Philosophical Consultancy

Vain is the word of a philosopher, by which no mortal suffering is healed. Just as medicine confers no benefit if it does not drive away bodily disease, so is philosophy useless is if does not drive away the suffering of the mind.

Epicurus, fragments whose source is uncertain  

The Essential Epicurus 

Does philosophy have anything practical to offer?

Philosophy is often thought of, especially today, as an abstract, theoretical discipline, however, historically, philosophy was much more than this. Think back to Socrates and his famous dictum, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living’. His, and subsequently many other philosopher’s main concern, was how to live a good life. This approach to philosophy has resurfaced again and again, first with Plato and Aristotle, then later with the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans, and that’s just ancient Greece. Outside of Europe, the Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu and others were turning their reflections towards similar questions and in a similar way. The practice of philosophy is committed to the view that we are each a valuable resource for thinking about questions and problems we may find ourselves faced with. Human beings have a natural capacity for reflection and reasoning, that others who have thought about these same philosophical issues before us may be able to help us with.

How can The Philosophy Foundation help?

We have a team of philosophers who are accredited and experienced in facilitating philosophical conversations. 

Philosophical consultancy is one-on-one philosophical conversations with one of our accredited specialists. There are occasions in life where one needs or wants to reflect, explore and reason about one’s self and one’s life in a philosophical way, such as when a significant life event has happened, is about to happen or may happen. There are many things on offer to help us navigate and manage our lives, but what is often overlooked are the philosophical ideas and schools of thought that underlie and inform those things. For instance, CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) was inspired by the ancient Stoics of Greece of Rome and Freud was influenced by Plato, Spinoza, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.

Why not consider a consultation (or series of consultations) to help you think through a particular issue or decision? Or perhaps you would prefer to reflect more generally on life, its meaning and value. The aim is to help bring one to greater clarity, insight and understanding through philosophical method(s) and sometimes also through the ideas of others: what might Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche or Simone De Beauviour bring to bear on a problem you might be faced with? The specialist is not there to offer advice or to teach philosophy in the traditional way, but to facilitate your explorations by providing reading, methods and conversations relevant to your interests and concerns.

Although a number of our philosophers are trained counselors, please note this is not counseling, but conversations that can help you to reflect on personal or professional issues currently facing you. 

If you would like counseling we recommend Tim LeBon who is a cognitive therapist and philosophical counselor and the author of the book Wise Therapy. 

If you're interested in Philosophical Consultancy, please email Emma and let her know what you'd like to talk about, and she will be in touch to arrange a meeting. The first session is free.

All matters under discussion will remain private and confidential, and all data will be treated in the same way.