Freitag, Juli 17, 2020

Presentation of an interactiv READER at the online ICPP2020

Online Conference on Philosophical Practice (July 28-31, 2020)

Philosophical practice for self-knowledge by means of intellectual creativity

Philosophize !  Presenting an interactive - eBook

‘“And what is the use of a book”, thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”’ This question rounds off the first paragraph of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and it is, at least for Alice, a rhetorical question. Judging from his writings, Plato seems to believe, just like Alice, that a good book, even a philosophy book, should have both pictures and conversations; although in his case the pictures are conjured up in words and the reader has to imagine them himself. Conversation is ubiquitous in Plato’s writings, which take the form of philosophical dialogues between both real and fictional characters. Once in a while the conversation is interrupted, and then the pictures appear. One of the characters puts the conversation on hold and tells his audience a myth. The myths are visual – ‘iconic’ one might say. They not only narrate a story, but paint before our mind’s eye vivid images ... (CATALIN PARTENIE, Preface, PLATO`S MYTHS)

    Doing PHILOSOPHY, if we do this appropriately, can open up  a wider horizon of life.[1]
Philosophers, if they live long enough, may change their minds on what it is to do these peculiar >things with words< (but probably not with words alone).
I reckon that most philosophical practitioners see that widening already in “present” life & not only in a possible life after the death of the body. Am I wrong?
              I pause for discussion
I am wishing all of us GOOD HEALTH in this time of corona!  In Plato´s PHAIDON we read that Socrates immediately before he had to drink the cup of poison[2]

-had expressed the astonishing view that a (philosopher´s) soul will think best when liberated from the body 65c. This is the last topic in his philosophy. Even if one doesn´t agree: the point is to philosophize to the very end[3]. And in this activity lies the philosophical consolation.
In a narrative philosophy[4] book that came out this spring, Michael Hampe draws our attention to a figure of thought in KANT that has a certain similarity to the last thought of SOCRATES. In Hampe´s words[5]:
=> an infinite and supernatural process of perfection must be conceivable for every human being, at the end of which there is the correspondence of heart and law, authenticity"…, "only an infinitely continued moral improvement of the soul in a realm beyond space, time and causality could guarantee the purity of the heart according to Kant" (188f). This is Kant's reasoning for the postulate of the immortality of the soul (in the age of enlightenment). Is that a modern variation of the bodiless-best-thinking-soul of Socrates in PHAIDON?

Why do I elaborate this point? If we would be together, shoulder by shoulder here on our feet, I´d propose to do a PhiloDrama, bringing together the sketched questions of a contemporary thinker (HAMPE, whom we deal with in our SinnPraxis reading group), the father of “Aufklärung” KANT, and our timeless philosophical practitioner SOCRATES. But we are just virtually here together … So this is only anticipating what will be a main topic later on.

Now turning to our INTERACTIVE READER for the ICPP:
ALEXANDRA BULATOVIĆ phrases the "key matter" of philosophical practice like this: Philosophy is concerned with trying to make sense of ourselves and of the world we live in. However, contemporary academic philosophy is often still too removed from the everyday concerns of ordinary people.  She elaborates her central point by drawing on literature such as the works of Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen. Subjective well-being is a starting point. The author argues that well-being requires one to have a sense of relatedness to other people, a sense of availability of supportive relationships and dynamic connections with others. The ability to impact society is an integral part of well-being too.
Philosophical practice is a form of putting philosophy to work for well-being and personal development, which, in turn, leads to increased satisfaction with life.
On a social level, the various modalities of philosophical practice highlight its potential for social intervention. It appears that philosophical practice is the natural complementary "twin" of the capabilities concept when both are perceived in the context of the practical concern of the achievement of well-being, whether on an individual or on a social level.

Time for “discussion”. My mike is on. You may write contributions. My “technical support” will read them and this way I can answer.

REGINA PENNER teaches Philosophy at a modern university and she tries to incorporate "methods from the practice ‘care of the self’ (Michel Foucault and Pierre Hadot)". I have met Regina in a contemplative philosophical retreat and we have cooperated (on the occasion of a PHILOSOPHY DAY organized 2018 in Chelyabinsk Research University on the topic of PhiloDrama. Regina is advocating changes in the role "of the professor" so that academic philosophy institutions are beginning to practice openness for formats of philosophical practice as well. One of her central issues is that  the work of students with a philosophical text is not a search for "right" answers to posed questions; the goal is the appearance of the student's interest in philosophy/philosophizing and a gradual formation of a “philosophical taste” in the students.

                          Developing taste
Time for “discussion”. My mike is on. You may write contributions. My “technical support” will read them and this way I can answer.

Doing Philosophy Together –the Zürich philosophical practitioner Willi Fillinger interviewed Christine Mok-Wendt & Mike Roth in his philosophy baking shop and Ran Lahav did a video of it for AGORA[6]. The three of us speak German in the video and the interactive READER now offers a translation into English. We are members of, a network of philosophical practitioners.

Break for “discussion”. My mike is on. You may write contributions. My “technical support” will read them and this way I can answer.

Seeing and Interpretation Neil Horne, Mike Roth
NEIL HORNE was a student activist at the Department
of General Philosophy, when I was a Visiting
Lecturer at the University of SYDNEY a while ago.
Now he lives in a rain forest remnant close to the
Northern coast of New South Wales (in Australia).
We have been teaching each other and enjoying
our company ever since. Neil is also drawing.
Wittgenstein's famous DUCK-RABBIT (HasenEnte / En-
tenHase, "H-E-Kopf" = D-R-head) is a loner in the
Original – by both Wittgenstein and Jastrow (Mind´s Eye) and also in the trendy version of the-philosophers-shirt, where the head has become a line drawing of a whole body, scientisticly framed by a vertical and a horizontal arrow = look this way & see a rabbit / look that way and see a duck! Puzzled?
What changes when the dialogical dimension of action is opened up in the image by switching from the singular to the plural?
Neil practices the "minimalist"-format of
a repeated figure in slight variations on a painted
ground — often birds or fish, snakes, leaves, blossoms,
nuts. Neil places a number of them, here "in
relation to one another … being in social interaction"
— Anything to learn from this for a drawing performance in philosophical practice? Do we understand a bit of Ludwig Wittgenstein´s philosophizing better now? Can we criticize better?

And a break for “discussion”. My mike is on. You may write contributions. My “technical support” will read them and this way I can answer.

The READER brings a short notice concerning a Philo RITUAL under the direction of ALBERT HOFMANN. It´s about philosophical questions and philosophical answers — dealt with in a ritualized procedure. (Although the setting is playful, the people playing along were surprisingly serious!) This event took place in a Seminar at the University of KONSTANZ on different formats of Philosophical Practice 2019.[8]
Albert Hofmann does also performances on the street. In 2014 he and his company used finger dolls of famous philosophers and engaged in philosophical impro-theatre at the Langenthal Philosophy Festival.[9]

PENNER, ROTH & Christine MOK-WENDT throw a few spotlights on the format PhiloDrama[10] proposed for philosophical practice and educational purposes. I have met Regina Penner in a contemplative philosophical retreat and we have cooperated on the occasion of a
PHILOSOPHY DAY organized 2018 in Chelyabinsk Research University.
Christine and Mike are running "SinnPraxis" in Southern Germany. Key figures (stars?) of three documented PhiloDramas are Socrates, an old Swedish Forest being chipped and GRETA.

The photograph shows the beginning, when I pose as SOCRATES (inspired by Jacques-Louis DAVID´s famous classicist painting of 1787)  More about it in discussion.

Acting as Greta documents a PhiloDrama done at the end of the week of a university seminar on Philosophical Practice 2019. Konstanz University has a special unit that can be asked to do video-recordings of “talks and events”. ANNA volunteered to act as GRETA, Mike invented the figure of an old philosopher talking to Anna-Greta, and Christine took the role of the interviewing journalist. (Carmen Zavala commented our endeavor)
One kept almost silent about what is necessary to say: "The house is on fire!" Greta had stopped talking  – .but after a period of silence, and after a period of fasting, she also began to speak again. And she does so publicly (and was listened to – at least in the time before corona).

GRETA the youngster from Sweden — has been brought to my attention by an interview in the New Yorker in autumn 2018, for details see A FEW SPOTLIGHTS above. Together with Christine Mok-Wendt and the first year student Anna Th. Schreiber it was possible to try a GRETA-PhiloDrama in February 2019 as part of an undergrad seminar on Philosophical Practice ("from Nelson / Heckmann & later on Gerd Achenbach to the ICPPs"). See the transcript translated into English (of our German video) on page 106 of this e-book “Philosophize !”.

Good to have time for answering written questions!

[1] See Ran Lahav (ed.), THE DEEP PHILOSOPHY GROUP, Hardwick VERMONT 2018 and last summer´s free paraphrase in my mother tongue ( … ) 2019, p. 16: PHILOSOPHIEREN, wenn wir dies angemessen tun, kann offen machen für einen weiteren Horizont des Lebens.

[2]  J.L. DAVID 1787 (Paris), now: Metropolitan Museum of Art N.Y.,  1,30 x 1,96 m Oil Painting on Canvas
[3]Roth in

[4]DIE WILDNIS, DIE SEELE, DAS NICHTS. Über das wirkliche Leben, München 2020
[5] es müsse “ein unendlicher und übernatürlicher Vervollkommnungsprozess für jeden Menschen denkbar sein, an dessen Ende die Übereinstimmung von Herz und Gesetz, die Authentizität steht“. (188)
 With English subtitles: Topics are the work in the University and the philosophical practice in our “SinnPraxis” (Meaning Practice), philosophical bibliotherapy, consulting in a self-help organization (family seminars,) philosophical journeys, p4c, reading groups, café philo. Thank you Ran Lahav and Carmen Zavala!
[7] Duck family, Grand Union Canal, Leamington;
Author: Rob Hodgkins; Source/license:;
My inserting of the "D-R head" from Jastrow 1901, 295.
[8] See also Roth/Hein 2019, 168.
[9] Cf. Staude/Ruschmann 2018, 62.                                           

Keine Kommentare: