How we think, so we live.
Better thinking – better living.
How we think, so we live.
Better thinking – better living.
improved and augmented
The discussion group is a small library of philosophic litterature concerning wide range of questions. It has been ment to a reader who is interested in philososphing alone. Such a reader may be also a professional philosopher and man of science, culture, learner, student, young faculty member.
Practical philosophy or sophology -2nd ed.
edited, changed, augmented 530 p
To the attention of readers is offered a book dedicated to practical philosophy (sophology).
Practical philosophy is that part of philosophy, which renders immediate influence to the life of people, through philosophic texts and discussion, through living contact between philosophers and people.
Texts are grouped by themes:
In the conlcluding part of the book the author settles down and elaborates the idea of introduction of an institution of practical philosophers, sophologs. According to his opinion, philosophers can and must work with people in the manner of psychologists, doctors, priests…
The book can serve as textbook for education of practical philosophers (sophologs) and at their preparation for consulting and discussions. It is useful for all who appreciate thinking, who understand its meaning for life.
Ó L.E. Balashov, 2010
H E A D I N G S
what is practical philosophy 4
I. questions of world view 8
II. life, death, immortality 13
III. human happiness 113
IV. of love 118
V. creativity 140
VII. liberalism and freedom 245
VIII. critics of the ideas of socialism and communism 268
IX. negative of life: anticulture and antiphilosophy 275
X. on the danger of narcotics and the privileges of life without them 337
XI. how we think? 350
appendix 1. Open letter to all killers and customers of killers 452
appendix 2. Recommendations of various authors in spirit of practical philosophy 455
Index of names 460
Subject index 463
Our life is, what we think of it
The meaning of practical philosophy emerges from the funcamental fact that thought may directly affect action: either awaken man to action or, on the contrary, deter, hinder him from action, turn him from it. The Purpose of practical philosophy is: through thinking entice man to correct, good action and turn away from erroneous, bad action.
We must take into account that practical philosophy is not the same thing as the practical role of philosophy. Philosophy as a whole has a certain practical influence on the life of people. And to an great extent it materializes through science, inventiveness, politics, economics, arts, litterature. Practical philosophy is that part of philosophy which endeavours to influence directly to people’s life, through philosophic text and speech, through live intercourse of philosophers and people, through philosophical discussions of person to person.
With practical philosophy in strict sense of the word were professionally engaged some sophists in Ancient Greece and some philosophers, who used philosophical argumentation in their individual and collective discussions for some practical purposes.
In the broad sense of the word to the practical philosophy pertain texts and speeches of different authors, which contain philosophical argumentation, ideas of life, people, relations to the world, in their intercourse with all people and arousing activity or deterring them from it. These texts and speeches, in general, do not carry the character of research, but contain considerations, different thoughts and recommendations… In this second meaning practical philosophy has a rich history and tradition. Many earlier philosophers left behind texts that have practical philosophic ideas. And not only philosophers, but also other writers, poets, prosaists, scientists, historians, psycholgists, politicians etc.
Unfortunately practical philosophy (in its basic sense as sophology) is still in its embryonic stage. The society is only now realizing that philosophy can directly (without various kind of intermediaries) work with people, that philosophers may influence matters and destinies of people, that philosopers may work with people, as do psychologists, psychoanlysts, doctors, priests.
By practical philosophy is often understood that part of philosophy which is dedicated to human matters, that aim to achieving some good. So it was understood by many philosophers, among others Hegel (look below the paragraph ’Practical philosophy in the history of human thinking). From my point of view, it is not correct to name practical philosophy as thinking of attainment of good, of practical action. By and large practical philosophy is distinguished from general philosophy not only by its contents and aim but also its ability of immediately influencing the thinking and matters of people.
Of course people (non-philosophers) above all turn to those parts of philosophy, that they are interested in in their narrowly utilitarian practical everyday life. But this does not mean that they are completely uninterested in other parts of philosophy. For example, would they not be interested in questions concerning the vision of the world, and would not these questions, or better, the answers to those questions influence the behavior of the people? Certainly yes, and how much! And would it be them without difference, how they are thinking? Of course not. Whatever, even the most abstract (farthest away of some everyday issues) philosphic question may be interesting to a non-philosopher. As I already mentioned, in the exact meaning the practical philosophy is the philosophy which materializes the immediate link of philosophy with the life, the non-philosophy. And the sophologist, practical philosopher is a philosopher who is able and understands to establish a link with a non-philosopher, who by an understanding discussion may influence his thinking and matters. In the role of sophology, practical philosopher may be any philosopher, if he only once productively just as a philosopher discusses with the non-philosopher. Practical philosophy may become the profession of a practical philosopher, if the latter establishes constant living intercourse with non-philosophers and gains from it his living…
In the light of all that is said above it becomes clear that practical and everyday philosophy are not the same thing. The latter is just a part of the former. Everyday philosophy is philosophy of everyday, usual life of people. And in this are its limitations.
Sometimes instead of the word ’everyday’ the philosophers use the word ’living’. Living philosophy is the philosophy of the life as such. It may be very deep, concerning of fundamental questions of the vision of the world and of the human behavior.
(Always more often recently the expression ’applied philosophy’ is used. In 1980’s in England the British Society of Applied Philosophy and its printed organ "The Journal of Applied Philosophy" were founded. The applied philosophy is usually confronted by basic problems of metaphysics as the speculation about problems of real life, as philosophy that has immediate linkage to solutions in life, above all in the fields of moral and political matters1. To the themes of applied philosophy are related such as: animal rights, lie and secret in social and private lives, euthanasy, sex problems, abort, feminism, what is decent and what is not etc.
As to what is appropriate use of the expression ’applied philosophy’? Are we not to try to tie philosophy to certain divisions of science to theoretical-pure and applied-technical-experimental or to division of arts into pure and applied? Because philosophy as a special type of culture, that is not to be considered as science nor arts. I leave this question open. It is clear: the themes of so called applied philosophy are totally stacked in the channel of practical philosophy as its part).
Thus, practical philosophy (sophology) is philosophy that has as its Purpose to influence people by the power of thinking, through words, persuasion in the process of living communication (consultation, discussion, negotiation, analysis of a conrete situation).
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