Philosophy in Practice | Cape Town

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Otherwise philosophy, Philosophy otherwise

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On November 25, 2021
Levinasian philosophical practices Friday 26 November 2021, 1:00pm–6pm EST. Live-streaming on MS Teams 1:00pm: Welcome and Introduction 1:15pm (8:15 pm in South Africa): Helen Douglas, Philosophical Counsellor, Cape Town, South Africa, “Otherwise Philosophy or Philosophy Otherwise: Levinasian Philosophical Practices”. I’ll be talking about my counselling work as an interpersonal Levinasian practice of ethics and emancipation […]
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The Housekeeper’s Tale

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On August 2, 2021
International Solidarity in Apartheid South Africa Keynote Address North American Levinas Society “Solidarity and Community” 29 July 2021 Need I remind anyone again / that armed struggle is an act of love? ~ Keorapetse Willie Kgositsile In 1987, my husband Rob and I were recruited in Canada to move to Johannesburg to run a safehouse […]
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QA 60. None the wiser (On the obligation and cultivation of wisdom)

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On October 2, 2018
Last week, I had the pleasure of addressing a conference of family mediators in Cape Town on the topic of “Wisdom in mediation”. Two stories First story. An ethics professor once said to an undergraduate philosophy class, “If you believe that a professor of ethics is an ethical person, you are making a category mistake.” […]
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QA 58. “But it doesn’t work like that!”

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On May 12, 2017
Annals of philosophical counselling/practice with others “But it doesn’t work like that!” I say this in response to some proposed scheme or strategy of yours. I mean that, in terms of what you want to achieve, what you are doing seems either futile or malicious because you have a mistaken view about what’s going on. […]
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New article: TO CHANGE OUR THINKING: PHILOSOPHICAL PRACTICE FOR DIFFICULT TIMES

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On January 17, 2017
South African Journal of Philosophy, 35 (2), 2016, pp 123–131. You can find it here or there. The self-confidence of the human being, freedom, has first of all to be aroused again in the hearts of these people. Karl Marx ABSTRACT: If a time of crisis calls for a new mode of thinking, philosophical practice […]
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The ethics and politics of life: An interview about philosophical counselling

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On October 6, 2014
  “But if they’re interested in being able to work out their life, with someone who is going to keep them company, keep them safe, and not do anything to them while they’re doing that, then they stay. And then we work.” Ran Lahav interviewed me and several other participants at the recent 13th International Conference on Philosophical […]
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QA 48. Think, again (The end of philosophy)

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On May 30, 2014
In 2010, Stephen Hawking pronounced philosophy dead: “Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.” But he had not kept up with Martin Heidegger, who already said this in 1964, in “The end of philosophy and […]
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QA 38. January 2013. Rocking the foundations of thought

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On January 25, 2013
Education systems that render people stupid, mental health treatment that renders people mad, religions that render people wicked, economies that render people poor, political systems that render people powerless. How is it that our social systems break down (render) precisely what they are meant to serve (render to)?
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QA 37. Dec 2012. Ten years down the road

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On December 9, 2012
2012 has been my tenth year as a “philosopher in private practice”. I’m a bit surprised to find that what began with a hunch and a leap of faith has developed in unanticipated directions, yet stayed true to its roots. The hunch concerned philosophy as a way of life. First, that philosophical activity – to […]
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QA 35. Aug 2012. Philosophy for emancipation

  • Posted by Helen Douglas
  • On August 26, 2012
It starts off very personally, very intimately. You’re going about your business and then ­– for some unknown reason – you can’t carry on. Maybe there’s a choice you don’t know how to make. Maybe you’ve reached a dead end or the limit of some chain you didn’t even know you wore. You are thrown […]
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