Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Philosophical Counsellor

So in 2003, the year I skipped therapy with Dr C, I went weekly to a philosophical consellor. It was quite a devious plan initially. I was studying towards the first year of my Masters in Philosophy that year, and "philosophical conselling" had previously popped up on my radar screen as one of the very few career options for a philosophy graduate. As far as I knew philosophical counselling only existed in Europe and the US, so I was enthralled when I found one right here in Cosmpolitan Cape Town.

So that's why I went. Not because I was seeking therapy, but more as a career preparation reconnisance. The woman was Canadian and had gotten very involved in the underground anti-apartheid movement in the 80s which led to her stay in South Africa.

I carried on seeing her for nearly 8 months, partly because she cost about a third of regular psychologists. But in retrospect, I can see that her lack of formal conselling training was a big stumbling block. Her particular area of speciality in Philosophy was Ethics, the one section BP Guy hates most (he's more interested in cutting edge metaphysics and ontology). And, unlike Dr C's passive approach, she always had this hidden ethical agenda that she wielded, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Which confirmed my hate for Ethics. More and more university philosophy departments are steering themselves in the direction of ethics as they see this as the most practical branch of philosophy and the possible saviour of their teetering ivory towers. But the hypocrisy is postively vomit inducing. They're always challenging ANY position that could, in the remotest sense, be considered elitest. Holiest-than-though. Which, when you really think about it, SUCKS. I mean, here you've got this group of highly educated people, whose club is so damn elite that you have to spend 4 or 5 years of intense study just to understand and participate in the damn conversation, claiming to expose the latent elitism of every other standpoint in the world. Yeah right...

The other problem with the "Plato, not Prozac" school is that philosophy is, admittedly, an excellent method to unpack concepts and arguments in the world - except for one huge gaping blindspot - the emotions. No amount of syllogisms, ontologies or relativisms will ever explain human feelings. So, from a BiPolar point of view, philsophical counselling is truly fcked.

I do still have a passion for philosophy, and although it is unlikely that I'll ever complete my Masters, I still have a lot to say about philosophy. But best that wait for future posts...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Recent Posts