The Philosophical Practitioner

The book, The Philosophical Practitioner, is a surprisingly interesting novel about a man who makes a living by talking to people about their moral dilemmas, and struggles of navigating life. His somewhat mundane life is interrupted when a femme fatale enters his office and points a gun at him and threatens to kill him. He is left trying to figure out what sort of quandary he has gotten himself into.

I found it interesting to learn about the different people who enter his office, and the struggles they seek help with. I am hoping that the author is not a real philosophical practitioner. Most what he says to his clients is advice giving based on his personal values. Rather than listening and exploring what is important to the client, he is quick to dole out his own values and insipid advice.

It is surprising that he calls himself a “philosophy practitioner”, since philosophy should be about exploring ones own values and trying to live a more self-determined autonomous life. Instead, the philosophical practitioner seeks to have his clients live in alignment with his own values.

It was interesting to see the differences between this philosophical practitioner and my own practice of existential listening. As a listener, I always seek to understand the other person’s point of view, and refrain from offer advice. I believe that the client has the best solution inside of them, a solution that will make the most sense for their life and values. I try to elicit and illuminate the other person’s values in an attempt to understand them better.

With that said, it was an interesting read. I enjoyed the moral quandaries and the conflicts presented in the novel.

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