice movement—“not 1981, when Achenbach first opened his Philosophische Praxis,” – Achenbach coined the expression- “but rather a year later, when he founded an association devoted to this endeavor. After all, philosophical practice in itself was not something new. Numerous philosophers throughout history had been using philosophical reflection to address life-issues, and Achenbach was certainly not the first. But he was the first to make this activity a separate field by founding a professional association devoted to it.” This organization was named “Gesellschaft für Philosophische Praxis” (GPP, ´International` added in 1998, now: IGPP) first chaired by Achenbach, since 2003 up to 2015 by Thomas Gutknecht, then by Leon de Haas. Now by Ute Gahlings.

Accorording to Lahav in phase 1 “philosophical practice remained more or less limited to two small groups in Germany and in Holland. Not much happened outside these two groups in the first 12 or 13 years, and very few people were aware of the new field. These years can be regarded as the first period in the history of the movement.”

In phase 2, beginning “in the mid-1990s, philosophical practice started appearing in additional countries. The second period of the movement began. A major reason for this new development was the First International Conference on Philosophical Counseling”. He points out that “in the mid-1990s, philosophical practice started appearing in additional countries. The second period of the movement began”. Ran Lahav writes that he “entered the field, in 1992, and started experimenting with philosophical counseling.” Ran Lahav visited the Dutch and the German groups and reflecting this experience he drew the conclusion “that in order to grow we needed to start an international dialogue, and I envisioned an international conference that would bring together philosophers from different countries and different backgrounds.”

Phase 3 begins in Ran Lahavs account in 1994, with the First International Conference in Vancouver. “Other international conferences followed, usually every two years.” As a result of the First International Conference, and possibly of other factors too, the idea of philosophical practice started spreading to new countries. In the next decade several associations were formed, at first in the USA, then in several Western European countries and in Latin America. What marked this second period of philosophical practice was de-centralization. The movement was no longer centered on Germany and Holland. New groups developed their own ideas on how to practice philosophy quite independently of one another. English was starting to be our international language.” The main language at (more or less still German/Swiss/Austrian /Dutch/ + Scandinavian) IGPP-meetings seems to be Deutsch.

Ran Lahav describes, how “several practitioners in the Spanish-speaking world, where English” – or German – “is not commonly understood, worked to disseminate the idea (of philosophical practice). The Spanish philosophical practitioner José Barrientos should be especially noted for his efforts to start new philosophical groups and programs across Latin America. Interestingly, no central authority figure appeared on the scene—like Freud in psychology—to dictate what philosophical practice is all about. As a result, different groups developed their own specific ways of working and thinking.” And in a mail of the 10th of August 2015 he adds: “A lot of very creative practitioners in many countries developed wonderful ideas in their own way.” See also the contributions of our colleagues of 20 different countries in: Michael Noah Weiss (ed.), Socratic Handbook. Dialogue Methods for Philosophical Practice (2015).

With the 14th ICPP we are in the third phase of the movement of philosophical practice and possibly in transition to a phase 4. Check Ran Lahav´s full text on AGORA/History, if you are keen to find out more about it!

At the ICPP you can meet in person people who were until then maybe just authors’ names to you. At the 13th ICPP 2014 Ran Lahav announced that soon AGORA ( would offer an opportunity for an electronic meeting space. This also would make it possible to stay in touch in between ICPP (IGPP and other) face-to-face meetings. And it should in turn have effects with respect to new elements of ICPP-meetings, f.e. live discussions with a point of departure let´s say on “monthly topics” like friendship, love, freedom, … of AGORA. See now also the “Philosophical Companionship”.

The first videos of philosophical practitioners were recorded by Ran Lahav on the spot in Beograd. What came as a surprise then is part of the program at the 14th ICPP and will give us now for the first time new communication channels for immediately broadcasting and discussing some of the philosophical events to “followers” outside the come-together-in-person at Bern.

Philosophical practice is based on the conviction that philosophizing has not purely theoretical knowledge as its aim, but that it is helpful to understand our own human existence, questions of  everyday life from a philosophical background and in a philosophical way. Philosophical practitioners are convinced that philosophical dialogue can be helpful for one’s orientation in life.” (Detlef Staude) A much discussed as well as paradox paradigm is given in Plato´s text “The Apology of Socrates”. It is a paradox, because philosophizing has the result for our ancestor, that his life comes to an end. But the other side of this is, that he succeeded to lead his life if not guided (no philosophic knowledge), then at least filled with peace of mind by taking care “for his soul” (Hampe suggests the modern reading: ‘for herself/himself as a subject’). And accompanied by philosophy, talking philosophy (a jam session with friends in the jail house) until the philosopher dies - he completes his life mission as a solemn-serene thinker to the very end. With a grain of salt Michael Hampe has characterized the Socratic dialogue society tending towards ‘bodyless existence’ (allein in einer leiblosen Existenz realisiert, Hampe 100) - & fond of ‘philosophical music’ (Hampe 412, a similar expression is used by Lahav too). The question arises whether this opens up a perspective for orientation in the everyday life of “people in the streets” (Ran Lahav).

Individual humans cannot decide to be born. But can we have a say with respect to our life´s end? A topic at the Bern Conference is

LIVE TO THE END discussed from a philosophic and a medical-doctor´s perspective (Bischof / Roth)

Can we avoid that we have to end our life in misery and in pain? What is it to LIVE TO THE END like Plato´s Socrates? Does philosophy encourage answers differing from those offered by tradition (among others: religious beliefs, but also Kant ruling out ‘suicide’). May we conceive the fatal legal action of the democratic state of Athens against Citizen Socrates as a publicly-assisted suicide? In my poster discussions I am going to elaborate on this aspect. - the new title >Sterbehilfe< (assisted-suicide) of David´s picture was coined by Marc Zitzmann 14.8.2015; frame: M. Roth 2009 (Istanbul)

14th I C P P -

how we will proceed

we wanted to keep the number of parallel events as low as possible to enable us having much time together; on the other hand: participants should have multiple choice on themes. Have a look at the TIMEFRAME!

as a novelty, poster sessions will be held (the posters will be conspicuously placed throughout the conference; they will be introduced twice within a span of 30 minutes by the authors concerned). These sessions will also be filmed once if wanted

besides, there will be praxis-oriented events (workshops), master classes, panel-sessions, a few lectures and mini-sessions (in groups of three each, treating similar topics; speaking time will be 3x10', 20' discussion for all of them; then there will be a mini break of 10' for room changes etc.) as well as reflection groups.

in order to leave enough space for dialogue and mutual exchange, breaks will be prolonged to 45 min to give more opportunity for direct contact

chosen events will be filmed and made accessible on the internet (AGORA;

like in Athens and Belgrade, there will be free philosophical short-counselling, particularly where the congress is open to the public; these sessions may be offered in German or in other languages.

Those that have contacted us will have received an invitation with a provisional programme. In April one can receive the detailed programme and by beginning of July 2016 the print-ready to print program will be available as a pdf-file.

The conference will take place in the picturesque capital of Switzerland at the Campus Muristalden. The expected number of participants is 125 – 200. We are cooperating with the adult education center (Volkshochschule) Berne, the college Campus Muristalden and the electronic meeting-place of philosophical practitioners AGORA.

Detlef Staude (Bern, Chairman), Mike Roth (Konstanz; program), Imre Hofmann (Zurich; media and internet), Eckhart Ruschmann (Bregenz; consulting and cooperation HdR), Christine MokWendt (postersessions), Oriana Brücker (Geneva; translations), Albert Hoffmann (Zurich, organization and facebook), Vander Lemes (Bern; projectmanagement and translation), Bernadette Hagenbuch (Basel, finance), Margrit Roth-Spanknebel (inscriptions) and others.

Roxana Kreimer (Argentine), Leon de Haas (Netherlands), Ran Lahav (USA, Israel), Carmen Zavala (Peru), Jorge Humberto Dias (Portugal), Michael Noah Weiss (Norway, Germany, Austria), José Barrientos Rastrojo (Spain), Anders Lindseth (Germany, Norway), Viktoria Chernenko (Russia), Aleksandar Fatic (Serbia), Young Rhee (South Korea), Peter Harteloh (Holland), Dominique Hertzer (Germany), Lydia Amir (Israel).

Understanding the other and oneself (Den/die/das Andere und sich selbst verstehen // Comprendre l’autre et soi-même // Capire l’altro e se stesso// Entender al otro y a uno mismo)


Paul Bischof, Legitimität Ärztlicher Sterbehilfe (2011) (Legitimacy of medical assistance towards ending life)

Michael Hampe, Die Lehren der Philosophie. Eine Kritik (2014) (Teachings of philosophers. A critique)

Ran Lahav, AGORA , September 2015: Philosophical Practice - Quo vadis? See also: THE EARLY DAYS OF THE PHILOSOPHICAL PRACTICE MOVEMENT. An excerpt from chapter one of my dissertation: Philosophical Counseling and Teaching: “Holding the Tension” in a Dualistic World (May 1998) by Maria Tillmanns also on the “History Page” of AGORA:

Plato, The Apology of Socrates

Mike Roth, Nichtwissen & Wissensglück, in: Viel Glück! V.M. Roth (ed.), Konstanz 2012

Detlef Staude and, Call for Papers ICPP2016 ; as well as related material

Michael Noah Weiss (ed.),The Socratic Handbook. Dialogue Methods for Philosophical Practice (2015), Foreword by Anders Lindseth on the 1st ICPP “feeling that we were part of something new”

Wikipedia, Philosophical Consultancy
ICPP St. Petersburg  Juli 2020
Mike Roth (Germany)

Dr. phil. habil. (Uni Konstanz / SinnPraxis Bodensee),
 co-organizer of the 14th ICPP.

Book Presentation

Philosophical Practice 6 (2019) Konstanz

PHILOSOPHIERE ! (Roth / Hein, eds.)

& the SPECIAL HERZEN Edition 6.1 – interactive READER 2020

Well–being as a key-matter


Practice & Counseling1


Doing philosophy together

Roth & Mok-Wendt

Seeing and Interpretation2

Horne & Roth

Philo Ritual



Mok-Wendt / Roth / Penner

The Liguria Retreat


The I. Brando Retreat

Roth & Penner

The III. Brando Retreat: Turning Wheel


PhiloDrama: Greta acts

Schreiber/Mok-W./Roth /Zavala

Socratic walk

Zoran Kojčić


1 See: Roth/Hein 2019, pp.22-35.

2 See: Roth/Hein 2019, pp.82-89

Mittwoch, März 04, 2020

Der März ist gekommen, die Bäume schlagen aus
(German folk song: May has come, leaves appear on the trees)
But May is Mai, and März is March ...

Egon Hein is speeding up with our interactive e-book version of
a SPECIAL EDITION of contributions to philosophical practice.

And like the Spring the tree of texts, branches & leaves