*** *** TRUMP *** ***
THE ISPPI BULLETIN
*Issue No. 2* (C) Copyright Sophon Center *July 1998*
Dear ISPPI member and others interested in
the practice of philosophy,
With this second issue of Trump we are well
on our way to establish a communication path which all philosophical practitioners
may use to contribute to making philosophical practice and counseling into
a growing movement.
The lecture series of Feb.-March was successful
and a new series of lectures is planned for Oct.-November. Together with
this Bulletin you receive information on the Fourth International Conference
on Philosophical Practice. We hope to see you there as well. In this Issue
you find information on some hot issues in the world of philosophical counseling.
Philosophical Counseling has recently received also in Israel a renewed
media attention with articles in Ha' Aretz , The International Herald Tribune
(Israel Edition) and Zomet HaSharon. The contribution of Prof. Levine on
her work with children is much appreciated.
As editor of Trump I welcome your contributions.
Please send in your practice activities so that they can be published together
with ISPPI activities. Also if you have questions or like to share
your views about philosophical practice and counseling related issues,
please send in a short comment (about 400 words or shorter) in English
or Hebrew, and always typescript.
The editor, Shlomit Schuster
DID YOU PAY 1998 MEMBERSHIP DUES YET? NO?
PLEASE, DO IT SOON!
STATEMENT OF THE DUTCH SOCIETY ON STATE
"The present board of the Dutch Union for
Philosophical Practice, the
VFP, does not support efforts to realize
health-insurance payment for
philosophical practitioners. The VFP does
not support efforts by
colleague-philosophers to either monopolize
the field of philosophical
counseling or make the work of the philosopher
look like that of a
(mental) health professional".
CODE OF ETHICS
The following code is a translation of the
Dutch Code of Ethics which Dr. Karin Murris
of the British Society for Consultant Practitioners
translated. The British SCP and the American APCA are considering to adopt
this code of ethics and it is something that the ISPPI is going to consider
CODE OF PRACTICE FOR CONSULTANT PHILOSOPHERS
The Society for Consultant Philosophers (hereinafter
known as 'SCP') has
developed and established this code of practice
as the result of the wish
and the need to give the profession of 'consultant
philosopher' a clearer
identity. This represents a step towards
further social recognition and
establishment of a professional profile.
The intention is to develop
further quality and training criteria in
the next few years.
The need for this code stems from the fact
that a 'consultant philosopher'
offers a professional expertise that puts
the client in an unequal
position. This is the primary reason for
the need for a code of practice -
to offer protection to the to a certain extent
The terms used in the remainder of this document
are defined as follows:
'philosopher' and 'consultant (philosopher)':
someone who has at least a
master's degree in philosophy in addition
to further training, and who
holds a practice within which s/he receives
people who pay for his/her
expertise, and who thereby become the philosopher's
'Consultation': a conversation between the
philosopher and the client which
takes place during an appointment and for
which the client pays a fee.
The code gives clients, potential clients
and those who refer them to a
consultant philosopher access to the rules
the philosopher will adhere to.
If necessary, the client and those referring
him/her can use the code to
remind the philosopher of those rules. The
consultant is required to make
the code available to the client. The code
is also intended to achieve a
greater degree of professional homogeneity.
The consultant philosopher has declared that
he or she will adhere to the
code of practice, and this can provide a
reason, or additional reason, to
consult this particular philosopher, and
can be a reason for other
specialists to refer a client to a philosopher.
If clients or those
referring them believe that the consultant
is not adhering to the code, they
can report this to the SCP's management committee,
which will deal with the
complaint under Article 7 below.
The code contains rules of practice which
the philosopher must adhere to.
The philosopher declares this to the SCP
by signing the code as part of the
application procedure for being on the National
Register of Consultant
Philosophers (hereinafter known as 'NRCP').
The NRCP is a list published by
the SCP of consultants who are signatories
to the code and are full
The client can be a private person or the
representative of an organization
or professional body. The code deals with
relationships where the client
pays a fee for the provision of a service
which amounts to a consultation.
The consultant can maintain a broad spectrum
of aims, but must respect the
wishes of the client, and use these as the
basis for a consultation.. The
wishes of the consultant will be either put
aside or must be clearly
explained to the client and explicitly agreed
The consultant can, in principle, maintain
a broad spectrum of methods.
The consultant must realize that every methorepresents
a means of dealing
with the client and so contributes towards
defining the relationship.
Therefore, the consultant must ensure that
the methods used, and the
resultant definition of the relationship,
is not in breach of other
articles of the code, and expresses respect
for the client, contributes to
the dialogical form of the relationship,
and avoids any abuse of power or
The consultant may contact only other interested
parties such as
specialists who referred the client, members
of the client's family or
household, etc., but only with the client's
express permission. Thereby,
the client's stated wishes are always respected.
The consultant will regularly attempt to
reassess his/her level of
expertise, and supplement it and update it
through further study and
a. The consultant will enter a consultancy
relationship only if the client
has explicitly expressed a wish to do so,
and if the consultant is
satisfied that the client is reasonably well
informed about the content and
form of such a relationship.
Such an agreement between both parties is
always implicit within a
b. The consultant will always respect the
client's privacy and the
confidentiality of each consultation.
This means that no information specific to
the client must ever leave the
practice in a recognizable form, nor be available
to third parties in any
form without the express permission of the
c. The consultant will respect the client's
ethical and religious views.
The philosopher's reconstructive, constructive
capacities in this respect will be applied
only with the agreement of both
d. The consultant is at all times prepared
to justify to the client the way
in which the consultation is conducted by
This means that the philosopher is prepared
to justify his/her methods, and
also that the 'agreement' between both parties
can be revised at the
initiative of either party.
e. the consultant is motivated to regularly
evaluate the progress made
during the consultation, and its philosophical
character; and, taking
account of the terms of article 6 b., to
reflect on this with colleagues,
either verbally or in writing.
The consultant regards the profession as
one which benefits from exchanges
of information and ideas. This also results
in a form of quality control.
f. The consultant makes it clear where his/her
limits of expertise lie, and
at what point referral to a consultant from
a different profession would be
considered. The consultant is careful not
to overstep these limits (see
also articles 4 and 6b).
7. Complaints Procedures
The client who is of the opinion that the
consultant has breached any terms
of this code can complain to the SCP's management
committee. The management
committee will appoint two members to hear
both parties (client and
consultant), and to advise the society about
appropriate measures. The
decision will be taken by the society's full
management committee, which
has the following measures at its disposal:
· a warning;
· suspension of being on the NRCP
pending further training or supervision;
· expulsion from the NRCP, and publication
of the expulsion in the
· expulsion from the SCP, and publication
of the expulsion in the
The defendant can appeal to the society's
Annual General Meeting (AGM);
both management committee and defendant appoint
a member to prepare their
case for the AGM. No action is taken pending
the outcome of the appeal.
The SCP is in no way liable for any damages
claimed by clients as the
result of a consultation with an SCP member.
The consultant alone is
responsible for his/her work, and carries
full liability for any action for
Professor Shellie Levine recently joined the
ISPPI membership list and contributes the following article about her work.
Philosophical Counseling With Children
Shellie Levine, Ph.D.
Both Greek and Judeo -Christian
thought point toward "wondering"
as the activity of the philosopher, with
the product of wondering being
the discovery of knowledge. Having been trained
psychology as well as clinical psychology,
my counseling work with
children and adolescents has resulted in
a multiplicity of cases, which
crystallize the child's ability to "do philosophy."
pychological theory and practice has adopted
a set of paradigms that
preclude the recognition of these abilities.
The foremost paradigm in the
United States has been the Piagetian paradigm.
I offer a critique of this
paradigm and a suggested alternative, which
highlights those cognitive
capacities of children which provide the
foundation for their abilities to
engage in philosophical cognition. Studying
these abilities points toward
the efficacy of philosophical counseling
1. Egocentricity: Piagetian theory has long
claimed that children are
"egocentric," a term which designates the
inability to adopt the
emotional, cognitive or spatio-temporal perspective
of another (Piaget,
1966). The theory I suggest-that children
are nave philosophers-is
supported by current research which confirms
that children are exquisitely
able to comprehend the emotions and cognitive
intentionality of other
persons (Bruner, 1990; Levine, 1997; Nelson,
1996). Thus, by two years of
age children have been shown to respond to
the nurturing figure's despair
by offering comfort. They are also able to
narratives about activities which take account
of the other's state of
belief; with the result being that children
are able to fabricate an
account with the goal of deceiving others.
Despite this research,
mainstream psychology has maintained that
children are indeed egocentric.
The result of this premise is that children
are unable to perform
philosophical inquiry--a process that has
as one necessary prerequisite
the ability to comprehend a multiplicity
of points of view simultaneously.
The theory I propose acknowledges that the
ability to adopt
multiple perspectives is often actualized
by philosophers and that indeed
the child does have this ability. Yet more
importantly, we must recognize
that children are exquisitely able to suspend
the dichotomies inherent in
the subject-object relationship and enter
into a cognitive and emotional
state in which this dichotomy is suspended.
Children are supremely
capable of actualizing the phenomenological
epoche. As discussed by
Husserl, during the transcendental-phenomenological
philosopher does not experience a schism
between the knower and the known.
The importance of this ability as actualized
by the child is significant
in terms of the child's ability to engage
in philosophical inquiry.
2. Violation of Aristotelian Logic: Piagetian
Theory has been grounded on
the premise that children's cognition is
not organized according to the
rules of Aristotelian logic. The primary
rule often violated is the law of
identity: an entity must be identical to
itself and to no other entity.
A=A. The fact that children's cognition often
violates Aristotelian logic
is accepted by this author. However, the
use of this fact by current
Piagetian theory in order to "explain" this
fact has resulted in the
maintenance of Piaget's view that children's
cognition is "inferior" and
"in need of correction" (Piaget, 1976). As
researchers have noted,
linguistic terms and concepts are pervaded
by the strictures of
Aristotelian logic (Korzybski, 1958; Langer,
1967; Levine, 1984; 1998).
the theory of child-as-nave-philosopher recognizes
that children are
supremely capable of communicating through
words and concepts, which are
not those of the "common-sense" human being.
As Schutz (1973) discussed,
these common-sense concepts are those which
are socially accepted and
schematic, eliding the value of the uniqueness
of each situation. The
child's use of concepts which are not accepted
by the "They," i.e., the
social community can be understood as the
eof the ability to
cognize creatively (Levine, 1984; 1997).
This skill is crucial for the
human being who seeks philosophical meaning
concerning the self and world.
Space limitations prevent the unfolding of
the many cognitive and
emotional capacities which ground the child's
experience. I offer the
suggestions noted above in order to promote
philosophical counselors who may develop
paradigms of child development
and therapy which acknowledges and utilizes
In summary form we may understand the philosopher
as someone who
questions in order to understand reality.
The mode-of-being of the child
is precisely that which allows for this inquiry.
As I have noted elsewhere
(Levine, 1984, 1997), the child's cognitive
structures may be shown to be
isomorphic to that of the adult philosopher
and to be the foundation for
the creative exfoliation of the meaning of
self and world.
Bruner, J. (1990). Acts of Meaning. Cambridge:
Harvard University Press.
Korzybski, A. (1958) Science and Sanity: An
Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics.
Langer, S. (1967). Mind: An Essay on Human
Feeling. Baltimore: Johns
Levine, S. (1984). The Child-As-Philosopher:
A Critique of the
Presuppositions of Piagetian Theory and an
Alternative Approach to
Children's Cognitive Capacities. Thinking:
Journal of Philosophy For
Children, V(1), 1-9.
Levine, S. (1997). Clinical Implications of
Understanding Discrimination. In Proceedings
for the Conference on
International Perspectives on Crime, Drugs,
and Public Order, 37-43. NY:
John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Nelson, K. (1996). Language in Cognitive Development.
Piaget, J. (1966). The Child's Conception
of Physical Causality. NJ: