Philosophy outside the academy: The role of philosophy in people-oriented professions and the prospects for philosophical counseling

Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 14 (2):58-69 (1994)
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I suggest that the current interest in philosophical counseling is comparable to the situation in the Sixties when many philosophy graduates entertained false hopes of nonacademic philosophical employment. I describe my own experience as a welfare worker, in the course of which my philosophical training proved useful in various ways; I maintain, though, that there was nothing especially philosophical in this. I then consider some ways in which philosophical counseling might be distinctively philosophical. I conclude that philosophical training, as we know it, is in any case inadequate for philosophical counseling and would need to be supplemented by psychological and other training.

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Karl Pfeifer
University of Saskatchewan


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