In this book, Ran Lahav presents his vision of the theory and practice of philosophical practice, which he has been developing over the past 24 years. Philosophical practice is an international movement of philosophers who believe that philosophy is relevant to our everyday life, because it can touch us and inspire us and help us live more fully.
The vision presented in this book is ambitious. Unlike those who give philosophy the limited task of logical analysis and problem-solving, Ran Lahav regards philosophy as capable of transforming life and elevating it. This view is faithful to the visions of many great philosophers throughout the ages – Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Rousseau, Nietzsche and many others. Using Plato’s famous Allegory of the Cave, he explains that the role of philosophy is to inspire us to step out of the narrow “cave” in which we are imprisoned towards greater horizons of human existence.
This book covers both the theory and the practice of philosophical practice, as they apply to its main branches: philosophical counseling, self-reflection groups, and philosophical-contemplative companionships. On the theoretical level, it presents a general conception of everyday life and its limitation, of the power of philosophizing, and of personal self-transformation. On a practical level, it explains in detail the process of philosophical practice, its different stages, strategies and techniques. Many examples and case-studies illustrate these ideas in a concrete, accessible way. Overall, this book is a complete guide to anybody who is interested in philosophical practice, from the beginner to the experienced philosophical practitioner.